Bucks County Herald

St. Paul’s pastor celebrates two milestone anniversaries



The Rev. Dr. Robert Linders, left, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Doylestown, at the Sept. 10 dedication of the sculpture by local artist Steven Snyder.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Doylestown was bursting at the seams Sept. 10.

Cars lined the streets, people sat shoulder to shoulder in the pews, and friends from far and wide came to honor and celebrate the man behind the church, the Rev. Dr. Robert H. Linders.

In May, Linders was recognized by the Southeastern PA Synod for his 50th anniversary of Ordination. Forty of those years have been at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Many can’t remember a time at St. Paul’s before Linders became pastor; in fact, he has been just one of three senior pastors at the church over the past 100 years.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is one of the largest Lutheran congregations in the Philadelphia area. It has continued to grow during Linders’ tenure, due in a large part to his inspirational preaching from the pulpit.

Rooted in scripture but tied to literature and current events, Linders’ sermons connect the church to day-to-day life. Fortunately for the congregants of St. Paul’s, Linders is in no hurry to retire. As he shared during the 2017 SEPA Assembly, “The good news is that after preaching almost every week for 50 years, I still can’t wait for Sunday morning.”

The celebration recognizing Linders’ 40th year at St. Paul’s and 50th year ordained was a grand affair. Tables lined the Parish Hall and more than 250 people shared a meal and raised a glass to toast their beloved pastor.

In his honor, a sculpture by local artist Steven Snyder was erected in the front of the church entrance. The piece is reminiscent of the Baptismal Font and stands as a reminder that “our worth is a divine gift, not a human achievement.”

Linders is a graduate of Gettysburg College and holds a Master of Arts in English from Monmouth College in New Jersey. In addition, he has earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Princeton Theology Seminary.

He has been a guest lecturer at Cornell, Princeton, Catholic, Penn State and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Prior to arriving at St. Paul’s, Linders served as pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in West Long Branch, N.J., and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Leona, N.J.

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