A legacy of faithfulness

In 1882, German immigrants opened the front doors to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, for the first time. The small band of 10 charter members surely had no idea what the future might hold.

Determination, visionary thinking, and great expressions of faithfulness over time gave shape to what is today a wonderfully dynamic congregation. Each generation has possessed a consistent willingness to take risks and to live out the faith of Jesus Christ as boldly as possible.

Reaching out in love

The first English-speaking Lutheran church in Davenport, St. Paul was located at 14th and Main Streets for its first 70 years. The congregation outgrew that facility, moving to the new site across from Vander Veer Park in 1952.

Over the years, the church has adapted its central-Davenport facility to better reach out with Christ’s love. In 2007, the congregation completed its fourth significant building program with the dedication of a new Sanctuary and Chapel.

Planting the gospel

Over the years, the congregation committed human and financial resources to help establish four new Lutheran churches in the community.

In 1976, a dream for an outdoor ministry center gave birth to Camp Shalom near Maquoketa, Iowa. Now an independently-operating venture, Camp Shalom continues to be our dynamic ministry partner for youth and families.

A teaching congregation

Lutherans believe that we all live out our vocations in service for the world – whether a factory worker, a parent, an accountant, a church musician, or a volunteer.

St. Paul serves as a teaching congregation – underscoring the many ways we are called to serve. In a specific way, the church takes seriously its longstanding commitment to encourage church ministry leadership. Over the years, 42 St. Paul members have entered the ordained ministry. Many others have served as musicians, educators, youth ministers, and other church vocations. The church’s Pastoral Residency Program helps young pastors establish practices for a lifetime of leadership in the ELCA.

Continuing the story

In more than 130 years of life together, this metropolitan church of over 3,500 people has become a significant outpost of the Lutheran Church. Engaged both in the larger world and in the nearby community, St. Paul has a true legacy of generous serving.

Among the nearly 10,000 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Paul is ranked among the top 10 in total giving to the larger Church’s ministries.

The people of St. Paul are part of the continuing story of God, faithfully working through the lives of God’s people.