St.Paul Lutheran Church


From St. Paul's E. L. Church 1872-1972



 From the history books:
From "A History of Chatsworth" by L.J. Haberkorn 
1878 - The Lutheran people purchased from Col. Kenyon a frame building that had been used by the sugar company for a cooper shop. They placed chairs in this building and used it as a church. 
1913 - A nice, new brick Lutheran church building was built to take the place of the frame building that was wrecked by the tornado the last year. 
From "Chatsworth Area Centennial Celebration" by Louise Stoutemyer 
The Lutheran historical committee found it difficult to prepare a sketch because of incomplete records, but they knew that Pastor J. J. Kern baptized two children in November 1871 and baptized thirty children and confirmed a class of nine the following year.  

Pastor C. Schuchard was sent out from Mendota to carry on missionary work in this vicinity with headquarters in Chatsworth. Two pastors shared a horse, which one would ride to a half way  point and then the other would ride.

It was not until July 20, 1879 under Pastor Schuchard's guidance that the congregation was organized, adopted its first constitution and accepted the name St. Martini.

The congregation reorganized on November 28, 1880. revised their constitution and adopted the name St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church.  

On Sunday. April 21, 1912 at 5:30 p.m. a tornado hit Chatsworth devastating much of the south- east section of town, including the Lutheran Church. The Plaindealer of April 26. 1912 stated "The Little  German Lutheran Church in the southeast part of town was totally demolished, being moved off the foundation, half of the roof blown away and the building actually broken in two."  

In 1913 the new brick church was completed and dedicated in September. This building, with the interior remodeled, still serves as the sanctuary of the now enlarged building. In 1918 the congregation purchased a parsonage. This building served until 1965 when a new modern parsonage was built on the corner opposite the church.

In October 1927 Pastor A. E. Kalkwarf began to serve the three point parish of Charlotte-Chatsworlh-Germanville. In 1940 the Germanville church closed and the congregation united with Chatsworth.  
The church property was sold to Germanville Township. On Easter Sunday 1948 the Charlotte Church held its last service and the congregation merged with St. Paul's congregation.

The church held a dedication July 1957 for an addition providing an enlarged nave and Sunday School class rooms. 
In 1865, the Germanville Lutheran church was sold to become the town hall, and they united with Chatsworth. 
In 1887, the Charlotte  Lutheran Church was built  by Peter Sterrenberg. This group was organized in 1886. Peter Sterrenberg, born in Germany in 1838, came to the U.S. in 1867. It was in 1883 he took up residence in Charlotte, working at the trade of carpenter. He was associated for 20 years in the firm of Sterrenberg and Manssen, then the name became Sterrenberg and Sons. He married Helene Smedt. Their children were John, Henry, Willam, Loius, Fred and Dena. Mr. Sterrenberg was influential in building the Lutheran Church in Charlotte. 

From "Sands of Time" by Louise Stoutemyer
April 28, 1941, a joint meeting of the trustees of the St. Paul Lutheran congregation and Germanville church was held at the home of Charles B. Schroen. The trustees turned over a quit claim deed to the Executive Committee of Germanville township and received $600 for the property. The bell was sold for $10, chairs for $2 and the organ was sold to the Charlotte congregation for $5.

Feb. 1879

It was reported, 'The German Lutherans have bought the building that once stood south of the sugar factory and moved it up in front of Van Alstyne's wagon shop. It will be remodeled as a church:' This meant two things: the sugar beet factory was no longer in operation and that the Lutherans had a church building. The Lutheran church was dedicated May 2, 1879. 


1887 - Dedication of the new German Lutheran at Charlotte was held July 31 

1901 - At the German Lutheran church in Germanville, Feb. 22 young people were confirmed by the minister from Melvin, who was their pastor. They had no building but met at schoolhouse.

They were raising funds to build a church.They had been meeting in the Dassow school. Jacob Rehm sold one acre of land for the purpose of building a German Lutheran church in Germanville. 

1912 - The little German Lutheran church was totally demolished. The Lutherans had about 25 members, but they wanted to rebuild their church. They held services in Roberts Hall. Rev. Koepp conducted services in the meantime.

1913 - The cornerstone for the new German Lutheran church was laid April 1. 

1913 - The bell for the new Lutheran church was donated by Harm Gerdes of Danforth. It was brought to Chatsworth on May 1. 

1913 - St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church was dedicated .Sunday,Sept. 26, 1913. Addresses were both in German and English. Rev. Koepp was pastor of the new church. 

 1940 - St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church in Germanville held a meeting Nov. 4 and voted to discontinue services. The closing service was held Sunday, Nov. 17. The first service was held in the schoolhouse under the ministry of Rev. Staehling. The record of services go back to 1877. The church building was erected in 1901 under the pastorate of Rev. Lambertus. After 1921 the church was served by the same pastor as Chatsworth.

1955 - Sponsored a German refugee family, the Arthur Hatterle family. 

1956 - Sponsored a German family, the Mike Albrecht family. 

1956 - Laid the cornerstone for their new addition on July 15. 

1961 - St. Paul's Lutheran congregation held a note burning ceremony at their annual meeting Jan. 8. The notes were passed from one officer to another, then Kenneth Rosenboom burned them over a brass urn. 

1962 - Celebrated their 90th anniversary on July 22. 

1965 - The steeple was struck by lightening on April 24. 

1965 - The new parish was dedicated on Oct. 23. 

1971 - Opened the cornerstone box and found early records of the church written in German, placed there in 1913. 

1972 - Lutherans observed their Centennial Nov. 6-12 with Youth Night, a Community Night and sermons by Bishop Nelson,morning and evening. They had a banquet at the high school.The Lutheran church in Chatsworth was founded Nov. 26,1871. Pastor J.J. Kern was the first pastor. In 1872 the first young people were confirmed by Pastor Simon Suess. In 1878 Pastor Schuchard was sent out. The congregation was organized and they adopted their first constitution under the name St. Martini 1879. In 1880 they reorganized. St. Paul's Lutheran was the name adopted. The German language was used.


Rev. J.J. Kern 1871
Rev. Simon Suess  1872
Rev. H. Hebler1875
Rev. H. Staehling 1877    Biography
Rev. C. Schuchard  1878
Rev. L. Schumperling 1881
Rev. Julius Holz 1884
Rev. A. Ropitke 1888
Rev. W. Schild 1889
Rev. J. R. Rausch 1894
Rev. J. W. Reinhard 1896
Rev. B. Spaulding 1899
Rev. Koepp  1903
Rev. A.A. Hahn 1914
Rev. Walter Behrens 1918
Rev. A.C. Huth 1919
Rev. August Rettburg  1923
Rev. A.F. Kalkwarf  1927-1947 with 4 years leave for military chaplaincy.
Rev. A.F. Karsten  1941-1945
Rev. Karl Trost  1948
Rev. E.F. Klingensmith 1956
Rev. David Moke  1964
Rev. W. Burmeister  1966
List from "St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church - 1872-1972". 
 See the Chatsworth Churches photo album here where you will find pictures from the Lutheran book 1872-1972.
Read about and see some old pictures from their 125th Anniversary here