Over 160 Years of Heritage in the Spirit...

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on February 11, 1855, in the local Presbyterian church's basement. Four months later, Rev. William Beckmann became pastor to the 30 member congregation.

Original BldgEverything was running well until the building of the church was discussed, at which point feelings were hurt, misunderstandings were had, and poor assumptions were made, threatening the burgeoning congregation. Some members parted ways, while others pressed forward, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of money scarcity and lacking resources. A contract was eventually drawn with masons from Quincy, IL to lay the stone walls at $1/sq. yd. and 2$/sq. yd. for the archways over the door and windows.

Old Sunday SchoolIn August 1855, twelve to fifteen men gathered to lay the cornerstone. Many members donated their time and labor to build the structure, and a Ladies' Society was organized to raise money for the rising costs. Services were held in members' homes until the church's interior was finished the following spring. Finally, the church was dedicated the Monday after Pentecost with around 300 visitors from Quincy present.

In the 1860s, St. Peter's first school house was erected as well as a brick parsonage, and in 1886, the church constructed the bell tower on its building.
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On Sunday, November 12, 1905, the St. Peter's celebrated its 50th anniversary with fifty families and a membership of 310. Worship in German was in the morning, and English services were in the afternoon.

1908 BldgIn April 1908, it was decided that a new church be built, the building used today. Immediately, work began, and the cornerstone of the new church was laid the following month. The service of dedication was performed on September 20 of that year with approximately 1,000 in attendance.

A number of renovations and constructions have taken place since that time, including the basement in 1923, a new parsonage in 1939, a parish hall with Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and auditorium in 1957 (addition in the late 1980s), and carillon in 1978 (updated in 2005).

Although St. Peter's school was closed in 1930, it was reopened as the Early Childhood Learning Center for three and four year-olds in 1978 under the tutelage of Ruth Buerger. It is currently under the direction and skill of Mrs. Carolyn Feldkamp.Worship in Old Sanctuary

During what has come to be known as the “Great Flood” of 1993, The Parish Hall became the headquarters of the Red Cross as it served the La Grange community. St. Peter's became a significant center of hospitality for those who came to aid in the cleanup.

Over the years, St. Peter's has been a source of many projects of mercy, including the Ladies Aid which annually hosts the Smorgasbord, serving 250-300 every year, and has created well over 1,000 quilts for needy people all over the world. St. Peter's also houses a food bank for La Grange and her surrounding communities.

God has been incomprehensibly gracious to this congregation and through her to bring his Word and grace to lives formerly dwelling in darkness. The people of God in this place are greatly excited and expectant to see his Spirit at work in the years to come, and we would love for you to become part of our story and His.

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