In those early days pastors served between four and eight congregations at a time with Holy Communion being celebrated only once a year, the minimum for any established Lutheran body.
As the building at Orange and Penn decayed, it was the women of the Mite Society who urged that a new building be constructed. Thus they were charged with raising the funds for a new sanctuary.
The cornerstone was laid on July 15, 1882 with the completed building being dedicated on August 12, 1883. Because so much of the church had been donated in memory of loved ones a tower stone included the inscription
From that time on, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Shippensburg, PA was known as Memorial Lutheran Church. As a result of their fine work, the women were given the privilege of voting at congregational meetings in 1887.
At the suggestion of their pastor, the sanctuary was redesigned. The congregation met in the Sunday School from 1955 to 1956 while construction was under way.
On Sunday, March 10, 1980 much of the Sunday School structure was destroyed by fire by the hand of an arsonist. The sanctuary remained in tact with the exception that the roof was opened in order to preserve the stained glass windows. Damage was assessed at about one million dollars. During the time of rebuilding, Memorial Lutheran was graciously welcomed to worship in the sanctuary of Messiah United Methodist Church one half block away on Penn Street.
On Sunday, September 20, 1981 the new Christian Education wing was dedicated.
Many faithful saints have come and gone from
the hallowed halls of Memorial Lutheran Church. We continue to exist, in
part, due to the generosity of those who have gone before us. Our purpose
remains the same: to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ that it may
change lives and be a blessing to all around us.