June 3, 2010

Local church to celebrate milestone anniversary

Local church to celebrate milestone anniversary
A missionary, a meeting and a milestone in the development of a local church will be celebrated on June 12 and 13 at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
From the Lutheran missionary, Pastor Tober, to the meeting of German people and the organization of the mission church in 1910 called St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the days have been filled with growth, good deeds and family ties.
The names of many of the charter members still are represented in the McClusky community. Charter members were the Mr. and Mrs. Fred Zinke, Jacob Herr, Christian Essig, Michael Netzloff, John Weber, Adolph Schlenker, R.E. Siegle, Dan Mayer, George Hofferber, and Mrs. Oneg Meyer and Mrs. Fox and son Harry. Five families also came from Pastor Tober’s home state of Connecticut: Netzloff, Fred Haase, Ed Sonstrom and a man named Fleer.
The second pastor was Pastor Felton who organized the mission into a congregation, holding one English service per month. A mission was started at Skogmo where services were held at the Henry Neff farm 20 miles north of McClusky.
The struggle to build a suitable home for the church began with Pastor Hugo Hanser in 1913 and was completed and dedicated on June 17, 1917.
Pastor John Wohfeil came to the church in 1919 and started the first summer school and used a Model T Ford for transportation.
On 1923, Pastor J. Jagow arrived and held services at Skogmo, McClusky and at a home southwest of McClusky during the summer months. He left after a few years and Pastor R. Wahl of Sykeston served whenever possible for two years until Pastor A.H. Lange was installed in 1926.
Lange had a young people’s society organized and this became the Walther League. A Ladies Air was also organized. In 1927 the congregation purchased the parsonage from the synod and a parish newsletter was started. Sunday School was held in both English and German at this time and English worship was still held one a month on Sunday Evenings.
With a vacancy served by Pastor F. Daepler, the next Pastor, E. Zapf, arrived in 1929. A choir was organized and a Saturday School began. The language problem came up again and English became official when the constitution was revised in 1930.
In 1936 Pastor E.N.F. Jording arrived and served the two churches, McClusky and Skogmo, adding mission church Pickardville and also Arena. They celebrated their 25th anniversary one year late, due to a one year vacancy before Jording, Lenten services were added and the church was connected to the city sewer system, a landmark event in most home and businesses in those days.

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