REV. G. E. KIRCHNER
Revered among the clergymen of San Francisco is the Rev. G. E. Kirchner, who is the pastor of St. Paulus Evangelical
Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, at Eddy and Gough streets. Rev. Kirchner is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, where
his birth occurred March 30, 1882, and he is a son of Gottlieb and Mary (Spiegel) Kirchner. After attending the
parochial schools of his native city, he completed a six year course at Concordia College of Fort Wayne, Indiana,
and a three year course at the Concordia Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri. He started his career as
a preacher of the gospel in Fernandina, Florida, where he remained for three years. In 1908 he made his way to
San Luis Obispo, California, where he organized the Zion Lutheran Church parish, of which he was the first pastor.
He likewise constructed the church building, the parsonage and the social hall. He served congregations and mission
stations in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and the northern part of Santa Barbara county, and performed many worthy
acts during his career there. He was very active in the musical life of San Luis Obispo.
In 1920, Rev. Kirchner came to San Francisco as assistant pastor of St. Paulus Evangelical Lutheran Church, which
is the pioneer church of the Missouri Synod on the Pacific Coast, having been organized in 1867. Rev. G. A. Bernthal
was the regular pastor when Rev. Kirchner came, and preached the sermons which were given in German, while the
latter preached in English. In 1928, Rev. Bernthal resigned his pastorate, which had covered the period since 1902,
and at that time Rev. Kirchner became pastor in full charge, preaching in both English and German every Sunday.
St. Paulus Church escaped destruction during the great fire of 1906, and was used as a temporary hospital for about
two months after the disaster. St. Paulus parochial school, an accredited eight grade school, has been established
for fifty years. Professor Frederick Gruber is the principal and his assistant is Miss Emma Heilemann. A school
coach is maintained for the transportation of pupils to and from classes.
Rev. Kirchner married Miss Bertha Hagist, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both he and his wife have done worthy
deeds and have given loyal service to the parishioners during the years Rev. Kirchner has been in San Francisco,
and his fine efforts show direct results in the prosperous and stable condition of the St. Paulus parish.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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