History of Our Church
In 1890 the budding village of Coupland lacked one important institution, a church. So the Swiss and German immigrants, feeling an urgent need for religious leadership, got together and met in a small school house. They arranged to have a German speaking minister visit the community from time to time to perform necessary religious rites and conduct religious services. They were able to find a pastor on a part-time basis in Rev. F. Ernst of McDade. It is not known how the name St. Peters originated, but is seems to have become fixed in the minds of the people in the years that followed.
As the German and Swiss settlers wrote home to encourage their friends and families to move, the population of Coupland and the church increased greatly.
When a rail line was laid through town, the population began booming. Shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, Coupland boasted 25 businesses - including several doctors, pharmacies, garages and the Coupland Inn. It was at this time that the ever-expanding church decided that the time was right to move out of the school house and into a new, permanent, location. The sanctuary was built in 1905-1906 with the aid of the church's 54 member families. The meeting Hall was added in 1925 and the two structures were connected in 1953.
The church founded a ladies' aid organization, a young person's society and two choirs. Also during this period, the church received land to expand its cemetery, now located on the west side of SH95.
World War I was a particularly tough time for the mostly-German speaking congregation. County officials severely limited the use of German in the church's services, limiting the church to two German language services and two English services per month despite the fact that 17 church members were serving in the U.S. military. Restrictions became even more harsh during World War II as families in the area were forbidden to speak German at all. Despite its hardships, the church survived and continues its services today.
The home of St. Peter's Church of Coupland, UCC, turned 100 in February of 2006. Current church members spent the year of 2005 preparing to celebrate the 100 year milestone by restoring the sanctuary to its original look. On the wall inside the church, a new plaque hangs to thank those who gave to the restoration project but everyone in the church had a hand in the project.
The congregation set out to raise the money necessary for the restoration project and the goal was to raise $35,000. When the fund raising work was completed, $58,000 had been raised. The makeover reached every part of the sanctuary. The floor was sanded and new carpet was added. Wall coverings added in the 1970s were removed to expose the original walls and new light sconces were added to compliment a restored chandelier. The ceiling in the narthex was raised and new insulation and wiring was installed throughout the sanctuary. For the alter, church member John Thompson made new wood carvings to flank the original painting still hanging today and new wainscoting to match the alter and pulpit.