On November 10, 1910, the St. Peter Evangelical English Lutheran Congregation was established at 21st and Elm Streets as an English-speaking extension of St. John Lutheran Church of Dubuque. Charter membership included 99 people. There was substantial growth during the twenties and thirties, and many changes were made. The bell, which now resides in the bell tower, was purchased in 1922 and a pipe organ was purchased in 1939. Services were held in the church building by the railroad tracks for 50 years, despite floods, hail, lightening, and fire.
As both the congregation and the city of Dubuque grew, members began thinking about a new location along the western edge of Dubuque. Land was purchased along Asbury Road during 1958 and 1959 by a forward-thinking, long-range planning commission. In the early sixties, the St. Peter congregation started worshiping at the Lux Club, only a few blocks away from the site where the new church would be built.
Ground was broken in April, 1962, for a new building at the current location of 3200 Asbury Road, and the new church building was dedicated on May 13, 1962.
An education wing was added in 1968. Over the last decade, there have been many changes to the interior. The sanctuary was made handicapped accessible, an elevator was added and stained glass was added above the lower-level doors.
Today, St. Peter Lutheran Church (ELCA) is known for the large tile mosaic depicting the figure of the risen Christ's life and scenes from the life of Saint Peter. Learn more about the origins of the mosaic here. Inside the building, Jesus' words to Simon Peter, "Do you love me? Feed my sheep." are carved in wood across the front of the sanctuary flanking a 14 foot gold cross.
Like the words to the old children's song, "the church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is the people," St. Peter Lutheran Church has been blessed by the ministry of both its laity and its pastoral staff.
In the 1970's, the congregation felt a need for two pastors to lead the growing flock. A combination of part-time and full-time associates or two full-time pastors met the congregation's pastoral needs for many years.
Following the retirement of a long-term pastor in 1998, the church looked inward and reflected on both its own needs and the outlook of the church at large. A mission statement reflecting the vision of the church was written by St. Peter leaders, and a new staffing model was conceived.
One full-time pastor was called, with other duties being shared by additional staff. The St. Peter staff today consists of a full-time office manager and a part-time youth minister, visitation/outreach minister, education coordinator, organist, choir director, and custodian. You can find information about the staff here. In addition to the paid staff, twenty-three Stephen Ministers serve St. Peter as one-to-one listeners, and the congregation has many volunteers leading other ministries.
Moving into the future, St. Peter Lutheran Church continues to follow the example of our namesake, Saint Peter as we seek to live out our mission statement:
Saved by God's mercy and called by the Holy Spirit, we share the Good News of Christ by reaching out in love.