St. Paul Lutheran Church was officially chartered in 1913 when San Antonio was the largest city in Texas and Presa Street was still a dirt road. At the same time a school was also started as part of the church’s ministry. In 1925 the original wooden sanctuary was replaced by a red brick building which was later enlarged in 1948. At that time the church’s stained glass windows were also added. In 1929 a two story building was constructed to house St. Paul School. Church and school facilities were further expanded in 1962 when an additional complex of classrooms, gymnasium, and offices was built.
Yet the real story of St. Paul has never been about buildings but PEOPLE! Since those earliest days when a handful of people gathered to worship and serve the Lord at the corner of South Presa and Roseborough, the lives of many thousands of people have been impacted by the message and love of our Lord shared in this congregation and through it’s school, child development center, and various other ministries. Over the years St. Paul members have also been instrumental in starting other congregations throughout the city, and former St. Paul members or students can be found throughout the country and beyond.
Since 1913 there have been many changes in San Antonio, in the neighborhood surrounding St. Paul, and in the congregation itself. With the construction of major expressways nearby in the mid-1960’s and changing demographics of the area, many people associated with the congregation moved to other parts of the city. In 1975 St. Paul School, which had accommodated eight grades, closed except for child care and kindergarten. Sometimes those changes have been challenging… but always they have been new opportunities for our Lord to continue carrying out His story among people here who have continued to look to Him, proclaim His message, and share his love. In 1976 St. Paul partnered with four other neighborhood churches to form Presa Community Service Center which was housed in the old St. Paul school building… and, a little later, a Thrift Store was set up to serve the community. In 1978 a bilingual (Spanish and English) worship service was added to our worship opportunities each Sunday and in 1981 St. Paul Lutheran Child Development Center was formally incorporated… eventually becoming a nationally accredited and recognized ministry to children and families.
As we come to the present and move into the future, St. Paul congregation is increasingly made up of a wonderfully diverse group of people from many backgrounds who are connected by the love of Jesus and the mission He has given us. It is a welcoming family nurtured by the grace of God that recognizes that our purpose is always beyond ourselves. The Lord has given us much to be thankful for and much to share with the people of our city and the world around us. We invite you to be a part of the future of what the Lord is doing among us!