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A brief history of St. Paul's

(taken from St. Paul's Centennial book)

St. Paul's Lutheran Church dates back to 1896. Shortly before that time, The Rev. H. Schlisser came from Fargo to do mission work in and around Crookston.

August 15, 1896, The Rev. Herman Drews of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and Other States organized a congregation in Crookston known as the Evangelisch-Lutherische St. Paulus Gemeinde, or St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1930, due to the merger of the Ohio Synod with the Iowa and Buffalo Synods, the group became the American Lutheran Church. Rev. Drews was the first resident pastor. The first services were held in private homes of the various members. Later services were held in the old Public Reading Room, the old United Lutheran Church, and Washington School.

In 1899, at a meeting held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Heldstab Sr., the decision was made to build a new church at 512 North Broadway. September 14 or 17, 1899, the new church was dedicated. St. Paul's called that location home until a new (and the current) church building was built at 1214 University Avenue and dedicated August 9, 1961. A sealed copper box containing a catechism, hymnal, Bible, and church papers in both the German and English languages were sealed in the cornerstone. In 1988, the American Lutheran Church merged with other Lutheran denominations to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). St. Paul's is part of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA.

Charter Members of St. Paul's were William Heidrich, William F. Joenneke, John Heldstab Sr., Henry Jurk, Julius Aultmann, John Waterstrat, Charley Baumgarten, John Helm, Ferdinand Schmunk, Peter Heydt, Ernest Mueller, John Huelst, Otto Huelst, Fred Schmidt, William Laabs, August Kilman, Herman Schmunk, Michael Falewske, and Henry Panzer.


Rev. Herman Drews                                     1896-1897

Rev. J Fritz                                                   1897-1900

Rev. A.H. Wendt                                          1900-1904

Rev. J. Krueger                                             1904-1906

Rev. I Wegner                                               1906-1908

Rev. E. Schimpfky                                       1908-1917

Rev. William Durkhop                                 1918-1921

Rev. E.W. Lehne                                          1922-1924

Rev. J. Hoyer                                                1925-1928

Rev. G. Diemer                                            1928-1930

Rev. Ed Domke                                            1930-1936

Rev. Adolf Rink                                           1937-1940

Rev. G.J. Heitmann                                      1941-1945

Rev. C.J. Fellger                                           1946-1958

Rev. Alfred Oelschlager                               1958-1986

Rev. Orlin Ness                                            1990-1996

Rev. William Reck                                       1987-2018

Rev. Jeff Brown, OLF                              2020-Present


Rev. Loren Mellum             2018-2020

Rev. Truman Daniels          1987

Rev. G. Spletstoesser

Rev. D. Fredine



James Wente

Donald Tigges

Richard Brandt

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