St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in 1841 by Pastor George Albert Schiefdecker, of Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Wartburg, who was doing missionary work in the Columbia and Sugar Loaf areas. Services were first held in rural homes, and then moved to the town of Columbia. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Columbia was officially organized in 1849 and joined the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 1851.
In 1849, a brick building, 35 X 44 feet was erected which served as both a church and a school. Because of crowded conditions due to its dual usage, the congregation built a new church building in 1854. This building still stands today, located on Liberty Street. In 1927 a new church was erected on Rapp Street. This building served St. Paul’s until 1963. In January, 1963 the first service in the new building on 227 North Good Haven Drive was held in the auditorium of the Education wing. Services were held there until the nave of the building was completed in 1966.
In 1993, St. Paul’s established a committee to assess the needs of their growing congregation. Several years and several plans later, St. Paul’s broke ground on an addition to its existing facilities. Because of structural damage found while renovating in 1998, St. Paul’s was once again conducting services in the educational wing. On October 31, 1999 we once again celebrated God’s blessings to St. Paul’s LutheranChurch as we dedicated our 6th sanctuary, to the glory of our Lord. It is only by the grace of God, the owner and giver of all that is entrusted to us, that we are able to do so.
The purpose of this sanctuary is the same as those used previously: to serve the proclamation of the Word and the giving out of the sacraments, for the forgiveness of sins and the building up of God’s people. This new structure is simply one more tool which we use in serving God by sharing the love of Christ with His creation. May God grant His continued blessing on our work together.
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