History & FUTURE

ONE OF CHICAGO'S OLDEST CONGREGATIONS IS ALSO ONE OF ITS MOST FORWARD-THINKING

Saint Pauls was founded by German immigrants in a storefront on Franklin Street in 1843 (hence, our name has no apostrophe, a slight nod to the original German, which does not use them).

From there we moved to Ohio and LaSalle Streets, where we worshipped for many years. That building was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, quickly rebuilt, and ultimately replaced, in 1898, when we moved to our current Lincoln Park location. Fire struck again in 1955, destroying the building on Christmas night of that year. 

Rather than join the growing flight to the suburbs, however, St. Pauls rebuilt on the same spot, recommitting to “make a joyful sound in the city.”

 

Pastor Emeritus Tom Henry is our resident historian; he even wrote a book about us, Making a Joyful Sound in the City, to commemorate our 150th Anniversary (copies are available for $20; order from the church office at 773-348-3829). Then, on the occasion of our 175th Anniversary, he delivered the following overview of our first one-and-three-quarters centuries.

A Chicago church with a progressive vision for the future

 

 While our past informs and inspires us, we remain firmly rooted in the present and committed to the future. To make the most of the gift of St. Pauls that God has given us all, in 2016 we embarked on a strategic planning initiative. As the introduction to the resulting report observes, “Throughout​ ​our​ ​long​ ​history,​ ​God​ ​has​ ​called​ ​Saint​ ​Pauls​ ​forward.​ ​

 

God​ ​called​ ​us​ ​into​ ​being​ ​174 years​ ​ago.​ ​God​ ​called​ ​us​ ​to​ ​help​ ​form​ ​the​ ​UCC.​ ​God​ ​called​ ​us​ ​to​ ​rebuild​ ​after​ ​fires,​ ​to​ ​start UCAN,​ ​to​ ​remain​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city,​ ​to​ ​move​ ​to​ ​Lincoln​ ​Park,​ ​to​ ​welcome​ ​LGBTQ​ ​people,​ ​to​ ​embrace change,​ ​to​ ​hold​ ​fast,​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​joyful​ ​sound​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city. God​ ​is​ ​still​ ​calling!​ ​Our​ ​neighborhood​ ​is​ ​changing​ ​rapidly.​ ​Our​ ​nation​ ​is​ ​torn​ ​by​ ​divisive​ ​politics. The​ ​American​ ​religious​ ​landscape​ ​is​ ​shifting​ ​dramatically.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​face​ ​of​ ​all​ ​this​ ​change,​ ​God​ ​is calling​ ​Saint​ ​Pauls​ ​to​ ​step​ ​forward​ ​and​ ​meet​ ​new​ ​needs.”

 

We hear God calling us to…

Grow toward each other

Grow together toward God

Increase diversity in our partnerships and congregation

Live out our faith in an age of injustice

Use our building for service and mission

Tend our finances faithfully

a progressive Christian church in Chicago

DOWNLOAD THE STRATEGIC PLAN