History of St Paul Lutheran Church
This article was printed in the Chesterton Tribune, October
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH GETTING READY TO CELEBRATE 75th ANNIVERSARY
St. Paul Lutheran congregation will observe the 75th
anniversary of its organization, on Sunday Nov. 11th. The Festival
service will begin at 10:45 a. m. with the Rev. Howard Behrens of Franklin
Park, Ill., preaching the sermon. At the close of the service the roll
will be called of all who were confirmed in St. Paul church.
After the service there will be a dinner in the multi-purpose
room of the Yost school. The dinner will be followed by a short
program and a pageant entitled "The Christian Sings From the Cradle to the
St. Paul's congregation invites all to join them in observing this
momentous occasion in its history.
St. Paul Ev. Lutheran church is one of the oldest church organizations
in Porter. It is a member of the Lutheran church - Missouri synod.
was founded in 1887 by a group of members who had preciously been
affiliated with the present St. John's church of Chesterton.
Many of these founders were employees of the Porter brick yard upon
which Porter residents depend for a livelihood. They were a German
speaking group; consequently, their church services were conducted in
the Germany language. Even thought English has been the only church
language used for many years, it is not unusual to hear one of the
younger generation refer to St. Paul's as the "German" Lutheran church.
Founders of the church in the year 1887 were: John Bartels, William
Biem, Henry Beu, John Beu, W. Bush, J. Brahst, John Foss, William
Garlon, F. Genssen, F. Goetzelmann, Ernest Grehe, G. Grieger, Karl
Huehr, K.Huepner, August Kemp, John Krueger, R. Krueger, B. Michaels, F.
Michaels, J. Moldenhauer, M. Parlock, William Pazels, W. Rohrdanz, T.
Schuett, Henry Schwartz, A. Sokshensky, William Schroeder, B. Stiepner,
A. Strueck, Paul Tappart, H. Timmerman, August Witt, G. Wolenschleger,
and K. Michaels.
The congregation was first served by the Rev. F. W. Schlechte, who
served a church in Otis. He served until 1895. From 1895 to
Rev. M. C. Baade was pastor and from 1900 to 1904 the Rev. E. H. Polzin
In 1905, the Rev. John A. Bescherer was called from Lakin, Kansas. He
became the first resident pastor and served St. Paul congregation for 54
years. With God's blessing he officiated for five generations. On
October 4, 1959, the date of his retirement, the congregation expressed
its gratitude and honor to him at a special service and dinner.
On the evening of the same day, the Rev. Winfred Neuendorf of Kokomo was
installed and was extended a welcome at a reception held after the
installation service. The Rev. Neuendorf served until November 5,
when he accepted a call from the Wanatah-Hanna congregations.
For the first time in 74 years, St. Paul congregation was dependent on
visiting pastors from Valparaiso University. On April 4, 1962 its
prayers were answered when a call was accepted by the Rev. L. W.
Schulenburg of Decatur, Ind. Pastor Schulenburg was installed on May
20, 1962 and is serving St. Paul at the present time. A reception for
Pastor and Mrs. Schulenburg and their children was held after the
St. Paul's record of six pastors in a period of 75 years is outstanding
in the community.
In thankfulness for God's many blessings, St. Paul
congregation has celebrated anniversaries in special observances of
members and friends. Especially significant were the festivities and
reunions on the occasions of Pastor and Mrs. Bescherer's 25th
anniversary at St. Paul, 40 years at St. Paul, his 50 years in the
ministry and 50 years at St. Paul. A rededication service was held on
October 25, 1953. In March of 1957, St. Paul congregation became self
supporting. Up until this time and for many years Pastor Bescherer had
served as pastor also of St. Peter's Lutheran church, McCool.
Today St. Paul's congregation again gives all thanks to God as it
observes the 75th anniversary of its organization. "Not unto us, O
Lord, not unto us, but unto they name give glory." So say we all with
deepest gratitude to God for His unmerited blessings.
The church board of the congregation at the present time consists of:
James Gland, Herman Pope, John Perez, Charles Brown, Dennis Bucksbarg,
Charles Masson, Vernon Packard, Jack Gland, Henry Jacobsen, and Paul
The organizations of the congregation are the following: the Sunday
School, the Adult Bible class, the Teenage Bible class, the Women's
Missionary League, the Ladies' Aid, the Men's club, the Mr. and Mrs.
Club, the Youth League, the Ruth circle, the Lydia guild, the Adult
choir, and the Junior choir.
The records of St. Paul Lutheran list the following official acts during
its 75 year history: baptisms 504: confirmations 403: marriages 109:
The real history of St. Paul congregation has not been written, Pastor
Schulenburg says, nor can it be written. It will, however, be known in
heaven. Nor has the real task, the real history of St. Paul Lutheran
been completed. This will not be until the Church Militant because the
As in the past, so in the future may St. Paul
be a fountainhead from which flows, the pure gospel of Jesus Christ for
the salvation of immortal souls of men to the glory of the everlasting
Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!