How St. Paul began

Additional Information

In September of 1952, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Glen Burnie, Maryland, the Rev. A.W. Lehenbauer, pastor, undertook to establish a mission congregation at Annapolis. The mission soon inherited the name of the mother church and became known as St. Paul Lutheran Church of Annapolis.

This undertaking appears to have been motivated by a growing and rather general feeling that there were many people with a Lutheran background in the Annapolis area desirous of local Lutheran church facilities plus the well-known fact that there were many Lutheran young men among the midshipmen at the Naval Academy, who, because of boundaries within which they were restricted, had no choice but to attend services other than Lutheran.

Services, conducted by the Reverend Lehenbauer, began on the second Sunday of October 1952.  It has been found difficult to establish with certainty who attended that first service.  Definitely present, however, were Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Listman, Mr. & Mrs. Hershel Caler, the Jarl Diffendorfers, Mr. & Mrs. Earl Swafford, Mr. & Mrs. Donald Frey and Donna, Mr. & Mrs. Julius Mills, Mr & Mrs. G.F. Huff and family, Mrs. Freeman R. Paulson and several members of St. Paul's of Glen Burnie.

Services were first held on Sunday afternoon in one of the small downstairs rooms of the Annapolis Recreation Center.  Regular attendance grew to approximately thirty within a relatively short time. During this period, all equipment with the exception of a reed organ, donated by Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Listman, was loaned to the congregation, principally by St. Paul's of Glen Burnie.

By April of 1953, the congregation had outgrown its quarters and arrangements were made to rent the second floor auditorium of the Recreation Center.  The time for holding services was changed to 10:45am.  This necessitated some assistance for Rev. Lehenbauer who alone up to this point had been serving the congregations of both Glen Burnie and Annapolis.  Such assistance came in the persons of retired ministers the Rev. Hugo M. Hennig and the Rev. Frederic Wenchel, D.D., both of Washington, D.C.

Interest and attendance continued to grow with the move to the Recreation Center auditorium and the change of time for holding services.  Mr. Caler constructed and contributed the altar.  A Naval Academy instructor built and donated the pulpit.  Mrs. Caler and Mrs. Paulson contributed the handmade altar cloths.  Hymn books were purchased.  The congregation soon began publishing its own Sunday bulletin, which up to this point had been a joint bulletin with St. Paul's of Glen Burnie.  A Sunday School was initiated and eventually a choir was organized under the direction of Mrs. Margaret Bartlett, who contributed her services unstintingly for approximately two years. 

In June 1953, Vicar Carl Querbach was assigned to serve the congregation as student pastor.  He arrived early in July and served until August 1954.  He quickly demonstrated himself to be a young man of unquestionable sincerity and as having exceptional ability as an organizer.  During this period of service,  the growth of the congregation was gradual sturdy and sound.

On January 18, 1954, the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Southeastern District advised, through the Rev. Lehenbauer, that a graduate student from the Theological Seminary qualified for ordination would be assigned to St. Paul of Annapolis at the close of the Seminary year, and that our mission henceforth would be subsidized sufficiently to carry on as a fully organized congregation if it chose to do so.

On March 15, 1954, a constitution, which later met the approval of the District Mission Board, was presented to the congregation and adopted.

On July 1, 1954, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Annapolis was officially accepted in the Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  

Candidate Arlo J. Nau was assigned to serve the congregation and was ordained and installed as the first resident Pastor on the first Sunday of August 1954, in a service held at the Recreation Center Auditorium.

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Charter Members of St. Paul Lutheran Church

July 19, 1954

  • Mr. & Mrs. George Brungot   
  • Mr. & Mrs. Hershel Caler
  • Mrs. Lee Cutchall
  • Lt. & Mrs. Jarl Diffendorfer
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Eggers
  • Mr. & Mrs. Donald Frey
  • Mid'n Clyde Hohenstein
  • Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Listman
  • Mr. & Mrs. Julius Mills
  • Ms. Christine Payne
  • Mr. & Mrs. Freeman Paulson
  • Mr. David Paulson
  • Mr. & Mrs. Charles Plawin
  • Mrs. Wilbur Roberts
  • Mr. & Mrs. Earl Swafford
  • Mr. & Mrs. Otto Volkam
  • Mr. & Mrs. Wallace C. Young


Articles Included in our Cornerstone

  • Constitution of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Annapolis
  • Copy of Luther's Small Catechism
  • Historic sketch of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Annapolis
  • List of Charter Members
  • Ribbons of various colors of the Church Year used on the handle of the shovel at the Ground-breaking Service, October 7, 1956
  • Copy of the 1956 Loyalty Program complete with Annual Reports
  • January 15, 1957 edition of the Lutheran Witness


St. Paul Pastors


Rev. Arlo J. Nau

August 1954-July 1963

Rev. Walter M. Gauger

November 1963-December 1964

Rev. G. Holmes Mendelman

May 1965-January 1998

Rev. John Nickerson

February 1998-March 2000

Rev. Michael F. Burt

March 2000-September 2005

Rev. Rick Hase

2005 – 2008 (Vacancy Pastor)


Rev. Joshua Hatcher

June 2008-August 2011

Rev. Brian Rosenkoetter

July 2012-present