A Brief History of St. Paul's

St. Paul's began its ministry in the Santa Monica community on January 27, 1926, in borrowed quarters on Wilshire Boulevard. Ground was broken for the present church at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Washington Avenue during the first week of November, 1926. The cornerstone was laid on January 27, 1927.

The Depression of the early 1930's presented difficult times for the congregation, and in early 1936 the church building was lost. The congregation continued to function, returning to the borrowed quarters in which it had begun. Through the efforts of the American Board of Mission of the United Lutheran Church, the church building was repurchased, and a homecoming and re-dedication was celebrated March 27, 1938.

The congregation prospered. On March 4, 1958, the mortgage was burned. New Sunday School classrooms were dedicated on June 12, 1960, and in 1973 the house on the north side of the church was purchased for future expansion needs.

The Abbott & Sieker pipe organ was dedicated on Reformation Sunday, 1974. On April 25, 1976, St. Paul's celebrated its 50th anniversary. From 1981 to 1988, the congregation shared its facilities with the Santa Monica Synagogue.

On January 17, 1994, St. Paul's was severely damaged in the Northridge earthquake. Refurbishing and reinforcing was completed and the congregation worshiped once again in its sanctuary on Palm Sunday, 1994.

In October, 2000, after an unusually extended pastoral vacancy during which St. Paul's was served by Several interim pastors, Pastor James E. Boline was installed as the tenth pastor of St. Paul's Church.

On Reformation Sunday of 2026, the congregation will celebrate its milestone 100th anniversary.

St. Paul's is also home to the Finnish Lutheran Church of Los Angeles and several community groups including several 12-step recovery groups. Palisades Preschool has occupied the education wing since  1999, serving children ages 2.9 to 6 years and their families.

In the course of the years. St. Paul's has been served by ten pastors, two associate pastors, three intern pastors, eight interim pastors, and one associate in ministry.