In July 1871, the organization of the Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul Congregation, Alpena, Michigan, took place in the home of Mr. Carl Sans, 128 Saginaw Street. The Congregation was organized under the leadership of The Rev. Herman Brueckner, Sr., who conducted services in a school building on South Second Ave. (This site later became the site of the large Alpena Central School.)  A gift from Deacon Hitchcock and the Potter family provided the land on which the congregation erected the necessary church buildings. The land was located at the corner of Second Avenue and Mirre Street.  The first church was a simple 20 x 40 frame building. The second church was dedicated on July 25, 1881, with dimensions of 24.5 x 50. In 1889 the congregation started to build the third church, increasing the size to 48 x 78. 
The third church was dedicated on November 2, 1890, which was Reformation Sunday. On Maundy Thursday, March 29, 1923, a fire destroyed the church building. The loss was estimated at $35,000.  Easter services and later services were held in the Grace Norwegian Church on Dunbar Street. A cornerstone for the new structure was laid on July 26, 1925, and dedication services were held on December 5, 1926. The cost of the new building was about $85,000. In 1962 a three-story building was constructed, at a cost of $250,000. Also, at this time a bond issue was approved to finance a long-range program. In 1989 a major renovation project, of $500,000, was undertaken on the sanctuary and bell tower.
The project was extended over five years, and no interest was paid. St Paul has seen at least five members of the congregation become ministers. Twenty-six pastors and several interns have served the congregation.  The history and story of St. Paul is a celebration of servant leadership.  St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran will boldly proclaim the Gospel as we glorify God in 2023 and beyond.

-Iris Arthur

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