On April 29,1873 a small group of German-American families gathered in the First Presbyterian Church in the village of Batavia to form their own congregation. The official incorporation of the congregation took place on April 23, 1874 under the name of “The German United Evangelical St. Paul Church.” The first house of worship was built on Ellicott street and was dedicated to the glory of the Triune God on May 15, 1874. The first minister was the Rev. George Feld.
In the spring of 1898 the congregations sold the property on Ellicott street for $2,000 and purchased a site on Liberty Street for $1,350. With the remaining $445 in their treasury the thirty-five remaining families decided to build a new brick church, which the dedicated to the service of God on December 4, 1898. In that year, the congregation left the Evangelical Association of North American and became a Lutheran congregation. On July 10, 1898 the Name “St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church” was adopted. The Rev. Edward Holls was called to be pastor and during his tenure services in English were heard for the first time.
In 1941, to meet the needs of a growing congregation, a new site was purchased on Washington Avenue. Here, the present house of worship was erected and dedicated to the glory of God on October 19, 1952.
Since its organization in 1873 St. Paul’s has been served by eighteen pastors. Our current pastor, Rev. Allen A. Werk, was called in 1996.
St. Paul’s has long been committed to Christian Education. In 1998, after more than thirty years of providing Christian preschool we expanded to include elementary level education.
In 2012 we formed a partnership with the Lutheran Church of Maniche, Haiti. Maniche is a group of people in a mountain village in southern Haiti. We support them financially, we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in this village, and we try to make sure that someone from our family of believers in Batavia is able to go to visit and work with them every year.
We are also providing opportunities for people to get involved in loving service to others through work trips within the United Sates. We have sent work crews to New Orleans after Katrina and to the Midwest after tornadoes. It is important to us to put our faith into action to take the love o0f Jesus to the very places where people are hurting or in need.
The group of believers at St. Paul is now exploring ways to deepen and enrich our personal lives as followers of Jesus. We know that it is vital that we carry our love for Jesus outside these walls and into our neighborhoods and workplaces.
Many opportunities for ministry still lie before us. May our God, who has been our help in ages past, continue to be our hope for the years to come.