The congregation of St. Paul’s has existed in Toowoomba for almost 150 years and is the ‘mother’ of the Lutheran churches throughout the Downs.

An overview of the history of St Paul’s Lutheran church, Toowoomba.

January 1st, 1859. - Pastor C. Schirmeister conducted the first Lutheran Church service on the Darling Downs in Lord's wool store in Toowoomba. He had traveled to Toowoomba from Brisbane on horseback.

January 2nd, 1859 - The decision was made to establish a Lutheran congregation in Toowoomba with Pastor Schirmeister as Pastor (when he could make the journey from Brisbane). The congregation was initially named St Paul's and St Luke’s.

1859. The New South Wales Government made a grant of two acres of land between Stuart St (now Geddes Street) and Phillip Street to the new congregation.

1st Church

September 1861. - A building, 32ft x 23ft, was constructed from slabs cut from nearby trees and roofed with shingles. Part of this building was used as living quarters for Pastor Schirmeister when he visited from Brisbane. The building later housed the parish school.

1870. The congregation bought land on the corner of James Street, (then the main street) and Phillip Street. A cottage on the land became the parsonage.

2nd Church

1877 - The congregation grew and soon needed a larger church. More land was purchased at the corner of Phillip Street and Eton Street and a new brick church was dedicated and opened on there on Christmas Day of that year.

1895 - Pastor Langebecker established the "Young People's Society" at St Paul's which celebrated its Centenary in 1995.

1912 - Pastor E.V.H Gutekunst was installed. During his ministry, which lasted until 1957, St Paul’s established “daughter” churches at Oakey, Clifton, Milmerran, Linthorpe and Glenarbon.

3rd Church

1958 - Tenders were called for the construction of a third church and the present building was dedicated on the 21st June 1959. Of special interest is the great northern window, which features a series of twelve medallions each depicting a period in the life of Our Lord. .

Hall and Bell tower

When the church school closed in 1890 the building was used as a church hall. In 1941 a new church hall was built next to the second church in Phillip street. This hall was demolished in 1980 and a new complex built to house church offices and the Sunday school and to provide space for congregational and community functions.

A bell, imported from Germany, was housed in a wooden bell tower near the church. This bell was ruined beyond repair when vandals burnt the bell tower on Armistice Day 1918. A replacement bell, bought in 1923, and now housed in the brick bell tower, still sounds the call to worship to this day.

The Parish School

In 1867, Pastor Langebecker established a parish school, which attracted 70 pupils in its first year. The congregation supported the school until the 1890s.

Lutheran worship has thus been active in this vicinity for more than 140 years and since that first worship service in 1859, Lutherans have established many churches across the Darling Downs.

The Great Northen Windows

As a part of the 3rd Church, the north wall has installed a large array of stain glass windows. As a part of the installation, there are 12 panels that have an intricate scene displayed. These are outlined below.

The Star
The symbol of The Epiphany, the Magi from the East being the first of many millions to follow the Star and worship the Saviour.

The Rose
The symbol of Christ's advent, as foretold by the prophets.

The Lilies
The symbol of the Annunciation on and the Birth of the Christchild.

The Mount and the Sea
The symbol of Christ's proclamation of the Gospel, as in the Sermon on the Mount.

The Shepherd
The symbol of the Good Shepherd, who is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

The Descending Dove
The symbol of Christ's baptism, the beginning of the Lord's public ministry.

The Coins and the Money-bag
The symbol the betrayal.

The Crown of Thorns
The symbol of the Curcifixion.

The Chalice and Olive Leaves
The symbol of the Last Supper and the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Crown and Sceptre
The symbol of Christ as King.

The Chariot of Fire
The symbol of the Ascension.

The Agnus Dei (lamb of God)
The symbol of the Resurrection.

St Paul's gives thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon this congregation and rejoices that its members have been instrumental in assisting many others to establish their own churches.