St. Paul Lutheran Church

Project Name
St. Paul Lutheran Church

420 W. Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Project Status
Church open; decorations destroyed in a fire in 1973

Project Date/s
1938, 1940

The first service for St Paul Lutheran church was held in 1906 for three students from the University of Michigan at Seventh and W. Huron Streets.  In 1907, the first church was built at W. Chaplin and W. Huron.  The current church at 3rd and Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor was dedicated in 1929.  By 1955 there were 700 members of the church.

In 1938, John Mallin was hired to provide a mural painting for the sanctuary by the Rev. Carl A. Brauer, for the sum of $700.  In May of 1939, Mallin sent a letter to the church after returning from a trip to Europe.  The church wanted Mallin to inspect the mural.  Perhaps there had been some damage or other issues with the mural.  Mallin agreed to make any necessary corrections.  In 1940, Mallin was hired again to decorate the church ceiling for the sum of $200.00.

Mural description

On May 18, 1973, at 12:30 a.m., the Ann Arbor fire department received an anonymous call from someone stating that the church was on fire.  Firefighters arrived to see flames shooting out of the basement windows.  Although the fire was confined to the church basement, there was smoke damage throughout the church and the mural was badly damaged.  The church underwent renovations and the mural was removed from the church.  The church is still active.


St. Paul Lutheran Church and School.  History of St. Paul.

Unlocking the Treasure, Passing on the Key St Paul Lutheran Ann Arbor Centennial Book, 2007.

Ann Arbor Public Library Photo of interior of church 1951., © Copyright Ann Arbor News.