St. Paul Lutheran Church Celebrates 150 Years
By Paul Schaumburg
PADUCAH, KY - St. Paul Lutheran Church of Paducah will celebrate its sesquicentennial Pentecost Sunday, May 20, highlighting the founding of the congregation on Pentecost Sunday in 1868.

"When our church is mentioned, many people in the area think of our beautiful stone sanctuary and stained glass windows at 21st and Kentucky, not far from Baptist Health hospital," said Paul Schaumburg. He is a lifelong member whose family through Ulrich Beyer, was one of 17 founding families of the congregation and the only original family with descendants still members of the congregation.

"Others remember when we had two pastors, who each served the congregation for 33 years apiece in succession," he continued. "A large number of people here attended our kindergarten between 1962 and 1980. So, even though Lutherans are a minority Christian denomination in western Kentucky, our church has a good relationship with the community."

The Rev. David Appold has served St. Paul for nearly four years, the first two in a dual pastorate with the Rev. Corey Aker and for nearly two years as the sole pastor of the church. A native of Michigan and the son of a pastor, he said the congregation is a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a theologically conservative church that preaches Christ and Him crucified, as St. Paul himself states it in his New Testament epistles.

"Lutherans around the world and many other Christians as well just celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this past Oct. 31," Appold explained. "What was so exciting for the Reformers continues to bear fruit throughout the world. Our congregation has been a faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the past 150 years and by God's grace we plan to continue that until our Lord returns."

As for the church's location in Paducah, "If it weren't for ice floes on the Ohio River here when my ancestors arrived after coming up the Mississippi, they would have travelled on by boat to Darmstadt, Indiana, where they had relatives," Schaumburg said. "Instead, the founders, who made their living as orchard growers, found in the spring that the fruit cuttings they'd brought from Bavaria blossomed and grew, so they stayed in Paducah and McCracken County. Besides Ulrich Beyer, another relative of the same family line was George Schmidt, a founder of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in 1856. Beyers and Schmidts and their descendants have grown apples and peaches here ever since that time the river froze."

Schaumburg wrote and narrated a video fellow church member Mike Legendre produced recounting the church's history. The congregation will view it at Sunday's celebration.

Two prominent called church workers also will attend. "We're happy that the Rev. Paul Donner will deliver the sermon Sunday," Appold said. "Many members still remember him very well. His ministry here lasted more than 33 years and included many highlights. Another called church worker returning is the Rev. Alan Muck. He served here as a director of Christian education for several years, accepted a similar position elsewhere, and eventually earned a divinity degree at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained as a pastor in Christian ministry."

St. Paul Lutheran Church, 211 S. 21st St., Paducah, welcome all interested to participate in worship services, held each Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Adult Bible class and children's Sunday School are held at 9:30 a.m. To learn more, phone (270) 442-8343 or log on to the church's website at

Published 08:50 PM, Tuesday May. 15, 2018
Updated 05:58 PM, Wednesday May. 16, 2018

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