University Avenue Congregational Church

What is now Saint Paul Fellowship was designed in 1907 and built in 1908 as University Avenue Congregational Church, and is located at Victoria and Sherburne avenues. It was designed by noted architect Clarence H. Johnston. Johnston was one of Minnesota’s most prolific architects, designing everything from carriage houses to state institutional buildings.

Although the Carpenter Gothic church Congregational church is not as large and grand as other churches and synagogues Johnston designed over the years, it is still a distinctive building among Saint Paul’s places of worship. It retains many of its exterior and interior elements, although an addition was tacked on many years ago. Its features include a tapered tower with spire, arched windows and filigreed bargeboards.

The current church was the third one the University Avenue congregation built in Frogtown. An earlier church stood at Sherburne and Avon Street. The congregation was founded in 1895.

University Avenue Congregational Church was once a very large and active congregation, with most of its members from the Frogtown neighborhood. The congregation held outdoor events where its current building addition now stands.

It was one of the most prominent Congregational churches in the Twin Cities, but its membership dwindled starting in the 1950s.

Other congregations occupied by the building after the original congregation moved out.