Our History


Click here to see the publication of “The History of St. Paul’s Parish”

Click here for historical pictures of St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Montrose was chartered in 1831, and the first service was held on Christmas Eve in 1832. The original church was located at the corner of Chestnut and Cedar streets, but after two decades the church outgrew its original building.

In 1859, the congregation moved to a new and larger sanctuary at 276 Church St., its current location, which one reporter declared was “the handsomest church … out of the city of Philadelphia.”

The building was designed by Richard Upjohn (1802-1878), the foremost American ecclesiastical architect of the mid-19th Century. Originally from England, Upjohn was responsible for launching the popularity of the Gothic Revival style in the United States. His most famous and influential commission was the rebuilding of Trinity Church in New York City in 1846. He was a founding member of the American Institute of Architects, and its first president (1857-1876).

Upjohn designed St. Paul’s brick building in what is often called the “country Gothic” style, with a tower and spire in the northeastern corner. It has a simple nave without aisles, and contains two areas of open pews, seating about 300 people. The woodwork is of oak, fashioned by William Boyd of Montrose, a local builder. Boyd was one of the contractors for the Susquehanna County Court House in Montrose, built in 1854.

Suspended from low buttresses in the exposed ceiling woodwork are single globe chandeliers.
The ceiling is lofty, broken into panels by beams and moldings; the side walls are plain and contain stained glass windows with richly colored borders.

A brilliant rose window, which is visible from Church Street, is over the main entrance.

The chancel is semi-octagonal and is lighted by three Tiffany windows behind the altar. The center window portrays Jesus with his right hand raised to bestow a blessing. The window to the right is of the Archangel Raphael, and the one to the left is of St. Paul, the patron saint of the parish.

Several other windows in the church are noteworthy, especially the window closest to the pulpit, which is a very personalized memorial to Reuel Warriner, a brother of Samuel Warriner, the donor whose money built the parish house.

The organ, located on the left wall of the chancel, was installed in 1912 and dedicated to the memory of Rev. Edward A. Warriner. Originally, it contained 864 “speaking” pipes and was water-powered. Electrified in 1927, it has occasionally been expanded and modified, with chimes and trumpets added in recent years.

Opposite the parish house is St. Paul’s Memorial Garden, containing the “Miss Mary Garden,” recipient of a special award by the Garden Federation of Pennsylvania in 1976. The Parish House and the Memorial Garden give space and symmetry.


Samuel Marks
April 4, 1831 – October 27, 1834
Willis Peck
December 1835 – October 14, 1836
Charles E. Pleasants
August 1837 – December 1838
Richard Smith
1842 – (1846)
John Long
(1846) – Easter 1852
Dewitt C. Billesby
1853 – 1857
Robert B. Peet
1857 – (1858)
William F. Halsey
1858 – November 1866
Edward A. Warriner
December 1867 – March 20, 1873
J. McBride Sterrett
June 29, 1873 – September 7, 1873
George H. Kirkland
September 1873 – June 1875
Edward A. Warriner
June 1875 – June 1906
Elliston J. Perot
July 25, 1907 – November 20, 1910
Ernest Wetherill Wood
January 25, 1911 – March 16, 1913
Howard W. Gernand
1913 – May, 1914
E. G. N. Holmes
July 1914 – June 18, 1918
Wallace Martin
November 1, 1918 – June 30, 1921
Ralph A. Weatherly
November 1921 – January 1928
Wallace C. Goodfellow
1928 – January 1937
Philip H. Steinmetz
June 20, 1937 – October 1, 1945
Albert M. Holloway
December 1, 1945 – April 7, 1947
W. Francis Allison
July 19, 1947 – March 1, 1956
Chester H. Harris
August 13, 1956 – September 30, 1972
Henry J. Pease
September 23, 1972 – April 26, 1998
Everett Francis (Interim)
May, 1998 – June, 1999
Elizabeth J. Moulton
July 30, 1999 – December 31, 2005
Canon Charles A. Cesaretti (Priest in Charge)
January 1, 2006 – April 30, 2009
Janet C. Watrous (Interim)
April 30, 2009 – September 6, 2009
Paul E. Walker
November 1, 2009 – February 28, 2012
Paul W. Towers
Sept. 6, 2013 – March 6, 2016