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 Church History





St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church has served the community of Warren, Illinois and southern Wisconsin for the past 102 years.

The first congregation began in 1858, when a Lutheran Pastor met with a group of German immigrants to form a church. Plans for building a church soon led to construction, and by June 1858 the corner stone was laid. Pastors from Northern Illinois Synod, plus many other guests, were present for the celebration of this special event.

In 1860, M.M. Yeakle persuaded his fellow Lutherans to continue building the stone church. Unfortunately, by the fall of 1862, the funds ran out and they were forced to abandon the project. It was vacant until 1879 when H.V. Brown acquired the building by the purchase of the tax deed, and used it as a tobacco storehouse.

In 1900 a few Lutheran families, with the help of some Warren business men, raised the necessary money to restore the old stone church on the west end of town.  The builders and families worked non-stop to complete the church, so the Lutherans congregation was officially organized in the summer of 1900 by Pastor J. Dachsteiner.  On October 21, 1900 , the newly repaired and decorated church was dedicated.  Services were held in German and English with about 250-300 people attending the afternoon services.

Two years later, a combined parsonage and school was built and dedicated. The following year a new bell belfry, and organ were dedicated. Finally the German Lutherans were able to realize their dreams of having a place to worship.

100 years have passed since the dedication of St. Paul's. As we celebrate our centennial in the year 2000, we reflect upon the past, our roots, and our heritage. We are thankful for the great sacrifices and contributions made by the founders and their pastors. We are also thankful for the generations of leadership and endeavors that helped build the congregation we enjoy today. We must accept the challenges of an ever changing world and continue the mission of our church  and lead us into the 21st century and beyond!

Past to Present

Pastor John H. Schlichting                                                                      Founder -- 1896-1898

Pastor A. J. Klindworth                                                                                          1898-1899

Pastor J. Dachsteiner                                                                                            1899-1902

Pastor Richard A. Salzwedel                                                                                   1902-1906

Pastor David Zeilsdorf                                                                                           1906-1911

Pastor J. Wendel                                                                                                  1910-1911

Pastor O. Kubitz                                                                                                   Interim 1911

Pastor J. Buth                                                                                                      1911-1915

Pastor August Kohlhoff                                                                                          1915-1923

Pastor Emil O. Schultz                                                                                           1923-1924

Pastor Otto Moke                                                                                                  1924-1928

Pastor Eugene Ahl                                                                                                 1929-1934

Pastor Otto H. Kreiter                                                                                            1934-1942

Pastor Karl F. Trost                                                                                               1943-1948

Pastor Oswald G. Mall                                                                                           1948-1960

Pastor Jerome S. Peterson                                                                                      1961-1965

Pastor Jack F. Maxim                                                                                              1965-1969

Pastor Orville C. Mitchell                                                                                        1969-1972

Pastor James Schwartz                                                                                        Interim 1972

Pastor Craig A. Wagner                                                                                          1972-1976

Pastor Kenneth A. Halstead                                                                                    1976-1979

Pastor Peter Kjeseth                                                                                         Interim 1979

Pastor Steven D. Berke                                                                                           1979-1984

Pastor Wlliam Wiederanders                                                                                   1984-1987

Pastor Bryan Robertson                                                                                          1988-1993

Pastor George Nelson                                                                                        Interim 1993

Pastor Tina S. Koenig                                                                                             1993-1996

Pastor Art Stees                                                                                                Interim 1996-1997

Pastor Carole Andres                                                                                              1997-2000

Intern Pastor Laura Koppenhoefer                                                                           2001-2002

Intern Pastor Pat Esker                                                                                          2002-2003