St. Paul's United Church of Christ

Public Memory: Laramie & the University of Wyoming

St. Paul's United Church of Christ

Laramie, Wyoming 82070, United States

Created By: University of Wyoming


This Protestant church was the very first house of worship to be founded in Laramie, built all the way back in 1890. It still houses a congregation to this day, making it also the longest continually occupied church in town. Throughout its history it has gone by many names, though it's housed only a small number of loyal followers. Known colloquially as the Little German Church or the Shy Church in the olden days, St. Paul’s was originally formed to serve Laramie’s small German speaking community.

The church has remained consistently open for over 130 years and has only ever housed congregations around 100 or less. It contributes to local charities every year and even owns low-income housing properties across the city to rent out to individuals in need. Its history is tracked in the National Register of Historic Places, and if you were to go inside, you’d be faced with beautiful architecture, stained glass windows, and paintings with all kinds of classic symbolic Christian imagery. But don’t let the church’s classical aesthetics fool you, it’s actually one of the most progressive churches in the city. It’s a place of public memory that combines outdated elements with new ideals. It mixes old school traditions with modern day beliefs, making it a wholly unique portrait of Christianity in the rural American West.

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Contributed by Matthew Stacey

This point of interest is part of the tour: Public Memory: Laramie & the University of Wyoming


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