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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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Sunday School Diploma. Photo Courtesy: Bob Reding

SAINT PAUL'S LUTHERAN CHURCH. Doctrinal differences in July 1865,led members of the Lutheran congregation in Dubuque to petition the Missouri Synod for a pastor. Pastor Mennicke of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Rock Island, Illinois, visited the Dubuque congregation, and impressed by their sincerity opened the way for the foundation of a new church.

The St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in Dubuque with eleven charter members. The first church services were held in the homes of the members until the Methodist Church, on 17th and Iowa STREETS, was rented for services. In the spring of 1866, H. W. Wehrs came to Dubuque as the first permanent pastor. A parish school was opened in the Methodist Church, and in the same year a small church was constructed for $1,200.

During 1868 and 1869 the first Sunday School for the Missouri Synod in Iowa was begun and the first advertisements about the church were placed in two newspapers in the city.

The present locations of the church and parsonage were purchased on October 23, 1878. The old church was moved for $60.00 to the new location, and the house on the adjacent lot was used as a parsonage. For $196.70 a schoolroom was constructed on the rear of the old church.

Between 1881 and 1890 the size of the congregation grew so large that a new church became a necessity. On January 1, 1890, a resolution was passed unanimously for construction of a new building. The plan submitted called for a brick structure, 90 by 44 feet, built in GOTHIC REVIVAL ARCHITECTURE with a 120-foot tower. The new church was dedicated on November 23, 1890, and the old church was remodeled for a school. Collections for a one-month period raised $1,057 of the $1,100 needed for a pipe organ installed by the William Schuelke Organ Company.

Services in English started in January 1912. Beginning with the installation of Pastor William Schuetz of Monticello on May 11, 1918, congregational meetings were conducted entirely in English with a special German service, when announced, on Sunday mornings for the older church members. Other activities in the church included the beginning of a parish paper. A new school was constructed in 1925 at a cost of $15,341.45. Central heating for the church and school was installed along with three more bells in the tower.

After the end of WORLD WAR II, further modernization of the church, located at 2025 Jackson, included a new oil-burning furnace, a 25-note set of cathedral chimes for the organ, and a new organ. A parsonage on Devon Drive was purchased, and the church office in the education building was added. Under the leadership of Rev. Gene H. Bush the church and education building were renovated and an annex was purchased to handle the large enrollment in Sunday school.

The 1987 through 2014 Dubuque City Directory listed 2005 Jackson.