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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 183

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
  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.
  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
  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.

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