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ST. PAUL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
 

St. Paul was officially formed on Nov. 24, 1844 by two churches, "Die Evangelische Kirche" group from Philadelphia (part of the original group of Hermann settlers) and the "Allegemeinde Deutsche Kirche" (Universal German Church) which had been formed in Hermann. The church was called St. Paul's Evangelical Church. Members of the two congregations came from Lutheran, German Reformed and rationalistic ("free-thinker") backgrounds. Most of the earliest German settlers were from the German Reformed Church who were seeking freedom from the oppression of the English population around Philadelphia following the Revolutionary War. 

After 57 years, the independent congregation formally united with the German Evangelical Synod of North America in 1901. This denomination later merged with the German Reformed Church to create the Evangelical and Reformed Church. In another merger with the Congregational & Christian Church, the United Church of Christ was formed.

The cornerstone for the church building was laid at the present location in December of 1844 and construction was completed in 1846. As the congregation grew in numbers, so did the church building. In 1893, the original church building was enlarged. New windows, a bell tower, and a steeple were added at a cost of $1,838. The second expansion was in 1907. A new, and larger, church was built on the same site. This building remains as the primary form of the present church, which was renovated in 1960. 

On September 2, 1990, a portion of the church building was destroyed by fires set by an arsonist. Everything west of the sanctuary was rebuilt at a cost of more than $1 million. Today's structure is the third building on the site.

Until 1910, services were conducted in German. Starting that year, one English service per month was held on a Sunday evening. As of 1947, no more German services were held except for special cases such as Maifest.

A unique feature of the church is the rooster on top of the bell tower. The historic significance stems from some parts of Germany where a rooster was placed on top of the steeples to symbolize a Protestant Church, whereas the cross was used to signify a Roman Catholic Church. 

Rev. Rick Riedel has served as pastor of the church since 2007.  His email is rdrinabr@yahoo.com.

Website:  www.hermannucc.com

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