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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church/Evangelisch-Lutherische St. Matthäuskirche in San Francisco is the only Lutheran church in northern California that has weekly services in both English and German. The congregation's 1st pastor, Hermann Gehrcke, immigrated to California in 1891 and established the St. Matthew congregation in 1895, which he led until his death in 1936. The original church was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, but the present one was begun a year later, and was dedicated in 1908. The Romanesque church was modeled after the founding pastor's home church in Hildesheim, Niedersachsen. (The Michaeliskirche was built by St. Bernwald between 1010 and 1020 and exerted great influence on architectural development in the Middle Ages; in 1985 it was added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's World Cultural Heritage list.) During World War I, many Germans abandoned their ethnic traditions, and Gehrcke added English services. In 1941, when the US was again at war with Germany, except for St. Michael's, all of the city's churches entirely stopped using German.
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