Our History

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in March, 1872. Pastor Schulze of St. John's Lutheran Church, Arlington Township, had been conducting Lutheran services in Arlington in the late 1860's and was instrumental in its organization. Fewer than 20 families made up that first congregation.

The first church building was a log cabin erected in 1871 where St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery is today. In 1883, it was decided to build a new church. Land was acquired closer to town which is the present site of St. Paul's Lutheran School. The old log church was moved to this site and used as the school house until 1916.

A new church was built in 1886. The dimensions of the church were 50 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 26 feet high. The congregation called its first resident pastor, C. F. Kock, in 1889. The pastor taught school four days a week for five months.

Sunday School was also introduced.


In 1903 a 20-foot addition was made to the front of the church, and a tracker Rueter pipe organ was purchased from Vogelpohl & Spaeth, Pipe Organ Builders, of New Ulm and placed in the upstairs part of the addition. A hot air heating system was installed, and a new altar and pulpit were acquired. The young people gathered funds and had electricity placed into the church. Church rededication was October 18, 1903.


As early as the church rededication service in 1903, special services were conducted in English, usually a 7:30 p.m. Sunday evenings. In 1923, it was decided to conduct occasional English services. Over the years the schedule was set having two English and one German service a Sunday. The German service was dropped in 1982.


Another milestone took place when the present church was dedicated in September 1956. The new church seats over 900 people. In 1980 a three-manual Allen Digital Computer Organ was installed in the church balcony.


St. Paul's was an "independent" Lutheran congregation through most of its history; however, all its pastors and teachers were trained and provided by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. St. Paul's officially joined the Wisconsin Synod in 1986.


St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran congregation was served first by the following area Lutheran pastors: Rev. K. F. Schulze (1872-73); Rev. F. H. Kolbe (1 873-76); Rev. Hunziker (1876-86); and Revs. Siegler and Rumpf (1887-88).


Since 1889, St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran congregation has been served by the following called pastors: Rev. Christian F. Kock (1889-1902); Rev. Robert Heidmann (1902-1941); Rev. John G. Bradtke (1941-82); Rev. Roland Scheele (1969-70); Rev. Fred Fallen (1977-91); Rev. Jeff Schone (1 992-1 997), and Rev. Bruce Hanneman (1998-2015).


[Text extracted from Arlington 1856-2006, written by Franklin Kolander & Dwight Grabitske.]