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A brief history of St. Paul's

(adapted 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 on 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.

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