St. Peter's United Church of Christ, New Albin, Iowa
Peace United Church of Christ, Freeburg, Minnesota
Sister Churches Mark 100th Year
FREEBURG, Minn. Two sister congregations, one in Minnesota and one in Iowa, are having a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of their churches.
The churches are Peace United Church of Christ, Hwy. 249 south of Freeburg; and St. Peters United Church of Christ, New Albin, Iowa.
The Minnesota congregation will continue its celebration Sunday with a ham and meatball harvest dinner. The Iowa church celebrated last weekend with a heritage style show, featuring clothing from 1857.
The congregations, which are served by the same pastor, have planned special events each month all year.
Its hard-to celebrate 100 years in a day, Alta Lampert, organist at the Minnesota church, said during a recent gathering there of representatives from both congregations.
She and about a dozen representatives from both congregations gathered recently to talk about their churches. The churchs crisp, white building sits next to the highway which winds through the wooded hillside above Crooked Creek. Music is supplied by Lampert on the congregations old-fashioned pump organ.
Wilbert Schuldt, another of the Peace congregations 71 members, all of whom are farmers, said he comes early on Sunday mornings to see that the building is heated. He said the building used to be heated by an old wood furnace that had to be tended through the night. Morning worshipers still would freeze, he added.
The Iowa church, 13 miles away, has 182 members. The congregations handsome brick church was built in 1950. Like its sister church, it has a solid brass bell.
Adorning the front of the church is an altar from the congregations original church building. The members of St. Peters are mostly town residents, many of whom are retired, according to Donna Luttchens, one of the organizers of the centennial celebrations.
The congregations have been served by the same pastor since they merged in 1939. The Rev. Richard Waters was the pastor until recently when he left to become pastor of a church in Lake City, MN.
The congregations are in the process of hiring a replacement.
Centennial events have included an old-fashioned dress day when the women wore hats and gloves to church and the men wore hats.
On another Sunday, the congregations revived the old custom of having the men seated on one side of the church and the women on the other.
At other services, those who have been members for 50 years or more and also those who were baptized, confirmed or married in the churches were honored.
The dinner at Freeburg will be held in the Freeburg Community School. Serving will begin at 11 a.m. The cost is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Preschoolers will be served free.
~1985 newspaper clipping, La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse, WI
~contributed by Errin Wilker
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