The Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's congregation, Columbia
Monroe County, Illinois
This history was extracted from the following book on:
Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois
Published by J. L. McDonough & Co.
The Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's congregation in Columbia. This congregation, which numbers at present 24 voting members and about 80 communicants, was organized in the year 1849, by Rev. G. A. Schieferdecker. Of the members who took part in the organization only two, Jacob Beck and Henry Schmidt, Sen., are yet living. This congregation owns a brick church, which was built in 1855 and enlarged in 1870; a school-house built in 1870, and a two-acre graveyard. The whole property has a value of about two thousand dollars. The first pastor of the congregation was Rev. G. A. Schieferdecker; his successor, Rev. Rennicke. From the year 1855 up to the present time the Rev. F. W. Holls, from Millstadt, St. Clair County, Illinois, has served the congregation. As the pastor of the congregation does not reside in their midst, it became necessary to employ a teacher for the school. This was done as early as 1850. The first teacher was Mr. Heid, who died soon; his follower Mr. Ben Gunther, who took charge of the school in 1856, died also. The other teachers who had charge of the school successively were, O. Gerstenbach, F. Bergesser, and S. Merz. The last named died in 1881.