Paul’s Lutheran Church to celebrate completion of renovation with open house

RENOVATIONS ARE COMPLETE–Pictured is the inside of the historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Renovations of the church have been taking place over the past 10 years and it is now available to the public to rent.

It’s been 10 years in the making, but thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers led by Alberta Spradling, the historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School located at 114 West Liberty Street in Columbia are ready to serve people again.

The church was originally built in 1854 and the one room school in 1870 by the St. Paul’s Lutheran congregation. But the congregation later built another church in an adjacent lot in the 1920s, and then in the 1960s they moved into a third church building. The older two churches and school were sold, but fell into disrepair.

At first it was rented out, but it just went from worse to worse to worse. The buildings sat empty for years and deteriorated,” Spradling said of the old church and school. “They were a catch all for everything.”

The city wanted to condemn and tear down the buildings, but the congregation bought the old church and school back. (A property developer purchased the other church building.) And the St. Paul’s Historical Committee set to work on restoring the buildings.

For more on the newly renovated St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, please see this week’s print edition.