Alamance Lutheran began its life as a non-denominational mill chapel. There are no records of the earliest roots, but local oral tradition says that there was a “Sunday School” program of Bible study in the late 19th century in the Village of Alamance. Sometime in the early 20th century a clapboard chapel was built apparently by the owners of the textile mill to provide spiritual sustenance for their employees. This is usually associated with John Shoffner and John Black of Standard Hosiery, but may predate their ownership. There is no question that they were great supporters later. The original building was our current chapel and parlor without the dividing wall between the two rooms. The clapboard church building was bricked over in 1929. Later, an addition was added, consisting of our current nursery and the Golden Workers Sunday School and the choir suite.
The original worship services were held on Sunday evenings and were led by whatever clergy was available. John Shoffner, who had grown up at nearby Low’s Lutheran, objected to some of the teachings and practices of the early church gathering. He applied to the North Carolina Synod for the chapel to be incorporated as a Lutheran church in 1929 and Alamance Lutheran Church was formed. A seminary student from Columbia S.C., Herman Fisher, was assigned to the parish. For two years he completed his degree and traveled to Alamance on weekends and was called to be pastor in 1931. Our pastors have been:
The Reverend Herman Fisher, 1931-38
The Reverend C. Lee Shipton, 1938-49
The Reverend Paul B. Cobb, 1949-53
The Reverend Glenn S. Eckard, 1953-63
The Reverend Roy B. Setzer, 1964-70
The Reverend Boyce Whitener, 1971-76
The Reverend Robert Q. Beard, 1977-78
The Reverend Charlie Hoyle, 1979-87
The Reverend James Lockley, 1988-2015
The Reverend Ronald D. Philabaum, 2016-Present
Music has always been central to our worship. In 2013, two significant leaders retired. Combined, the organist, Carolyn Pickard, and the choir director, Linda Jo Smith, served over 100 years leading our music program. In the early days of our parish, almost all who worshiped here lived in the Village, worked at the Standard Hosiery Mill and walked to church on Sunday. There was a spirit of outreach and mutual support. The geography of the parish has changed significantly. Alamance Lutheran now serves the greater Burlington area and its members live across Alamance county.
The spirit of outreach and mutual support is unchanged at ALC in the twenty-first century. Today we are recognized for our leadership in supporting Crop Walk, Habitat for Humanity, Allied Churches of Alamance County and other agencies. We remain a loving community, serving God and reaching out to serve His people as we have been loved.