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)
CALL TO WORSHIP founded and constructed by David Bene- dict in 1868 or 1869 and served by mission- aries from Oshkosh or Neenah. The church with its small congregation existed for some years but eventually its members went to the Methodist or to the Evan- gelical Church in Seymour. Although a church was never organized in the Town of Black Creek, Rev. J. J. Baer, while living on the farm of his son, Capt. J. M. Baer, did some preaching between 1863 and 1872. He represented the Winebrenner Branch of the United Brethren. These meetings were in homes and continued at intervals until the death of Rev. Baer in 1872. The union of the Evangelical Associ- ation (Evangelische Gemeinschaft) with the United Brethren was formally con- cluded and proclaimed at a general con- ference in November, 1946, at Johnstown, Penn sylvania. EPISCOPALIANS The Episcopal Church had missionaries early among the 'New York' Indians and wvhen Eleazar Williams led his first group of Oneidas to their new western home, they were to a large degree christianized. A small group of Oneidas came up the Fox River to an area now within Outa- gamie County in late 1821. and remained a few years. In 1823, Williams, later to become a romantic figure in the history of this region, led most of his Oneidas to their reserve and there established a log church which is regarded as the first Episcopalian church in this area, one of the oldest in the Northwest Territory. This first church stood on the spot where now stands the Holy Apostles Church in Oneida and it was here that the first Epis- copalian work began in our area. Bishop Hobart from New York came to Oneida in 1825 to bless the church and the work of "Priest" Williams. For many years the Oneida Church was the only important church in this area with a real back- ground of long service. When the bishop made his visitations not only Episcopa- lians but other denominations attended the services. Bishop Kemper preached and administered the communion to Method- ists who were present at the services. Although the Holy Apostles Church lies just outside of Outagamie County accord- ing to the division of townships made when the Oneida Reservation was organ- ized into a township in 1910, it is so close and so important for us that one must at least mention it. In May, 1948, Father William F. Christian, pastor of the Holy Apostles Church brought back the bones of Eleazar Williams from Hogansburg, New York, to Oneida where they were re-interred with proper ceremonies. Coming back to our own county, Rev. Cadle was a missionary to the Stockbridge Indians in 1823 at South Kaukauna (States- burg); he went with the Indians when they moved to the east shore of Lake Winnebago into what is now Calumet County. In Appleton, where the only Episco- palian Church of the county is located, the story of the church begins much later. In 1853 there had been ''talk of building an Episcopal church'' and some money had been raised. In 1854 and 1855 Bishop Kemper, on his way to Oneida, undoubt- edly held a communion service and bap- tized some children. In 1857 a Mr. Atkin- son conducted services and Rev. Edmonds of Green Bay held services from time to time. In May the Crescent reports that talk of a church had been revived and that Amos Lawrence, who was in Appleton (May June 1857), had donated a lot on which the church was to stand. Services had been held in Warner's Hall and con- tinued to be scheduled there until a church was completed. In 1862 the Rev. Simeon Palmer came to direct the congregation and in 1864, late in June, Bishop Kemper laid the cornerstone of the new church, to be called the Grace Church. This frame building was moved to its present location in 1883. The dedication of this church took place in May, 1871, at the same time as the Rev. J. L. Steele, rector of the Grace Church was ordained by the Rt. Rev. 183
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