St. Paul Lutheran Church
St. Paul Lutheran Church of Wharton has a long and rich history behind it. The church has celebrated the love and gift of Christ for over 120 years to boldly teach, preach, and live the love of Christ. Today at St. Paul Lutheran Church, we continue to thrive in our traditions and joyfully continue to spread the word of God as we believe it is our purpose.
ESTABLISHED IN 1893 - A small German-speaking congregation, preserved, endured and were made stronger by all the trials of the destructions and relocations of their churches.
LATE 1800 - The first services conducted by Rev. George Fritschel on the west side of the Colorado River in the Waterhouse area.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1895 - C.H. Waterhouse sold St. John German Lutheran Church a five-acre tract for the sum of one dollar for the purpose of a church and school.
DECEMBER 12, 1895 - Official organization was conducted by Rev. Schubbard and a dedication of their first church building took place. A cemetery area was consecrated in the back section.
1897 - The congregation was accepted into the Synod of Iowa.
JULY 1, 1900 - The church was destroyed by a storm.
DECEMBER 12, 1909 - A new building was rededicated.
JULY 1910 - The church once again was destroyed by another storm. It was rebuilt again.
1916 - The church became apart of a dual parish with Trinity Lutheran Church in El Campo.
1918 - Lightning struck the church and burned it down to the ground. The church moved to a new location to be rebuilt in Glen Flora.
JUNE 30, 1920 - A new St. John Lutheran Church was dedicated in Glen Flora.
JANUARY 4, 1929 - A tornado struck and destroyed the fourth church. A few hymnals and a handcrocheted altar cloth were found undamaged and are now housed in the Wharton County Historical Museum.
JULY 14, 1929 - A new church is dedicated debt-free. Donations had been made by every congregation in the Iowa Synod.
1931 - Through a synod merger, the congregation became a member of the American Lutheran Synod.
JUNE 29, 1941 - Final services were held in Glen Flora before moving to the new church in Wharton.
JULY 1, 1941 - The move to Wharton took place and the changing of the name to St. Paul Lutheran became complete. The first service was held on July 13, 1941. The first parsonage was purchased at this time.
JUNE 24, 1964 - The little wood church moved from Glen Flora and was replaced with a new large brick structure that stands today.
1974 - A new educational building was dedicated.
1987 - A synod merger was complete and St. Paul Lutheran Church became a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
1988 - A new parsonage was dedicated at 804 Merry Lane.
1995 - The congregation celebrated their 100th anniversary.
APRIL 3, 2005 - The congregation called their first female pastor, Pastor Laura Olson.
OCTOBER 2005 - The congregation held a special Thanksgiving Service in Celebration of the 110-year Anniversary.