Founded 1845 Church Building 1900 Parish House 1895
On November 22, 1845, thirteen people of well-known names in Franklin County organized themselves into a congregation of the Protestant Episcopal Church and assumed the name of St. Paul’s Church, Louisburg. The first building used by this congregation was erected in 1853 on this site.
The present Gothic Revival-style church, designed by Charles W. Barrett of Barrett and Thomson, Architects in Raleigh and completed in 1900, replaced the original church, which became the core of the present South Main Street Baptist Church. On February 2, 1904, Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire consecrated the new church. The cruciform plan includes a porch featuring a two-stage corner bell tower and arcade. Local stone, shingling, and a combination of round and pointed arch windows highlight the exterior.
The interior contains handsome stained-glass windows and Gothic Revival dark-stained woodwork. Notable are the Tiffany altar window, the Munich pictorial-style window in the organ transept, and the rose window, high over the balcony, which may have been originally in the old church. The words “Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus” on the altar were carved by the Rev. B. N. deFoe Wagner of
Warrenton. The choir loft railing was designed and constructed in 2006 by Al Wheless. Two years later, he built the two chairs on either side of the altar.
The old Esty pump organ was replaced in 1970 with the current one, which was built by W. Zimmer and Sons of Pineville, N.C. It has nine ranks. It was consecrated in 1971 and dedicated in honor of the Rev. Frank Pulley, a longtime rector.
Several members of the congregation created the needlework pieces used in the church. The kneeling cushions around the altar were designed by Augusta Morgan Horsey, the mother of Harriette Sturges, and in 1979 Harriette, Marie Allen, Sandra Elam, and Ruth Wheless did the needlework. The same year, Sandra Elam made the cushion for the priest’s prayer stand. In 1995, Ruth Wheless designed and made the church banner.
This Queen Anne-style two-story rectory was built in 1895 as the residence for St. Paul’s priests. Its deep hip roof and projecting front two-story ell combine with a single-story polygonal bay and porch, with a turned balustrade and posts, to distinguish this late Victorian dwelling. In addition, decorative saw-tooth shingles sheathe the second-floor exterior and front dormer.
A new brick rectory was built behind the church in 1952. Today the original rectory is used as a parish house.
The Robert B. Fleming, Jr., Memorial Meditation Garden on the south side of St. Paul’s was given in 1983 “To the glory of God and in Loving Memory” of young Robert by his friends and family. It is open all year for prayer, meditation, and rest. The church’s perennial garden, which provides flowers for the altar, delights passersby on Elm Street.