Among the Germans who emigrated to America in the mid-1800s were a number who came from the Evangelical United Church of Prussia which included both Lutheran and Reformed. Six ministers related to this Evangelical Church met at the Gravois Settlement near St. Louis in 1840 to form the Evangelical Union of the West, which in time became the German Evangelical Synod of North America and finally, after several mergers and consolidations, became the Evangelical Synod of North America. This church body was essentially German Calvinist with its theology based on the Heidelberg Catechism (Reformed) and the Lutheran Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Catechism.
This is significant for St. Paul’s history because, as Alma Niehaus wrote in 1976, ”the congregation’s formal organization dated back to August 10, 1861″ when the congregation “organized as the German Evangelical Church of St. Paul, adhering to both Lutheran and Reformed traditions and doctrinal statements or confessions.”
Later, she wrote, ”the congregation was organized as St. Paul’s Lutheran church of Benton Township, a part of the then, Existing General Synod of the Lutheran Church.” When the General Synod merged into the United Lutheran Church in America in 1918, St. Paul’s became part of the Wartburg Synod, a German-background and language synod. Later the U.L.C.A. merged into the Lutheran Church in America with the Augustana Lutheran Church (of which Immanuel, Mediapolis, was a member) as a merging partner. A member of the L.C.A.’s Iowa Synod, St. Paul’s held its final regular service on June 26, 1966, as the congregation merged into Immanuel Lutheran Church with all records transferred to Immanuel. Some of the members became part of Immanuel; others went elsewhere for their new church home.
A commemorative service is held once a year, usually during September.
September 25, 2016 sermon by Pastor Jerleen Schlesser based upon Matthew 22:34-46: