St. Paul's United Church of Christ celebrates 140 years
As St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Ellsworth commemorates its 140th year, its history can be traced back to the Civil War era.
The year was 1867 when Rev. Albert Kuhn, the German Evangelical Lutheran pastor of Oak Grove Church (now St. John's United Church of Christ) in Prescott traveled to Ellsworth with the hopes of organizing a German-speaking congregation in the town of Ellsworth.
Two weeks later, a church was born as sixteen families voted to approve Kuhn's idea along with a Sunday school. Three months after that, the congregation decided on a name - St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Lutheran part was dropped in 1874 when the Evangelical constitution was adopted and the church became part of the Evangelical Synod of North America.
In the beginning, services were held every two months in the Langbein School, located close to the present intersection of 610th St. and 570th Ave. However, members wanted a building they could call their own and asked Hans Warner, town of Ellsworth clerk at the time if any property could be sold to them.
Warner was agreeable to the solution with a catch - He instead donated two acres of land with the stipulation that "there would have to be built a respectable church upon this ground within five years." That was 1870. By two years, a 26'x36' building was constructed that serviced the congregation for the next 43 years at that location, which was W5706 State Highway 72, where the Church still sits.
For more read the July 18 print version of the Herald.