St. Paul United Methodist Church traces its roots to three
congregations which came together in 1930 with a vision for the future.
Established in 1891, Walnut Hill Methodist Episcopal Church,
with 620 members, was located at 41st Ave. & Charles St. Benson Methodist Episcopal Church, with 428
members, was organized at 63rd & Maple Streets in 1892. Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church,
founded in 1922 and located near 48th and Erskine Streets, had 46 members.
All three buildings still stand. The Charles Street Church is owned by another congregation. Kremer Funeral Home occupies the Maple
Street building. Centenary's Chapel is
a private residence at 4733 Erskine.
The 1920s were a period of expansion. Centenary Church was founded, while the
other two congregations experienced growth.
The Benson Church purchased lots in the new Country Club addition on
Corby Street. This site was part of the
old Omaha Country Club.
During the Great Depression, Bishop Frederick Lotte urged
the three congregations to consider merging.
In 1930, the combined congregation decided to construct a new church on
the lots Benson Methodist owned. The
cornerstone was laid on October 9, 1932.
The basement and first level of the Sanctuary were finished in
1933. The first services were held in
Fellowship Hall on June 11, 1933, with 1,000 members.
In 1940, the upper level of the Sanctuary was opened. Next, came the ground floor of the education
unit in 1947, and 3 years later the second floor was added. In 1955, the third and fourth floors, the
bell tower, the Roth Chapel, and the Parlor wing were completed. In 1965, the Wesley Hall wing was added.
Today St. Paul Church is home for more than 1,000 adults,
youth and children. Drawing members
from across the Omaha metropolitan area, it is "a citywide church with a
Members and friends attend four worship services each
weekend, and gather for individual and group prayer.
The Church ministers to the Benson neighborhood, the city,
and the world through commitment of social programs, finances and volunteer