While traveling the Ohio River on canoe and horseback, Bishop Jackson Kemper, an Episcopal missionary, established St. Paul’s church in 1836. The present church building was consecrated fifty years later. Designed for beauty and permanence, the church is constructed of Indiana limestone. Much like our faith, the building lies in the form of a cross, and its tower and spire – trademarks of the building’s Gothic style – rise 124 feet heavenward. A chapel was built in 1881, and in 1956 a two-story multi-purpose parish hall was completed. An existing rectory was later renovated for use as a Church House with offices and meeting rooms. All buildings are now interconnected.
In 1937, “The Flood” of the Ohio River changed the lives of many Evansville citizens. Despite extensive water damage to the church building, our members reached out to the community with comfort and supplies to assist many afflicted families. The spirit of outreach continued with servicemen in neighboring Kentucky during World War II and lives today in ministries such as our weekly soup kitchen.
A fire in 1938 left the outer walls of limestone undamaged but destroyed the inner building. The church was rededicated within a year. Numerous restorations and renovations have occurred as St. Paul’s continues to adapt with parishioner growth and ministry direction, and these changes will continue as God provides us with people who choose to use their many gifts and talents for His glory.