In 1954 and 1955, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Reichhold of Milford, Delaware were talking with relatives and other interested people in the community about the possibility of establishing a Lutheran congregation. At the time, there were enough people who had Lutheran backgrounds to desire a Lutheran service of worship in the community.
Mrs. Marjorie Reichhold wrote to the Synodical Office of American Missions. The Synod wrote back and suggested that the Reichholds make a survey of the community to see if there were enough people interested in establishing a congregation. After it was determined that there was sufficient interest, the Synod decided to send a missionary developer.
The missionary developer was the Rev. John M. Scherch. He came in September of 1955. On October 2, 1955, the first service of worship was held in the Odd Fellows Hall in Milford with 70 people attending. The first baptism was performed at this first worship service, for Jeannette Louise Reichhold, born May 31, 1955.
In November 1955, a Charter Membership Roll was opened and on November 27, 1955, 46 people signed the Roll. On December 18, 1955, a name was chosen for the new congregation - Reformation Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In March 25, 1956, the Rev. John M. Scherch was called by the congregation as its first pastor. The same day, the congregation voted unanimously to purchase a church site on Lakeview Avenue for the cost of $11,500. Later the same year, they voted to purchase a parsonage lot for $1,975 and decided to build a parsonage.
Local segregation problems caused the congregation to be asked to leave the Odd Fellows Hall to find another building for worship. Pastor Scherch recalled this difficult time with special commendation to the council member who voted to allow the black family to worship to the detriment of his business, which suffered because of his stand. The congregation found that the Grange Hall would permit them to conduct services there until the time of dedication of their first unit.
On March 2, 1958, a contract was awarded to Richard Johnson for $18,600 for the building of a parsonage. The blessing of the parsonage was held on September 14, 1958 and Pastor Scherch moved in. The parsonage was used for all congregational and auxiliary meetings.
In May 1958, the first building campaign was held and the congregation began to work out plans and prepare for their first unit, which was to be the beginning of a total church structure that would be designed in 3 different units.
On May 31, 1959, Pastor Scherch resigned to accept a call to another parish. Dr. Park. W. Huntington, a retired Lutheran minister in Wilmington, was asked to serve as a supply pastor. He did so until October 11, 1959 when the congregation issued a call to the Rev. Paul L. Buehrle and he was installed on December 20, 1959 as the second pastor in the life of Reformation Evangelical Lutheran Church. During this time period, Eva Farlow began making her legendary communion bread. For the full story, see The Story of Reformation's Communion Bread
In March 1960, a second fund raising campaign began for the first unit of our church. Mr. Herman A. Hassinger, a Lutheran from Philadelphia with knowledge of worship practices and liturgical procedures in designing church buildings, was engaged as the architect. In June 1960, the congregation voted to accept Mr. Hassinger's plans, which were subsequently approved by the synod in March 1961. The contract was awarded to John Wilkins and Son on October 3, 1961 for a cost of $61,264. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on September 24, 1961 and construction began on October 20th.
A corner stone laying ceremony for the first unit was held on March 25, 1962. Items such as a Bible, a copy of the constitution, a copy of the charter members, Luther's Catechism, a program of the service, and letters from congregations were placed in the corner stone. The congregation held its last service in the Grange Hall on September 9, 1962, There were 198 people present at the morning worship service and 237 present for the 4:00 p.m. dedication service.
Pastor Buehrle resigned on August 30, 1965 to accept another call. The Rev. Richard G. Goff served from May 1, 1966 until September 1, 1970 followed by Rev. S. Allan Ruby, who began his ministry at Reformation and served until January 25, 1978. During the congregation's search for a new pastor, the Rev. Jim Davis served as Vice-Pastor. See Reformation Lutheran's Statement of Purpose and Policy - April 14, 1969, which was adopted during this period.
On May 28, 1978, the congregation issued a call to the Rev. John D. Ranney and he was installed as pastor at Reformation on September 17, 1978.
The next major milestone was the dedication of the current spacious sanctuary on July 25, 1993. The architect was Mr. Phil Nelson of Herman Hassinger Architects. The General contractor was John L. Briggs, Inc. of Georgetown, Delaware.
February 5, 2006, Reformation 50th Anniversary Celebration. See the celebration in photos with all of the beloved former pastors who were so instrumental in making Reformation Lutheran Church the warm and welcoming church family that it is today, as well as some older historical photos from our archives. Read the story about the full celebration.
We celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Ordination and Installation for Pastor Ranney in the summer of 2003 and Pr. Ranney retired on June 30, 2008.
The congregation was delighted to welcome our current pastor, Pastor Eric W. Evers and his wife, Pastor Paige Evers and their two children to Reformation in July 2010. Pastor Eric continues to help the congregation grow in faith and love. We look forward to many more years of his leadership and guidance.
In September 2015, Pastor Paige Evers joined Pastor Eric at Reformation, creating a shared 1.25-time position between the two pastors. They share preaching, worship leadership, and pastoral care responsibilities. Pastor Paige's ministry emphasis is on intergenerational ministry and faith formation for families and youth. Pastor Eric works with the Church Council on the overall direction and leadership of the congregation to fulfill our vision, as well as staff supervision. Pastor Eric and Pastor Paige enjoy working together and combining their gifts for the ministry of Reformation Lutheran Church and our outreach to our community.