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The History of
Washington, Missouri

Table of Contents


St. Peter's Evangelical
Church

by
Alvin A. Blome, Minister

St. Peter's Evangelical Church was organized in 1844, ten years after the first frame building had been erected in Washington.  Previous to this time the opportunities for public services had been very few; only now and then had a pastor from a distance conducted religious services in some private dwelling.  Twenty-five charter members formed this first organization.  The first trustees were Matthias Thias, Frederick Dierking, Wm. Stumpe, Dan Roehrig, and Dr. Chas. Ruge.  In 1845 the first church building, a frame structure, was erected at Third and Lafayette streets.  In the same year the Rev. Ed. Arcularius, a minister of the Reformed Church, took charge of the work.  The young struggling congregation had many obstacles to overcome and many difficulties  to meet; they were often disappointed, but never disheartened in their work.  The Rev. Mr. Arcularius served the congregation until 1851.

In 1854 a second church building, constructed of brick, was erected immediately west of the first edifice.  This building is still standing, and was used for church purposes until 1868 when the present church at Fifth and Market streets was erected.

A very important factor in the future growth and development of St. Peter's Church took place in the year 1873 when the St. Paul's Evangelical Church of Washington decided to unite with St. Peter's Church.  The church building of the St. Paul's church was remodeled and used as a parsonage until 1901, when the present parsonage was erected.

In 1875 a tract of land in the eastern part of the city, on Highway No. 100  was purchased for a cemetery.  In 1893 the congregation became a member of the Evangelical Synod of North America, now know, -- due to a merger of said Synod with the Reformed Church, -- as the Evangelical and Reformed Church of America.  In 1915 a two-story brick building, with Sunday School Department rooms and auditorium, was erected on the south side of the church building proper.

St. Peter's Church has reached its 95th birthday, which will be appropriately celebrated in the early fall.  The present voting membership (18 years and over) totals more than 700; more than 500 additional souls are served by the church and its various organizations.  Organizations of the church are as follows:   Board of Religious Education, supervising the work of the Sunday School, Vacation Church School, Week Day School and Training School; Women's Union Organization; Dorcas Sewing Circle; Churchman Brotherhood; Junior and Senior Choirs; Girl and Boy Scouts; Adult Bible Class; Young Married People's Class; Junior Bible Class; Senior Young People; Intermediate Young People.

The Church Council, or governing body, is composed of the following members:  Stanley Wilke, President; E. C. Wallace, Vice-President; Fred Jaeger, Secretary; Marvin Buescher, Treasurer; Hadley Vitt, Armin Tuepker, Donald Asel, Earl Gephardt, Emil Ronsick and the Rev. Alvin A. Blome.

 

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