St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1838 – Present
As the first organized church in Wellsboro, PA, St. Paul’s enjoys a proud heritage of 165 years of service to the community. Benjamin Morris, a Quaker who built a meetinghouse for fellow worshippers, which founded Wellsboro in 1806. After the Quaker group disbanded, James Lowery and Joshua Sweet headed a group interested in forming a new church.
In 1838, the church leaders hired an Episcopal priest, Mr. Charles Breck, then still in seminary in New York City. Mr. Breck accepted the call and was offerred $250 to fill the post, with the hope of this sum being increased to $300 soon thereafter. Subsequently, the first Episcopal services were held at the courthouse on Sunday, August 26, 1838. Because the location was not uniformly popular, on the second Sunday of Mr. Breck’s tenure, he was met at the door of the courthouse by the sheriff bearing weapons and bringing the news that the worshippers were no longer welcome at the courthouse.
Thereafter, and until the present structure was erected and completed in 1899, services were held at the site of an old school building on the corner of Charles and Walnut Streets. In the meantime, the now-present Romanesque structure was being completed at a cost of just over $30,000 with regular services beginning on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1899.
Regular services, punctuated with a colorful history, have been celebrated continuously at St. Paul’s since 1838.