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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 (9.8 MB)

Page 182

Church of Center was founded in 1863 by
the Rev. Schelp and the families of
Friedrich Purath and Heinrich Janke. In
1869, Rev. Bockemuehl built and dedicated
the first church. A new church in 1916
was dedicated by Bishop Spreng during
the pastorate of the Rev. G. H. Nickell.
These three churches were served from
the Oshkosh Mission until 1867, when
they were attached to the Neenah Mission.
An eighty-fifth anniversary is being
planned for the Center congregation by
its members and pastor, the Rev. Stanley
G. F. Hayes.
  In Freedom, the Emmanuel Church had
its beginnings in 1867 when Rev. Bocke-
muehl held services in the homes of some
of the settlers. An organization took place
under the Rev. Oertli and the Rev. Peter
Held in the homes of Johann Peters, Carl
Rohm   and A. Krabbe. A    church was
built in the eighties under the Rev. Dite
and until 1884 it was served from Seymour.
Then it became a part of the Neenah
Mission and in 1904 was united with the
Greenville Mission which was composed
of the churches in Center, Ellington and
Freedom. Only two of these four churches
survive, Greenville and Center. In 1947,
the Greenville congregation celebrated
its ninetieth anniversary under the leader-
ship of its pastor, the Rev. Stanley C. F.
  In the years after the Civil War the
missionaries pushed farther north follow-
ing the influx of Germans into Seymour
and Cicero. Most of these Germans had
been Lutherans in their home land or in
Ohio or Washington County, whence
they came. But the absence of any Lu-
theran church left them homeless and the
Evangelical missionaries found them will-
ing to form groups of their faith. In
Seymour-Osborn the organization meeting
was held December 7, 1869, with the Rev.
George Zellhoefer acting as presiding
officer. Leaders of the group were William
Sumnicht, Fred Peotter, Henry Baker and
Frederick Muehl. The first church, built
in 1871, served until 1902 when the present
modern church was erected. To accom-
modate the people who lived from four
to six miles away from Seymour, the
Siloam (Salaam) Evangelical Church of
North Seymour was organized March 20,
1884, by John Hesse, Charles Baker, An-
dreas Rusch, Wilhelm Piehl and Ernst
Titzmann. The church, constructed in
1885, was dedicated by the Rev. F. Eilert.
It was served from Seymour but from the
beginning of the century ceased to exist.
In a like manner an Evangelical Church
was founded in Lawrenceville, Town of
Cicero. It has continued to function and
is attached to the Seymour church.
  Later than the Greenville, Center and
Seymour churches is the Appleton Em-
manuel Evangelical Church. An Evan-
gelical mission, dependent on the Neenah
Circuit, was formed in 1870. The Simon
Appel and F. Kutler families, together
with Rev. Schelp formed the nucleus of
the group, they were joined by the Syl-
vester and Engler families among others.
A church was built and dedicated in the
autumn, 1872, by Bishop R. Dubs. In
1901 a new church was erected and dedi-
cated by Bishop Bowman and it is serving
the congregation still.
  The pastorates have been usually short,
averaging three years in length. However,
a few pastors remained longer. Among
these were the Rev. J. L. Runkel, the Rev.
H. A. Bernhardt, the Rev. F. J. Siewert
and the Rev. J. J. Droegkamp. The first
pastor was the Rev. G. Zellhofer, (1870-
1871), working under the Neenah Mis-
sion. Under its present pastor, the Rev.
S. G. Cramer, the congregation celebrated
its seventy-fifth anniversary, October 28,
1945. Rev. Cramer began his work in
Appleton in 1943, following the pastorate
of Rev. Blum.
  The United Brethren are mentioned in
accounts concerning the towns of Green-
ville, Hortonia, Deer Creek and Osborn.
Missionaries were in these regions in the
years between 1851 and 1860. However,
they were never strong enough to found
churches and the only church building
belonging to the denomination seems to
be a church in the Town of Osborn

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