The history of St. Peter’s dates to 1874 with the first Lutheran service held in the old city of South Norwalk. Initially supported by a Stamford church and its pastors as a mission congregation, the St. Peter’s Charter was signed on September 17, 1911.
Prospering on Lexington Avenue, Washington Street, and North Main Street, members on January 15, 1912 purchased a lot on Cedar Street for $1,350. A church cornerstone was laid with the building cost including furnishings of approximately $10,000 ($259,000 in 2020).
The congregation grew rapidly so a parsonage was built for $4,162 in 1921. By 1924, and 1928, both the church and parsonage mortgages had been paid, leaving the church free and clear of all debt.
Current Cornerstone Laid
In 1948, the State of Connecticut confirmed that planning on the new Interstate 95 would require the church’s Cedar Street property. By 1953, St. Peter’s had settled on our current 3-acre site. After purchasing the land, within a year the new church construction project of $250,000 (approx. $2.4 million in equivalent 2020 dollars) had been established with only a $75,000 mortgage. First built was a 7-room Cape Cod style house as the parsonage.
Our current church building’s ground-breaking was Sunday morning, June 26, 1955. Interestingly, St. Peter’s first church and land on Cedar Street – long since part of I-95 – continues to be a pathway for worshipers enroute to our Newtown Avenue location.
An original pew from the Cedar Street sits in the hallway outside Pastor’s office. The original altar holds Communion service behind today’s altar.
Our building was dedicated on September 23, 1956. The Service Bulletin that day presented two statements which remain priorities to this day: “We preach a changeless Christ for a changing world.” “We welcome boys and girls in our Sunday School – where the bible is taught.”
Sermons & Pulpit History
St. Peter’s sermon pulpit is original since the Sanctuary Dedication on September 23, 1956. Today, as we hear God’s unchanging Word preached, we appreciate and respect that St. Peter’s has been blessed with a rich history spanning eight Pastors delivering His message from this pulpit. Not counting special services, our pulpit has seen the presentation of over 3,500 sermons by eight pastors and 18 vicars.
100th Anniversary Celebrated
On September 17, 2011, St. Peter’s marked its 100th Anniversary. Our ongoing gratitude includes the 100th Anniversary Book Committee of JoAnn Shapiro, Ena Meek, Peggy Ruhnke, Fay Sobottka, Robert Streb, Samantha Tucciarone, and Bob VanOrsdel for creation and publication of a 154 page Anniversary book. Members and visitors are welcome to read the Anniversary book – including finding it in the church library.
Vicars To Pastors
Our congregation and Pastors have been selected by Missouri Synod seminaries to be a host congregation to more that 18 Vicars. These future-pastor senior seminary graduates served and learned at St. Peter’s prior to being called to their first congregational pastoral placement.
Lay Leaders & Volunteers
Lay leaders and volunteers have blessed St. Peter’s throughout it’s history. Since the cornerstone of today’s building was placed, over 30 members have served as congregation presidents and innumerable members have sat on committees and stood up to do the lifting of St. Peter’s missions and activities. We thank today’s and remember our many past volunteers with an annual dinner event.
Pastor Robert Beinke – 25th Anniversary
On Sunday, August 28, 1994, Reverend Robert D. Beinke was installed as Pastor. In 2019, St. Peter’s and Rev. Beinke celebrated his 25th Anniversary at St. Peter Lutheran Church.
Today & Tomorrow
For many decades the members and attendees of St. Peter’s have hailed from Norwalk and fifteen other towns in Fairfield County. Missions support Norwalk, area, and global communities. In 2020, St. Peter’s embarks on its Renovations Initiative for exterior and interior remodeling improvements. Our sanctuary and the lower level’s Fellowship Hall serves members, guests, and the community with annual and special events…creating today’s fellowship and learning and tomorrow’s congregational history!
Visit our Events Page for upcoming activities. Join us in our new history.