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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County
([1949])

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


Page 177

CALL TO WORSHIP
in response to some appeal on the part of
a small group of German Lutherans who
wished to have the consolation of their
religion in the struggles for existence
that beset many of these early pioneers.
  There were very few Germans in the
county before 1850. A few families from
Ohio and from Pennsylvania arrived be-
fore that date but the great numbers be-
gan to appear in the early eighteen
fifties and then again after the Civil War,
from  1866 to 1880. Consequently the
first Lutheran churches were organized
in the late fifties, St. Paul's in Dale being
one of the earliest founded in 1859. The
sixties and seventies saw many churches
founded. The later decades filled in places
where the population centers were slower
to develop or as in many cases of much
later foundings (1900 to 1945) the new
congregations represented new growth of
the denomination. In most of these
churches the language is English now,
with rarely a sermon in German for the
older people of the group. There is one
Danish Lutheran Church in the Town of
Deer Creek.
  It will be clearer and simpler to treat
the Lutheran churches according to the
synodical affiliations for there are many
churches in the county. The strongest
group, without doubt, is the group ad-
hering to the Wisconsin Synod of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church. Here the
largest church is St. Paul's in Appleton
which has more than 2,100 members. It
is not the oldest, however, for that honor
goes to St. Paul's in Dale (1859) and to
the Immanuel Church in the Town of
Greenville (1860).
  A group of Germans, largely from Ohio,
and a few families from Pennsylvania had
come to Dale beginning in 1853. Appar-
ently there came with them a pastor, a
Rev. Lienkaemper who organized a Re-
formed Church congregation by 1858
while a year later the Rev. Th. Jaeckel
organized the St. Paul congregation. Serv-
ices were held in a school house or in the
homes of members of the congregations.
In 1863-1864 the two congregations united
in the building of a church about one-
half mile west of Dale. They continued to
share this house of worship until 1878
when the Reformed congregation pur-
chased the share of the Lutherans and
moved their building to the Village of
Dale. Beginning in 1870 the pastors for
St. Paul's lived in Hortonville where the
Bethlehem Church had just been dedi-
cated. The Immanuel Church of Green-
ville was founded in 1860 and has had a
resident pastor to serve its congregation.
St. John's in the Town of Center dates
from 1864; St. Peter's in the Town of
Freedom, 1868; St. Paul's in Appleton,
1867, the largest in the group; Bethlehem
of Hortonville, 1870; Emanuel in the
Town of Maple Creek, 1872; Trinity of
the Town of Ellington, 1874; Trinity of
Kaukauna, 1877; St. Paul's in Stephens-
ville, 1882; Emanuel of New London,
1893; Immanuel of Black Creek, 1901; Mt.
Calvary in Kimberly, 1937.
  In addition to the St. Paul group there
have been organized four other congrega-
tions in Appleton. They are: St. Matthew,
1914; Mt. Olive, 1915; Bethany, 1941;
and the Riverview, 1945. The combined
Appleton congregations have a member-
ship of 4,387 members.
  The St. Paul congregation of Appleton
was organized August 19, 1867, as a
"German Evangelical" congregation by a
group of German citizens, George Kreiss,
Louis Schinz, Carl Scherk, John Popke,
Albert Breitung, Reinhold Breitung,
Charles Bruning, John Falk, Phillip
Weintz and Emil Wiese. The first pastor
was Christian Lieb who resigned in 1869,
to be succeeded by the Rev. H. Siekman.
Rev. Siekman organized a St. John con-
gregation in Black Creek during his
pastorate and resigned his pastorate in
Appleton in 1878 when the congregation
voted to affiliate with the Wisconsin
Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church. The new pastor, John Hodt-
walker of Milwaukee, completed the
affiliation with the adoption by the con-
gregation of an Evangelical Lutheran con-
stitution on March 30, 1879. However,


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