About Us

Learn more about our church, history and team.

In its 173 year history, St. Paul UCC has lived out our bold and clear mission statement. Through providing a free meal every Monday night, we are the good news for people who need a decent meal or a time of fellowship. We offer a wide array of community groups that give people the opportunity to participate in Jesus’ loving mission in Waterloo. We are the good news to over 70 enthusiastic children and youth who burst through our doors with excitement every week thanks to the over 30 volunteers that help facilitate our weekly after school program SPLASH.

If you want to Be the Good News, come join us in our ministries. Inspire others to a deeper and more profound relationship with Christ through our two choirs, Bell Choir, Orchestra, Praise Bands, Children’s Choir, adult Bible study class, children’s Sunday School class, family retreats and summer camp experiences.

Are traditional and contemporary services not quite for you? Experience an intergenerational worship experience that includes a fellowship meal and immersive exploration of scripture in Messy Church the first Wednesday of most months. Enjoy the fellowship and community of our Women’s Fellowship, our Men’s Group or Adult Social Group.

Meaningful preaching, moving music, lively praise, the belief that we always have more to learn from God’s holy Word and a sense of connection to each other and the work of the church around the world all inspire us and guide us to Be the Good News.

St. Paul UCC is community focused. People matter to us. Throughout its history St. Paul has been in the forefront working to make a positive difference in our community.

To love God, love people, and serve people.

St. Paul United Church of Christ was founded in 1846, first meeting in a council chamber inside the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo and starting the first local public school with open enrollment shortly thereafter. The church moved into its first building in 1847.

As German immigrants began moving into Monroe County during the middle third of the 19th century, the church grew in size and built a large brick sanctuary for worship in 1856, which was the church home until 1974.

In the early 1920s, St. Paul UCC began the switch from German to English as its primary language, and along with that shift, the congregation began to cast a wider vision for itself. St. Paul UCC joined the German Evangelical Synod, which later merged with German Reformed churches in the northeastern part of the country to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. Ministers who had previous experience serving in other regions of the country began to be called from outside of the St. Louis area as well as some with experience in foreign missions, bringing a rich cultural awareness and diversity to the congregation. In the 1930s Jewish refugees from Austria and Germany, who settled in Monroe County, began participating and joining St. Paul UCC because it was the most open and welcoming spiritual community in the area.

In the 1960s and 1970s, St. Paul UCC started coming to terms with its new denominational identity as a member congregation of the new United Church of Christ. Its awareness around issues of racial justice began maturing. Since then, several of St. Paul UCC’s pastors have led the congregation to participate in racial reconciliation and community reconstruction. One project, Uni-Pres KinderKottage, a preschool in East St. Louis, remains a viable ongoing testimony to those days.

In 1974, the church moved into its present larger and more modern structure, which enabled its ministries to expand and styles of worship to diversify.

However, in 2000, a series of conflicts began wracking the church. The conflicts in large part reflected the anxieties, uncertainties and shifts of the wider culture of the country as it began coming to terms with a post 9/11 world. We at St. Paul UCC are committed to navigating these shifts and have renewed our commitment to being a relevant and open church for our community. We strive to show compassion and express that compassion publicly by advocating for simple justice for all people as we try to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Jesus.

Our mission statement is “Be the Good News,” and we strive to do so faithfully in an ever-changing world.