Pastors of St. Paul's
Pastor Geoffrey D. Rue  (served 2017-present)

Pastor Rue was assigned and accepted the call extended to him by St. Paul Lutheran Church in May 2017.  He graduated from Martin Luther College in May 2013.  From there he continued his studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI.  Pastor Rue served as a vicar in Princeton, WI and later graduated from the seminary in May 2017.  Pastor Rue was assigned to be the first ever associate/outreach pastor in the history of St. Paul Lutheran Church.  Along with outreach, Pastor Rue enjoys other areas in ministry like playing piano/organ and focusing on worship.
Pastor David H. Birsching (served 1990-present)

Pastor Birsching accepted a call extended to him by St. Paul Lutheran Church as he graduated from Wisconsin Synod Seminary in the summer of 1990. During his ministry the “From Darkness to Light” project brought about renovation of the church interior, additional lighting in the sanctuary, improved sound system, construction of the mother’s room, new handicap assessable front steps and acquisition of land north of the church for the present parking lot. In addition the old parsonage building to the east of the church was renovated to hold offices, Sunday School and meeting rooms. In 2010, Pastor Birsching celebrated his 20th anniversary in ministry here at St. Paul’s along with the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the current church building.
Pastor George Frey (served 1959-1990)

Pastor Frey accepted the call extended to him in the fall of 1959. On November 29th of that year he was installed as a pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church by Pastor Nitz. During his years of service a new parsonage was purchased, property (intended as a site of a future new church) was purchased and later resold and the congregation expanded to include members and to conduct services at Evergreen Lutheran High School in Dupont, Washington. The 50th anniversary of the dedication of the present church building and both the 75th and 100th anniversaries of the establishment of St. Paul congregation are among the events that occurred during Pastor Frey’s ministry. Pastor Frey retired from the ministry in 1990. Pastor Frey passed away in 2011.
Pastor Paul G. Madson (served 1955-1959)

Pastor Madson had been called to assist Pastor Amacher while he was recuperating from an earlier attack. Pastor Madsen assumed full pastoral responsibility in December 1955. In 1959 he accepted a call to Thompson, Iowa. He served as special guest speaker at the special centennial service in 1984.
Pastor Walter Amacher (served 1947-1955)

Pastor Amacher arrived in Tacoma in the spring of 1947. He served the congregation faithfully for 8 years until his ministry was abruptly terminated by a fatal heart attack. To show their appreciation for his years of service, the congregation had the pipe organ electrified and dedicated this improvement to Pastor Amacher’s memory.
Pastor Arthur Sydow (served 1919-1947)

Pastor Sydow served the Wisconsin Synod as a camp pastor in Texas during World War I. In 1919, he accepted the call to serve as Pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tacoma. In the years immediately following his arrival, the $5000 debt on the earlier construction of the church building was liquidated. It was through Pastor Sydow’s efforts that Faith Mission (now Faith Lutheran Church) in Tacoma was started. He also reopened Zion Mission, a Wisconsin Synod congregation in Rainer, Washington. In 1944 he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ministry as well as the 50th anniversary of the establishment of St. Paul congregation. In 1947 Pastor Sydow accepted a call to a mission church in Zillah, Washington, where he labored another 10 years in the Lord’s service. He and Mrs. Sydow retired to Omak, Washington in 1958, where he died in 1963.
Pastor Reinhold C. Ave-Lallemant (served 1907-1918)

Pastor Ave-Lallemant assumed his duties as a pastor to St. Paul congregation at a time when the church was growing and expanding. It was his during his pastorate that a decision was made to construct a new church building, which the congregation occupies to the present day. It was during Pastor Ave-Lallemant’s ministry that the translation from German to the English language in worship services was made. It was also during this period that St. Paul’s became independent of Synodical support. Pastor Ave-Lallemant accepted a call to a congregation in Minnesota and left Tacoma in November 1918.
Pastor August Gerhard Ernst (Served 1903-1907)

Pastor Ernst arrived in Tacoma from Watertown, Wisconsin. He was a graduate of the Wisconsin Synod Seminary and he was ordained as a pastor on August 23, 1903 at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tacoma. Among Pastor Ernst’s accomplishments while in local residence was the establishment of Grace Congregation in Yakima. On Sunday, October 22, 1905, Pastor Ernst met with several individuals and together they formally organized the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Yakima, Washington, now known as Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Pastor Ernst conducted the first service on the same day. Pastor Ernst served the needs of his Tacoma congregation until July 21, 1907.
Pastor H. Viestenz (served 1902-1903)

Pastpr Viestenz, a resident of Winona, Minnesota, arrived in Tacoma in October 1902 to succeed Pastor Wolfe. It is reported that during his pastorship the parsonage on south 27th street, which still stands to the east of the present church building, was constructed. Apparently Pastor Viestenz assisted in the construction of the building. Later occupants of the parsonage commented on the “uniqueness” of the structure. Reportedly,, none of the windows or doorways are perfectly square. It has been speculated that neither Pastor Viestenz nor his assistants used a square or level during construction of this dwelling, which endured to serve five other pastors and their families. Pastor Viestenz’s service to the congregation was curtailed by failing health. On August 30, 1903 he surrended his duties as pastor of the congregation to engage in private business. During the years 1904 and 1905 he worked as a bookkeeper for H.J. Miller, a wholesale dealer in butter, eggs, cheese and oysters. By 1906 he was no longer listed as a resident of Tacoma and it is presumed that he returned to the Midwest.
Pastor Friedrich N. Wolf (served 1884-1902)

The origins of Pastor Wolf remain obscure. He was a resident of Ohio in the early 1880’s and arrived in Tacoma in March 1884. For the next 18 years he ministered to the needs of the German speaking Lutherans in and around Tacoma and ultimately organized and founded St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tacoma. Pastor Wolf’s final years remain as obscure as his early beginnings. After announcing his retirement plans to the St. Paul Church Council in early 1902, he and his wife Louise made plans to move to California where their son resided.

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