St Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church History
The history of St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church of Austin, Minnesota goes back to the early spring of 1941. At that time 15 families appealed to the Minnesota District of the Wisconsin Synod for spiritual care and service. The appeal was answered that summer and the congregation held services at a Seventh-day Adventist Church until a basement church was dedicated in November 1942. At that time restrictions made by the government due to World War II made it necessary to build the basement church at a cost of no more than $6000. In 1953 work was completed on the superstructure of the church which included an attached parsonage.
The year 1953 marked not only the dedication of the church, but also the beginning of the critical stage of the relations between the Wisconsin Synod and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The congregation studied the issues carefully throughout the years following. When it became clear that the Wisconsin Synod had departed from its former Scriptural doctrine on fellowship, the congregation, after careful study and discussion and in obedience to God’s Word, severed its relation with the Wisconsin Synod and Synodical Conference on April 26, 1960. The congregation joined other like-minded congregations and individuals in the Church of the Lutheran Confession synod (CLC).
During the following years, the congregation saw its share of ups and downs. Devastating floods of the Cedar River in 1965, 1978 and 1993 forced the congregation to sell its 9th Avenue SW property to the City of Austin and rebuild a new church on 16th St. SW.
Also, in 1972 the voters of St. Paul’s reached a long sought after decision to open a Christian Day School in the fall of 1972. With God’s help, the school taught the daily academic and spiritual needs of 12 young souls under the direction of Mrs. Karen Strike.
Pastors that have served the congregation throughout the years have been Pastor A.W. Blauert (1941-1944), Pastor L.W. Schierenbeck (1944-1969), Pastor Carl M. Thurow (1969-1984) and Pastor John K. Pfeiffer (1984-1994). Pastor Stephen C.F. Kurtzahn (1995-2002). St. Paul’s is currently being served by Pastor Theodore Barthels (2002-).
Throughout its history, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has faithfully proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified from the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the Bible.
CLC history is outlined in A History of the CLC which also shows the difference between the CLC and other Lutherans.