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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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Zion Lutheran Church Organized in Church Parenf of Other Groups In Early Days. Lutheran immigrants from central and southern Germany who settled in and rlear Mt. Pu- laski during 1840 and the 11 years following, were the organ- izers of the Mount Pulaski Zion Evangelical Lutheran congrega- tion. And, these early day settlers were first ministered to! by itinerant pastors who con- ducted services in the homes. When the group had grown ! sufficiently in number and strength they organized a con- gregation and built their first ! church. The Fimt Church--1851-1866 Members who contributed to the first building were- Freder- ick Dittus, Christian, Andrew and Jacob Danner, Henry Vonderlieth, Erhardt Stoll, George and John Mayer, George Meister, Jacob Starr, Gottlieb Seifert, Adam Bierlein, F. Grossbernt, Ernest Niedergesetz, John Weckel, F. Epting, H. Kreig, John Schahl, | John and Frank Schick, Mrs. Catherine Brucker, Dietrich Sued- meier, and Rev. Schwalb, the If organizer and first pastor of the i.! congregation. ,, Rev. Gemminger succeeded  Rev. Schwalb, but he, too, serv. ' : ed the congregation for a limit- ed time only ; Rev. O. Steiger came to Mt. .Pulaski in 1856 to serve as pas. .: tor of this congregation. He also I : conducted the Christian Day School. It was during his pastor. ate that the first pipe organ was  purchased. Rev. O. Steiger re- signed in 1863 and again the , congregation was without a pas- tor. During the vacancy following Rev. Steiger's resignation, the congregation applied for mem- bership in the Illinois Synod, then a member of the General Synod. As soon as the congrega- tion applied for membership, they requested the help of Synod  in obtaining a pastor. Accord- ingly, Rev. Carl Bode, pastor of a Lutheran Congregation in Syracuse, New York, was re. commended. Rev. Carl Bode accepted the call and was installed March 3, 1864. Under Rev. Bode's leader- ship the congregation grew rap- idly in number and wealth. At r  the convention of the Illinois  Synod in August 1864, the Mt. - Pulaski congregation was accept. ed as a member. The congrega- tional report at this Synodical Convention included the follow- ing statistics: Baptism, 34; Con- firmed, 18; Communicant Mem- bers, 139; Voting Members, 85; Sunday School, 11 teachers and 103 pupils; Christian Day School 36. At this time the first choir was organized and Mt. Pulaski was a thriving congregation. The Second House of Worship 1866.1910 By the end of the calendar year 1864 the congregation had grown to such an extent that the chur- ch could accommodate hardly half the crowd that came to at- tend the Christmas Eve Program. It was at this program that the gift was .jeceived which en- gendered a=building fund for a new church. A gift of $10.00 to be used for some church purpose was given to the pastor by a man in the at(dience. The overcrowded building and this gift inspired the Pastor to suggest the build- ing of s new church or enlarg- ing the old one. The project was discussed at the congregational ii: meeting in January. It was de- clded to deposit the $10.00 gift  in a building fund to finance the iil building of a new church or to enlarge the old (me. At the : March meeting of the same year the congregation resolved to build a new church and $1200.00 were immediately subscribed by the members present. The build- ing committee elected consisted John Weckel, Adam Schafer, George Huck. The old bufldip4L which is no longer in existence, was sold to the newly organized Catholic organization for $600.00. Two lots in the northwest corner of the same block, at the corner of Cooke and Vine Streets, were purchased for $50.00. The present building is located on this same site. The corner stone for the frame building, 34 by 50 feet, was laid Sept. 20, 1865. By this time $3,403.00 had been sub- scribed, some from people out- side the congregation. On February 11, 1866 the new church was dedicated. The entire cost of the new edifice was $5,825.66, which included the cost of the bell, $346.34. About this same time there was a break in the Synod in which the Mt. Pulaski Congrega- tion belonged. In fact, the Mt. Pulaski Congregation was host to the Synod of Illinois when the rupture occurred. About a year later a split in this congregation arose follow- ing the Synodical rupture. The local disagreement concerned lodge membership, the use oI wine in communion, and other unlutheran practices. In 1868 16 members severed their con- nections with the