Bethel-St. Paul Church was founded on December 10,1995. The church was formed by way of a merger between St. Paul Evangelical United Church of Christ and Bethel United Church of Christ. Saint Paul Evangelical was established by German immigrants in downtown Louisville in 1836. It was the founding congregation of the United Church of Christ in the Greater Louisville area. After enjoying many fruitful years of ministry and mission, the church experienced several decades of declining membership. In the early 1990’s, the congregation decided that merger with a sister church was the best way to continue its one hundred fifty year mission.
Bethel Church was established on the eastern edge of Louisville in 1923. Affectionately Bethel was known to the community as the Turtle Soup Church by virtue of a sixty-nine year-old tradition of preparing and serving turtle soup that began in 1929. Through her seventy-two year history, and especially in the last decade, this congregation was also outwardly focused in touching lives for the sake of the gospel. Thus, the once strong image of Turtle soup has given way to such outreach ministries as our annual Living Nativity project, a comprehensive Vacation Bible School program, a generous emergency financial assistance ministry, and servant evangelism projects.