As waves of German-American settlers moved into the Piedmont of North Carolina in the early 1800's, they began to form congregations of worship. St. Stephen's was the fifth Lutheran church in Catawba County when it was organized in 1837. Originally called Miller's Lutheran (for the land benefactor), the congregation went through two splits before the church evolved into the three churches that are now located on the original church land: St. Stephen's ELCA, Miller's NALC, and St. Stephen's LCMS.
The timeline of our congregation includes:
1909 - One hundred members dedicated a sanctuary
1935 - Our first full-time pastor was hired (prior pastors were shared with other parishes)
1952 - Our Scout Hut was constructed for the Boy Scouts
1955 - Our current sanctuary was dedicated
1962 - Our current educational/recreation building was dedicated
1980 - Our current chapel was dedicated
1994 - Our church vans were purchased
1997 - Our picnic shelter was completed
We have deep connections with the founding of the Trinity Village Assisted Living/Skilled Care Facility (which sits west of our property). The Via de Cristo renewal movement has a strong presence in the lives of our members. In addition, our parish has a strong outreach to both our local Hickory community and to world-wide relief efforts.
We have two Sunday worship services: A Contemporary Worship service in our chapel at 8:00 am and a Traditional Worship service in our sanctuary at 10:30 am. Our major emphasis on Christian Education continues with Sunday School for all ages at 9:15 am each Sunday.
God has continued to richly bless our efforts and our ministries; forging strong bonds of friendship and community among our members as we continue God's work in the Hickory area. God is good!