Built on a rock, St. Paul Lutheran Church celebrates 130th Anniversary

BERLIN — St. Paul Lutheran Church, on the corner of Norway and Seventh Street, will be celebrating its 130th anniversary on May 14.

The church has a rich history, beginning when the first Scandinavians came to Berlin in 1854. Settling in a section of Berlin which soon became known as Norwegian Village and later, Berlin Mills, these immigrants found employment working for the Brown Company in the woods and in the paper mill.

As the community grew, so did its desire to worship as a congregation. On May 16, 1887, 150 charter members were officially recognized as the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church. Worship services were first conducted in a private home, then in the Brown Company Hall, and later they shared space with the Berlin Congregational Church on Main Street. The First Lutheran Church in Portland, Maine, supported this fledgling congregation as the pastor commuted to Berlin each week to provide spiritual guidance.

With limited monetary funds, the congregation had the foresight, courage, and great faith to embark on building their own place of worship.

The land for St. Paul Lutheran Church was donated by the Brown family, who were keenly interested in the educational and the spiritual welfare of their employees’ families. The church is actually built on a rock. A huge granite ledge which extends for hundreds of feet provides the physical foundation.

On August 31, 1889, St. Paul’s church building was dedicated to the work of the Lord. The congregation of St. Paul Lutheran Church continues to serve the community here in the Great North Woods.

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