Zion Church History 1886 - 1961

1886 August 29th, Congregation was organized, and resolved to call a pastor of the Missouri Synod. Pledges were taken and money gathered for the erection of a small church building. An acre of land was purchased from Heinrich and Barbara Wilke for $50, and building operations were begun.

1887 8th Sunday after Trinity, the first called pastor, Otto von Gemmingen, a candidate from Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, was ordained and installed. This same year in the Fall, the church was completed and dedicated.

1888 A four room parsonage vas built at the cost of $500.

1892 August 8th, Pastor Otto von Gemmingen was granted a peaceful release and accepted a call to Zion Lutheran Church south of Wisner, Nebr. In the fall of the same year pastor Christian Merkel was called and installed  the 21st Sunday after Trinity.

1897 During the five year ministration of Pastor Merkel the congregation enjoyed steady growth in spite of difficulties. In September of this year he accepted a call to Illinois. On the 21st Sunday after Trinity Pastor Emit Gehrke was installed as the new pastor of Zion.

1900 The partition wall between the church and school room was removed and a 50 ft. tower and bell was added to the church. This same year a parochial school building was built.

1901-1907 A new organ, new pews and a new barn were added to the church property

1908 The parsonage was enlarged by adding a kitchen and several upstairs rooms. The church grew numerically under Pastor Gehrke s ministration in spite of the fact that several prominent members fell away. The members also increased in knowledge, grew in faith and accepted true Lutheran practice. After almost eleven years of blessed work, Pastor Gehrke received a call to Industry, Iowa, which he accepted after the congregation had given him a peaceful release on June 28, 1908. He was succeeded by Rev. H. Rottman who was installed September 20, 1908.

1911 August 27th, 25th anniversary of Zion's organization was celebrated. There were at this time 38 voting members, over 200 communicants and over 400 souls.

1920 August 25th, a ladies’ aid was organized with 17 members. Pastor Rottman, during his ministration at Zion, began a preaching station in Elkhorn, which later was organized into a congregation. Unfortunately, this congregation severed its connections with the Missouri Synod later in the year 1929 and joined the Iowa Synod. In November of 1920 Rev. Rottman accepted a call to Amherst Nebraska.

1921 August 28th, Pastor H. F. Brauer was installed as the new pastor. A young people's society was organized on Dec; 3rd and they joined the International Walther League Society.

1922 The envelope system of finance was introduced and contributions increased.

1924 January the first board of trustees was elected. In this year the Sunday School was organized, the parochial school having been closed because of the lack of a teacher and the requirements made by the State with respect to text books and teacher certificates.

1925 May 31st, Pastor H. F. Brauer was given a peaceful release.  Rev. J. H. Schaefer was installed as the new pastor in about July of this same year, 1926 April, the first finance committee was elected. In August of this same year the congregation celebrated the 40th anniversary. The speakers were former pastors Rev. Otto von Gemmigen and Rev. E. Gehrke along with Rev. E. Oelschlaeger.

1927 October 5th, Rev. J. H. Schaefer was released to Fremont, Nebr. November 6th, Rev. H. Werning was installed, during whose ministry 20 adults were confirmed.   It was also during his stay that the Saturday school and Summer school were started.

1932 November 6th, Pastor Verning was given his release.

1933 January 15th, Pastor Philip Polster was installed.

1934 Extensive remodeling and enlarging of the church to its present size were undertaken and completed. April 29th the present church building was rededicated to the Triune God. Continuing ill health which had plagued Rev. Philip Polster for several years, forced him to resign from office, June 10, 1934, but he continued to serve the congregation until July 22nd. August 12th Rev. F. J. Schleef was installed to succeed Pastor Philip Polster.

1936 August 23rd, the congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary. At this time there were listed 52 voting members, 225 communicants, and about 350 souls. Two of the charter members, Charles Kloninger and Dietrich Kuennemann were still living.

1941 January 2nd, Zion voted to become a member of me Missouri Synod.

1948 Pastor Schleef served the congregation faithfully and conscientiously for fourteen years. On August 15, 1948, after accepting a call to Scribner, Nebraska, pastor Schleef preached his farewell sermon to Zion Congregation. He was succeeded by Pastor Albert Schroeder of Venedy, Illinois, who was installed December 12, 1948. It was during the time of the vacancy that the parsonage was remodeled, modernized and a new room, the dining room, was added.

1950 The matter concerning the parochial school was again discussed by the congregation, but no conclusions were reached. In August of 1950, the school building was sold.

1951 Spring, Pastor Schroeder accepted a call to Waco, Nebraska.  On October 21, 1951, Rev. H. R. Brase was installed as the new pastor of Zion. In this same year in November a Men's Club was organized, likewise a Senior Choir and the young people's society was reorganized.

1955 Junior Choir was organized. Building Fund for future expansion was initiated.

1959 Three acres of land, across the road and south of the present property, was donated to Zion Lutheran Church by Mr. and Mrs. Henry HoIIing. This land is to be used as a new building site. However, in the event no building is started within seven years it is to be given back to the original owners.

1960 Through the diligent service of pastor Brase and by the blessing of God, Zion congregation experienced during his pastorate new growth, both spiritual and physical. Pastor Brase accepted a call to Wisner, Nebraska, and in January of 1960 delivered his farewell sermon.

1961 A call was extended to candidate Marvin F. Mueller and was accepted on May 21, 1961. During this extended vacancy Rev. Herman C. Moellering served faithfully as vacancy pastor.  Rev. Marvin Mueller was installed on July 16th, having been previously ordained in his Home congregation in Overland, Missouri.

2011 Zion celebrates her 125th Anniversary with an all-confirmation class reunion, vists by former members who are serving as pastors, and many other projects.

2013 Pastor Thomas Schmitt accepts a call to St. John's Lutheran Church in Glendale, WI

2014 Pastor Lance Berndt accepts our call to Zion as our new pastor.

2015 Pastor Philip Hale accepts our call to Zion to be our 2nd pastor.