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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County

Baker, Louis C.
Call to worship,   pp. 164-185 PDF (10.2 MB)

Page 174

the law office of Frederick Packard on
September 1, 1850, by Rev. Robertson of
Neenah. The first recorded meeting in the
church record of the First Congregational
Church was held December 18, 1850, xvith
the Rev. Jeremiah Porter of the Presby-
terian Church of Green Bay as moderator.
Rev. Porter had organized the First Pres-
byterian Church of Chicago in 1832.
   On December 27, 1850, the second meet-
 ing of the new group was held for the
 purpose of electing Packard and Gilmore
 'Elders and Deacons" and on December
 15, 1851, 'After due notice the church
 voted to change its form of government
 from Presbyterian to Congregational.''
 On January 13, 1852, a number of men
 ''from the congregation were chosen Trus-
 tees of the Church and Society of the First
 Congregational Church and Society of
 Appleton.'' The building of a church
 was decided upon, a lot was donated by
 Amos Lawrence and work was begun. In
 September of that year it was voted to
 loin the Wisconsin Convention and in
 October the church was received into the
 Winnebago District at a convention in
 Racine. On January 12, 1854, the nexx
 church was dedicated with proper cere-
 monies, the Rev. President Cooke of
 Lawrence University giving the prayer and
 benediction. In the evening of January 12,
 the Rev. Charles W. Munroe, who had
 been acting as scribe for the congregation
 and also as pastor, was formally installed
 as first pastor of the church.
 The pastorate of Rev. Munroe xxas of
 short duration. The Rev. H. H. Benson
 became pastor in July, 1855, and ended
 his service in July, 1858. The Rev. Franklin
 Doe, xxwho was to become one of the early
 leaders of Congregationalism in Wiscon-
 sin, took up his work with this church.
 He began regular preaching services in
October, 1858, but was not formally
installed until October, 1859. Rev. Doe
remained in Appleton until 1868 xxhen
he became Superintendent of the American
Home Missionary Society of Wisconsin.
His work here was highly appreciated and
the membership of the church was greatly
increased due to his labors. There was
much cooperation among the Protestant
churches of the city in those early days;
Methodists, Baptists and Congregation-
alists united in series of "revival" meet-
ings which were held every year, usually
in November and December. The number
of converts was large, sometimes 70 or 80,
sometimes over a hundred.
   Other community enterprises in which
 the three denominations joined were Sun-
 day School picnics, Fourth of July cele-
 brations, Christmas programs, temperance
 lectures, Thanksgiving services and special
 services held in the college chapel with
 some outstanding speaker.
   "On Thanksgiving Day, 1866, the Con-
 gregaitional, Methodist and Baptist
 Churches united and listened to the sermon
 delivered by Rev. G. M. Steele, President
 of Laxwrence University, in the Congre-
 gational Church which seated the largest
 number. This sermon was published in
 full in the newspapers and was one of
 great power and piety. It was a really
 courageous, far-seeing, eloquent and appro-
 priate discussion of religion and politics
 combined. This service was held at the
 request of Revs. Doe, Olmstead, and
 Cooley, paistors of the three churches."
 (The Appleton Crcscent, November, 1866.)
 The church built in 1852-1853 had to
 be enlarged several times. In 1869 another
 addition was made to increase the seating
 capacity of the church. This church known
 as the 'Old Brown Church'' served until
 1889 xxhcn the present church was com-
 pleted and occupied during the pastorate
 of the Rev. John Faville. On April 18,
 1889, a farewell service was held in the
 old church; in the afternoon and evening
 of the same day the dedication services for
 the new church were held, Dr. Gunsaulus
 of Chicago preaching the dedicatory ser-
 Under the leadership of Dr. Faville and
 F. J,. Harwood, one of the outstanding
 laymen of the whole country, and later,
 M'oderator of the Church, the Appleton
church became one of the largest and most
important in Wisconsin. The Sunday Eve-

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