St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in California, Missouri enjoys a rich history, both in our local community and in the worldwide community of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. From the earliest beginnings with a pastor riding in on horseback and ministering to German-speaking immigrants worshiping in the home of members… to the present day with a beautiful house of worship, spacious educational building and growing daycare center available to members living in a thoroughly American culture – who can hear the weekly worship service on the radio, watch the sermon online or check upcoming events on our website. To say the charter members would not believe how far we have come is quite an understatement!

As much as our congregation has changed since the first service on October 28, 1860, our foundation is built on the same words set forth in the church constitution:

This congregation acknowledges and accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament as the revealed Word of God, verbally inspired, and acknowledges and accepts all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran  Church, contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, to be a true and genuine exposition of the doctrines of the Bible. These symbolical books are: The three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms and the Formula of Concord.

We continue to believe that in Christ alone is there salvation–by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Scripture alone and we remain what we have been from the very beginning – a hospital for sinners and a place to find hope and comfort in a world of darkness.

What a blessing to have bits and pieces of the triumphs and struggles of our church over the years to enlighten and encourage us! We invite you to explore the documents attached below and learn more about the many milestones in the history of our congregation.

Historical Milestones
(dates & events)

Pastors at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
(names & years of service)

“History of the Founding and Growth of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church”
(from the 100th anniversary celebration booklet)

“1860–History of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church–1985”
(from the 125th anniversary celebration booklet)

“150 Years of Gods Grace”
(from the 150th anniversary celebration booklet, authored by The Reverend Dr. Peter M. Kurowski)