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St Paul’s Evangelical Reformed Church, Mahanoy, PA

February 26, 2014

St. Paul’s Evangelical Reformed congregation survives today as St. Paul’s UCC, but in a different building. These two interiors are of the building that was dedicated on 15 November 1908 and burned on 16 January 1948—not quite forty years of service. The congregation must have thought well of their church interior as a working environment, however, because two interior views were published as postcards.


I don’t have an exterior view to post, but the building stood at a street intersection, with the bell tower at the fulcrum. So the sanctuary view above was taken from just inside that corner entry, with the pulpit diagonally opposite. You can also see the moveable partition leading to the Sunday School space in the rear right. When it was open, both adults and children had a relatively unobstructed view of the preacher.


Characteristically, the Sunday School proper was a large, light-filled space with a general assembly area and also a number of smaller spaces that could be subdivided by means of heavy velvet curtains.

It’s rare for cards like this to come as a pair—that is, separate items from the same dealer—except they seem to have been part of a cache of cards from the architectural office of Abner A. Ritcher (habitually misspelled “Richter”), one-time partner in the firm of Ritcher & Eiler. He/They produced a large number of Akron-Auditorium churches in eastern Pennsylvania—a large proportion of them for congregations in the Reformed tradition.

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