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The origins of St. Paul's Lutheran Church goes back to as early as 1836, when farmers living in what is now Des Peres, St. Louis County began meeting for worship, eventually erecting a log church near the intersection of Manchester and Ballas Roads. The congregation suffered two divisions, and thus three churches share an early history:
- A group of members who wanted a church located closer to where they lived organized the German United Lutheran-Reformed St. Paul's on Bonhomme Rd., Central Township in 1843, later known as St. Paul's German Evangelical Church. The congregation is now known as St. Paul's Evangelical Free Church located at 8901 Olive Blvd. (at Warson Rd.) in Creve Coeur, Mo.
- A division in the congregation in 1848 led to the formation of the German Evangelical Church on Ballas Road, which built a church north of Manchester Road. The congregation took the name Zion German Evangelical Church in 1889. Today, this congregation is known as Parkway United Church of Christ at 2841 N. Ballas Road in Town and Country, Mo.
- Members remaining with the congregation at Manchester and Ballas Roads organized St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and affiliated with what would become the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. The church is now located at 823 N. Ballas Rd. at Manchester Rd.
Early records of the original congregation are included in the records of Parkway United Church of Christ (formerly Zion German Evangelical Church). The Special Collections Department holds a microfilm copy on SLCL Roll no. EVUC-1 (FHL no. 1433226).
A history of St. Paul's is St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Des Peres: 150 Years: Christ, Our Foundation, Faith and Future, 1849-1999, Des Peres, Mo.: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1999; R 977.865 S157.