The building was intended to commemorate the protestation undertaken by the Protestant estates of the Reich in 1529 on the Reichstag in Speyer. The Luther monument and the statues of Protestant sovereigns in the entrance hall commemorate the event.
Relations between Catholics and Protestants were strained during the cultural conflict at the end of the 19th century. This had an effect on the construction of the memorial church, which was by no means to be overshadowed by the cathedral. However, the construction was a controversial topic among inhabitants – even among Protestant Christians.
Protestants collected donations and even won the support of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his wife, who donated the stained glass windows of the apse. According to the plans of Julius Flügge and Carl Nordmann, the church was lavishly constructed using white and grey Vosges sandstone.
In 1979, the old organ was replaced. The current organ from the workshop of Detlef Kleuker is the largest organ in southwest Germany with 95 registers and the world's second largest mechanical organ.
Organ concerts and matinees are held on a regular basis in the memorial church.