Zion Evangel- ical Lutheran Church and organ- ized the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is affili- ated with the United Lutheran Church. The following year, in 1869 Rev. Bode resigned from the pastorate of the Mr. Pulaski Zion Lutheran Church. Rev. Kern succeeded Rev. Bode in 1869 to remain with the con- gregation only a short period. During his brief stay, however he opened a mission station in West Lincoln Township near IAn- coln. He held services for this mission in the Rothchild school house about three or four miles west of the city of Lincoln. After one year in Mt. Pulaski he re. signed. Rev. John T. Boetticher was in. i stalled on Sept. 4, 1870 at Mt. Pulaski, following Rev. Kern. On July 14, 1871 Rev. Herman Meyer arrived at the Mt. Pulaski parsonage from Germany to take over the West Lincoln Church. Another mission had been oPen- ed in the city of Lincoln in the same year that Rev. Boetticher came to Mt. Pulaski. In 1871 the newly orgarfized congregation in West Lincoln Township united with the mission in Lincoln to organize the Zion Evangelical Church of Lincoln. Rev. Meyer remained as its first pastor. A number of the members of the Mr. Pulaski church, who lived near Lincoln, transferred their membership to the Lincoln Con- gregation, and so the second division of the Mt. Pulaski Con- gregation occurred. In 1879, Zion Lutheran affiliat- ed with the Luther Church, Miss- ouri Synod. Rev. Christian Hoist came to Mt. Pulaski Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in November, 1889, from Horicon, Wisconsin where he had been pastor of a congregation. Shortly after his coming, a group of members who lived near Chestnut asked permission from the Mt. Pulaski Congregation to hold services in Chestnut. Their petition was granted, as well as, the services of Pastor Hoist on the first Sun- day of each month. They were also to have a student from Springfield Seminary to hold services every two weeks. In 1891, they asked and were granted permission to build a church. Then on April 24, 1892 they were released from the Mt. Pulaski[ Congregation upon their request[ and the Zion Evangelical Luther-[ an Congregation of Chestnut,] Illinois was founded. [ The members who were releas. ed to organize the Chestnut Con-| gregation were: George Schaffe- nacker, Sr., Jacob Volle, Michael Jr., John Rentschler, Henry Rich. ner, Christine Richner, John Max. heimer, Fred Schaffenacker, George Schaffenacker, Jr., Will-i Jam Hagenbuch, Emil Buehler, Emma Lessman, Louis Buehler, I Catherine Roos, Christian Roos, Mathias Stoll, John Vetter, and Erhardt Stoll. This constituted the third and last division of the Mr. Pulaski Congregation. Due to the fact that Rev. Hoist had a large family, the parson. age proved to be too small. In May, 1890, the congregation de- cided to enlarge the parsonage by adding three rooms, but at the meeting held the following month they reconsidered and re- solved to build a new parsonage. The old house was sold to Mrs. E. A. Danner for $350.00 and the new one built for $2000.00. The Third and Present Church Edifice--l02. In the summer of 1901 a reso- lution was passed to build a new church. The building committee consisted of William Baumann, William Schweickhardt, and George Lachenmyer. In September the contractors began removing the old church and excavating for the new church, which was built on the same site. OUR SECOND CHURCH / In the interim betweeD,| demolition of the old btW and the completion of the { services were held in the #l[ tartan Church then locav ] South Marion Street. The new building is design throughout dimensions of 44 by height of 51 feet. The 110 feet high with extending to a height The structure was (Continued on next ZION LUTHERAll CHURCH affiliated with The Lutheran Church" Missouri Synod praises God for the spiritual and material blessing shoW- ered upon our beloved city these past 125 years. We rejoice that it has been our privilege thru the proclama- tion of the Gospel to bring Christ to this community for 110 years. We are deeply conscious of the tre- mendous challenge that confronts the church in our complex modern soci- ety, highly mechanized and pro- gressively more materialistic and secular. With the help of the Triune God we are determined to more effectively bring "the whole Word of God to the whole of Man" and likewise, give motivation and direction that all christians to be "A Light," "A Salt" and "A Leaven" in society. OUR THIRD CHURCH t Our prayer is that the new emerging community in our technilogical age be genuinely christian. Our Present Church and New Educational Building z4D I11 .