|From 1852 to 1857, many
German families settled in Pilot and Salina Townships, and belonging to
the Lutheran faith originally in the Fatherland, soon formed the nucleus
for a church of the same denomination here
Diamond Jubilee of Zion Evangelical Lutheran
|List of Voting Members Since 1878|
|Present List of Voting Members - 1934|
Brief History of Zion Congregation
From 1852 to 1857, many German families settled in Pilot and Salina Townships, and belonging to the Lutheran faith originally in the Fatherland, soon formed the nucleus for a church of the same denomination here. The first services were held in private homes by the Rev. Stubnatzi, of Coopers Grove, Illinois.
It was early in the year 1859 that the congregation was organized at the home of Mr. A. Betz with the following members : Messrs. F. Beckmann, A. Betz, C. Brinkmann, H. Beckmann, J . Burkhart, H. Dickmann, A. Herscher, L. Herscher, W. Keerbs, F. Kemp, F. Kraft, C. Meyer, H. Nansen, J. Schwark, F. Schott, F. Reinhart, J. Reinhart, T. Wilken, J. Winterroth and J. Zuelch. The exact month of this meeting is not known due to the fact that no records were kept until the pastorate of Rev. Bruegmann when the congregation resolved that minutes be kept in a book provided for that purpose. At this time the first register kept by the pastors cannot be found; but in the year 1883, an Atlas of Kankakee County was printed which contains some of the following information up to the year 1882.
The exact date of building the first parsonage is unknown, but evidently was during the first or second year of the organization of the congregation.
The first pastor was Rev. Geo. Bernthal who was installed in 1859 and served until 1862. The corner stone of the first church was laid on the 27th of June, 1861. This building was 20 x 34 feet and cost $700.00, but was sufficient then for the wants of the congregation. The site for the church and cemetery was donated by Mr. A. Betz. It was later that ten acres adjoining on the west were purchased. Rev. Bernthal's wife and one child lie buried in our cemetery. In the year 1862, Rev. Bernthal was succeeded by Rev. Franz Schmidt. While serving here both of these pastors also conducted services at Kankakee. In 1864, Rev. Schmidt was succeeded by Rev. Carl Meyer who resided in Kankakee but served this congregation until 1867, when Rev. Franz Lehman was installed and served until 1871. In 1872, Rev. R. Koehler was installed, being succeeded by Rev. Aug. Schuessler in 1875.
In 1877, the second parsonage was built, which has subsequently been enlarged and remodelled [sic] into the present building. Rev. Schuessler in this year accepted a call to Joliet, Illinois, being succeeded by Rev. Geo. Bruegmann.
In the month of November , 1881, the corner stone of the new church was laid and the church dedicated June 27, 1882. It is 32 x 68 feet, with a spire of 75 feet in height. Seating capacity is 250 and cost $3,000.00
In the year 1882, the first school house was built, the pastor having taught the children in the church up to this time. In 1885, Rev. Bruegmann accepted a call to southern Illinois. Rev. Schroeder of Kankakee then supplied the congregation until the arrival of Rev. Carl Weber, who was installed the same year. Records show that Rev. Bruegmann and Rev. Weber also supplied preaching stations at Milk's Grove and Wilson Settlement in Iroquois County, the children of these places boarding with members of this congregation when they attended school preparing for confirmation.
In 1898, Rev. Weber resigned due to advanced age, and the Rev. W. H. Meyer was then called and installed the same year. In June, 1900, the congregation became a voting member of the Missouri Synod.
In 1902, the new school house was built, the building committee consisting of Henry Dickmann, Henry Guas and Fred Mau.
In the month of August, 1902, after a brief illness, the Lord called Rev. Meyer to his eternal home. Rev Schroeder of Kankakee then again supplied the congregation until Rev. Carl Mueller was installed that year. In 1909, many of the members living in Herscher and vicinity, seeing the need of a Lutheran church at that place, were peacably [sic] released and organized Trinity Lutheran Church of Herscher. In 1910, Rev. Mueller was succeeded by Rev. G. Groenow. In 1919, the congregation became a member of the Addison Orphan Home Association. In 1923, Rev Groenow was succeeded by Rev. O. C. Taege. In keeping with the times, the congregation resolved to conduct services in both the German and English languages. In 1924, it was resolved to remodel the church. This consisted of raising the building, excavating for a basement, discarding the old stoves, the church to be heated by a furnace, installing an electric light plant, a new altar and a new pulpit, decorating the interior of the church and making other improvements. The committee which supervised this work was Wm. Keerbs, Wm. Witheft and Nick Hines. The remodelled [sic] and renovated church was dedicated in September, 1924. Rev. Haller of Kankakee delivered the English sermon and Rev. Sauer of Herscher delivered the German sermon. Both services were largely attended. In the summer of 1925, the barn and several other smaller buildings, including the electric light plant, were destroyed by fire, the cause still being a mystery. The cost of remodeling the church and replacing what was destroyed by fire was $16,417.18.
In this year a Ladies' Aid was organized. In May, 1934, Rev. O. C. Taege's pastorate terminated, the church now being served by Rev. P. J. Danker of Goodfarm.
"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give
for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."-Ps. 115:1.
The Parsonage and School
All materials on this site
may be freely used for personal use, but may not be
© Copyright Surname Archive 2001 - 2007
Site Index Home