Daily Times News
July 21, 1964

First Zion Lutheran Services Held in Old County Court House

    Based on notes that were compiled by Pastor O. C. Fedeke in October 1930, in honor of the congregation's Golden Jubiliee.

     Rev. J. F. Muller wrote the following concerning the origin of Zion Lutheran Church.  In 1880 I visited the field.  Members of the Frankentrost congregation had moved there.   Michael Kipfmueller lived in a large log house, which had formerly been the court house of Isabella County.  There in the first divine service was held.  About eight to 10 hearers were present.  A child was also baptized.  Pastor J. F. Mueller served the congregation from Amelith.

     The constitution of Zion Lutheran Church was written in German and was adopted on January 1, 1889.  Rev. W. Ziegenhain had been installed in August of 1888, in St. Louis from where he also served Mt. Pleasant.  It was under his leadership that the constitution was adopted.

     The first recorded confirmations were those of January 8, 1888, by Pastor J. F. Mueller.   The confirmands were: Henry Block, Frederick Block and Anna Block.  The first couple married were William G. Thayer and Anna Block by Pastor Ziegenhain on December 29, 1889. 

     The first burial was John Louis Huber, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. George Huber by Pastor E. Hantel on January 25, 1881 at Mt. Pleasant. 

     At the time of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the congregation in 1905, there were 77 communicants and 157 souls.

     The Pastors for the first 25 years were: J. F. Mueller from 1880 to 1888; W. Ziegenhain from 1888 to 1892; F. Sievers from 1893 to 1895, and G. A. Mueller from 1895 to 1899.

     Pastors O. Moellmer and L. A. Wismuller served the congregation from 1899 to 1901, August 11, 1901 Pastor H. Grueber was ordained in Zion as the first resident pastor.  He served until 1906. 

     The first notice taken of salary matters is dated February 11, 1894, when the decision was made to pay the Pastor $6 every time he came to Mt. Pleasant.

     The congregation resolved on May 4, 1902 , to affiliate with the Michigan District, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

     A Christian day or parochial school was started in 1901 under Pastor H. Grueber, the first resident minister.   The school continued until 1916.  At that time Saturday and Sunday School was introduced.

     The next 25 years, 1905 to 1930,t he congregation was served by Pastor S. Hoffman who was installed in 1906 and served Mt. Pleasant and Remus until 1912.

     Pastor W. List served from 1912 to 1917, when he resigned on account of illness.  Pastor K. Baumann was installed in July 1920 and served until 1927.  Pastor O. C. Fedeke became the pastor and served until 1942.

     Since its organization Zion Lutheran Church was located in the country about seven miles from Mt. Pleasant on Baseline Road.  In 1908 a city congregation was formed to serve the members who lived in Mt. Pleasant.  It adopted the name of Trinity Lutheran Church and included 43 souls and 22 communicants.

     Both Zion and Trinity were served by the Pastor who lived in the parsonage next to Zion Church.  The members of Trinity built their church on North Lansing Street.

     A Ladies Aid Society was organized in 1918 at Zion, but was disbanded after one year.  Then on August 25, 1920, a Ladies Aid Society was organized which included women of the country and town congregations.  This society has remained active to this day and is now known as the Lutheran Women's Guild.  In 1929 a young people's society, was organized. 

     The Lutheran students who attended Central Michigan University through the years were organized into the Luther League, which was formed in 1960.  Later on the group joined the national organization of Gamma Delta for Lutheran students.

      The Pastors who served from the time of Pastor Fedeke are P. G. Mrock, who was installed December 1942 and served until 1945.  Pastor C. A. Bormann, 1945 until 1952; Pastor Frederick Coellner, July 20, 1952, until his death on March 13, 1964.  Pastor Edward L. Krauss was installed on June 14th, 1964.

     It was decided in 1938 to sell the church building and property on North Lansing Street and to move the country church building
into town onto the property at East Maple and South Arnold which was purchased for this purpose.

     The moving of the church building caused quite some excitement because all the brick exterior was removed along with the tower.  Then it was brought over a 10 mile route into town to avoid cutting high power lines.  After it was relocated and remodeled, a service of rededication was held on October 16, 1938.

      Extensive remodeling took place in 1947.  Three years later in 1950, the present parsonage was built at 511 S. Arnold St.

      In 1958, because of growing needs for worship space as well as Sunday school teaching area, an addition was built onto the present facility, enlarging the seating capacity from 150 to 300, and providing the needed Sunday school area.  The festival service of dedication was held on March 2, 1958.

     The communicant membership of Zion Lutheran Church is 353, and the soul membership is 553.  The Sunday School enrollment is 184.

      The purpose of Zion Lutheran Church has remained the same through all the 84 years of its existence.   That is, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is recorded in the Holy Bible and according to the confessional standard of the Lutheran Church as written in the Book of Concord of the year 1580.  Soli Deo Gloria.


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