In 1857, twelve German families started a Protestant Mission church. They brought their Christian faith and German language from the old country to what is now Muskego. Their services were conducted in German and held once a month in a rented, one room, log schoolhouse on Tess Corners Drive.
In 1858, the mission congregation bought the land where you are standing and took the name, "The First Protestant Church of Muskego." By spring, a small wooden frame church was built. A reed organ furnished the music while a pot belly stove warmed the congregation in winter. Women and children sat left of the aisle and men on the right, as was the custom back in Germany. Men and women continued to worship separately until 1950. The transition from German to English services came in 1937. German was still used twice a month and on festival occasions. On Maundy Thursday 1949, the final German service was held. The cemetery was established in 1857 with the first burial in 1861. There have been 828 burials since then. In May 1878, the congregation's first constitution was filed with the Town of Muskego. The name "St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church" was chosen. In 1890, a schoolhouse (schulz) for German religious instruction was built. It is the white building directly in front of you.
In March 1905, the large brick church,
to your left, was built and a "Star Tower Clock" was installed in its steeple. By 1911, the congregation had joined the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and English services were held once a month. A used pipe organ was installed in 1919, but someone still had to pump the large five-foot by eight-foot bellows by hand, as electricity had not yet come to Tess Corners.
In 1958, a youth center and playground were built to accommodate the growing Sunday School needs. In September 1968, St. Paul's Lutheran School first opened its doors to fifty-eight students in grades one through five.
In September 1976, a new church was built, and on June 4, 1978, the last regular services were held in the old church. As the congregation filed out that Sunday, each member tolled the old church bell one last time in farewell.