In this short history we would desire to perpetuate its weals and woes and its joys to our children.
And many are the questions we would so earnestly desire to have answered. Namely: When was the first Lutheran sermon preached in Kewaunee? This question is especially important to us because tradition has it that pastors came to Kewaunee as early as 1860. These pastors were not of the Lutheran faith. Sometimes a Protestant minister, then again a Catholic Priest came and whosoever came ministered to all alike.
When did these conditions cease? When did pure Lutheran confession take root? Who were the first Lutheran people? What nationality? Where did they come from? Why did they come to Kewaunee? Where were the first services held? Who attended? The first to be baptized, confirmed, the first couple married, and the first to die?
Since no records are available, or were lost, all these so interesting questions are in vain. Time has cast its mantle of oblivion on it all. The first reliable records show that Reverend P. Koehler, who served the congregations at Manitowoc and Two Rivers, made missionary journeys through what is now Kewaunee and Door County, in company of Mr. J. Boding, as early as 1862. Whether or not they preached in Kewaunee the records do not state.
In 1862 Reverend J. H. Brockman was stationed at Algoma. This man served Algoma, Rankin and Kolberg. The records of our sister congregation show that he was permitted to serve the Lutherans at Kewaunee once every three months. How long this agreement lasted we know not.
In those early days pastors were few and it was difficult to obtain a permanent pastor. Many men who in reality never were pastors took advantage of these circumstances, and played themselves up to unsuspecting congregations as pastors and were called. Such a man may have been the first pastor of the Immanuel Congregation at Kewaunee. He was one Reverend Gustof Bachmann.
Turning to the summer of 1865 and relying on the oldest document in our possession, the original articles of incorporation, we find Kewaunee served by Reverend G. Bachmann, who with Frederich Johannes, secretary of the then existing congregation appeared before one Lyman Walker, Notary Public and filed the following articles of incorporation:
INCORPORATION ACT OF, The German Ev, Lutheran Congregation at Kewaunee, Wisconsin, July, 1865.
By virtue of announcements made July 16th and 31st, 1865, the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation assembled this day in the public schoolhouse in Kewaunee, Wisconsin.
The meeting organized and elected Reverend Bachmann, chairman and Frederick Johannes, secretary.
The chairman called to mind the reason for this meeting, as had been previously announced: The members here assembled shall organize a congregation by accepting a Church constitution, and incorporating under the laws of this state.
The name and title of our congregation shall be: “The Corporation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation, Kewaunee, Wisconsin.”
This congregation shall accept and confess all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed word of God as the only divine standard of faith and life. And it further confesses all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church contained in the Book of Concord of 1580. Especially the Confession of Augsburg and Luther’s Small Catechism.
To carry out the business of the congregation a board of elders or trustees shall be elected consisting of 3 members. The chairman of the board shall be the pastor. The following board was elected: Johannes, