St. Paul has been a gathering place for those seeking worship and service for more than 121 years. The community began with a group of German-speaking immigrants who had fled Russia and, in time, ministered to by a traveling preacher.
Time brought changes and, by the late-1920s, greater use of English and openness to the broader community. Even then, the church's focus was on assistance to those in need, and money was raised for charitable work in the U.S. and abroad.
Society's constraints on the role of women eased by the late 1940's when, at an annual meeting, a woman was the first to make a motion to build a new church. The congregation had the first female president in the Pacific Northwest in 1967, and in 1991 a pastor intern became the first woman to conduct a service at St. Paul.
The original building at the church's current location was completed in time for the congregation's 50th anniversary celebration in 1949. It was designed by a young congregant who had taken drafting in high school, built with volunteer labor, and was finished for less than $20,000. Finances were tight, so parishioners were asked to buy their own chairs for use in the parish center. The current sanctuary portion of the building was finished in 1957. Subsequent projects resulted the construction of the multi-purpose building and the organ loft.
A tracker pipe organ commissioned for the sanctuary was dedicated in 1990.
Throughout the decades, church members have demonstrated their social consciousness with a focus on hunger relief including the Summer Kids' Meals and providing clothing for children in need. In the late-1970s and early-1980s church members helped resettle Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees and took stands on current social issues. In the late 1990s, members traveled to Romania to repair an orphanage in Romania.
In the 2000s, members continue to clothe and feed children and to reach out to those in need through service to organizations that assist the unsheltered and other vulnerable individuals nationally and internationally.
How can you help shape the history of St. Paul for the next 100 years?