Celebrating 100 Years of Ministry at 1212 Earl Street, St. Paul, MN 55106.

1885-The ministry started its roots in Afton, MN when Luther Seminary, was established by the Joint Synod of Ohio.

1893-In September Luther Seminary moved to St. Paul and Dr. Henry Ernst was called to be the pastor of the faculty, students and a few residents in the community made up the congregation.

1905-The first church was erected at the corner of Cook and Cypress Street.  Several professor’s served as Pastors over the years.

1910-The Congregation incorporated as St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Rev. H.G.K. Doemann was called as the first full-time Pastor.

1920-Rev A. Salzwedel was called as Pastor and continued serving to 1929.

1929-Rev. C. T. Langholz was called as Pastor and served until 1937.  Plans were presented to move the church from Cook and Cypress to the corner of Earl and Maryland.  The church at Cook and Cypress burned.

1930-The cornerstone was laid at Earl and Maryland and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was built.

1931-The congregation voted to change the name to Memorial Lutheran in memory of Dr. Henry Ernst, theologian, educator and churchman, and founder of St. Paul Luther Seminary and College and of our congregation.  The church was dedicated in 1931.

1935-St. Paul Luther College closed and Memorial Church was no longer a College Church.

1937-Pastor W. Bartell was installed.

1940-The Parsonage was built and dedicated in October.

1941-Communion Rails and Kneelers installed, donated by parishioners.

1945-1957-Stained glass windows were installed and dedicated in memory of many of the church members. Please read nameplates on the windows.

1950-Pastor Nickel was installed.

1950-1960-From the early 50’s and through the mid 60’s Memorial had a dart team with many tournaments between the different churches in the area.  Many trophies are in the display case.  Memorial folks met many good friends through this recreational activity.

1957-Pastor W. Danneman was installed.

1958-The education building was built and dedicated in October.

1559-Pastor G. Reiff was installed.

1964-Pastor Leo Bjorlie was installed.

1964-The new pipe organ was installed. It was dedicated and first played at the Christmas Eve service on December 24 by Kay Sandeen.  The organ was refurbished in 1970, rededicated and played by Dr. Paul Mantz.  The organ was again refurbished in 2005, rededicated and played by Maxine Gruber.

1970-Wrought iron railings were installed from designated memorials.

1981-Pastor Steve Ronnigan was installed.

1987-The life of the small churches on the Eastside, were struggling on how to maintain all programs of ministry, in order to survive in the changing world.  Lutheran Brotherhood gave a grant for use on the Eastside for A Vision To Action.  A small group from Bethany, Memorial, Messiah and Mount Carmel met at Gustavus Adolphus in September for a vision of the future plans of the congregations and how we could work together.

1990-The first intern came to Memorial - Phil Whalen.

1990-Bibles were donated from a parishioner and placed in the church for the congregation to use.

1991-The congregations of Bethany, Memorial, Messiah and Mount Carmel voted at their annual meetings to adopt a strategy to move toward a more formal relationship.  We established the name of Joint Ministry Parish Council and focused on 4 areas:  Communication, Education, Outreach and Youth.  Later in the year several changes were to happen with clergy changes.  Mount Carmel elected to opt out of the program.  The other 3 congregations continued with the program.

1994-Pastor Charles Solberg was hired at Memorial as an interim Pastor to help the congregation determine our future plans with Bethany and Messiah.

1994-Bethany, Memorial and Messiah signed A Letter of Agreement for a trial period, to work together as a Joint Ministry Council and still remain as their own individual church identity.

1994-2006-We had several full time, part time and intern Pastors, as the 3 churches moved forward sharing their staff.  The interns became Pastors and moved on to other churches as well as some of the Pastors retiring and some moving on to other churches.  The following is the list of the interns and Pastors since 1994:  John Hulden, Dick Hodges, Carol Peterson, Kay Evenson, Amy Hessel-Hanlon, Don Horner and Cheryl Indehar. Our full time in Pastor in 2006 is Don Horner and Part-time Pastor is Cheryl Indehar.

1996-Bethany, Memorial and Messiah signed Another Letter of Agreement to pool resources for Pastors and staff and be known as a 3-point parish – Eastside Lutheran Parish.

1997-The Parish Nurse Program was established with the 3 churches.

1997-Messiah Church closed its doors, members joined here at Memorial.

2000-The elevator was installed and after reconstruction of some areas in the education building the rooms of the education building were carpeted.

2001-Pew cushions we installed from designated memorials.

2002-Bethany Church closed its doors, members joined here at Memorial.


2003-At the congregational meeting in January, an Agreement between the congregation members, of Bethany, Memorial and Messiah established an agreement to become one congregation with a new name to be voted on at a later congregational meeting.  A congregational meeting was held in May and the congregation voted to change our name to Eastside Community Lutheran Church.


2004-At a special service and meeting of the congregation in March, the congregation voted to bestow on retired Pastor Dick Hodges, the title of Pastor Emeritus.

2004-2006-Several Special Projects were done at the church and parsonage.  Installation of New Windows in the Education Building, Blinds on the Windows, New Carpeting and Wood Flooring in the church, New Furnaces in the Education Building, New Windows and a new Furnace in the Parsonage, and a New Eastside Community Lutheran Church Sign on the corner of Earl and Maryland.

A special thanks to all the past and present members of the church who helped financially and spiritually establishing the success in ministry in order for us to celebrate today.

Thanks, be to God for our 100 years of ministry on the Eastside of St. Paul.  As we continue our future journey of ministry on the Eastside, let us pray.

Dear God, you govern all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear our prayer of the Eastside Community Lutheran Church, help and guide us today as we start our journey into the future and gather our plans for future ministry on the Eastside.  Continue to strengthen us and grant all things that are needful for our evangelism on the Eastside, in Jesus’ name Amen.