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A Church History

On February 24, 1867, sixteen German immigrant families met and organized a church to serve the German-speaking people in the Ellsworth area. At a congregation­al meeting on May 5, 1867, the name of St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, was adopted with the motto, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is a power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth."

For several years worship services were held in the "Langbein School", but by 1870 the congregation began to make plans to build a centrally located church. In 1872 a frame church 26 by 36 was completed and the first service was held in the new struc­ture on September 1.

In 1914 it was decided to build a new church. The old church was moved back in order to build on the original site. The cornerstone was laid on June 13, 1915 and sealed in it was a tin box containing a brief history of the church, in both English and German, along with a catechism, photographs of the old church and parsonage, the Bible which was used when the old church was dedicated and other records. On June 27, 1963, ground was broken for a new educational wing, which was dedicated on May 4, 1964.

St. Paul's history of affiliations is varied. The Evangelical constitution was adopted and the congregation became a part of the Evangelical Synod of North America during the pastorate of Reverend Bierbaum in 1874. The name then became St. Paul's German Evangelical Church. With the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed church­es in 1934, a new name, St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church was chosen. The present name began to be used when the church and the Congregational Christian Church merged in 1961. In 1962 we voted to transfer our church membership from the Northern Synod to the current Northwest Association of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Today's congregation has over 150 active communicant members and offers par­ticipation in many activities including the Youth Group, Women's Guild, Men's Club, Sunday School, Bible Study and other organizations.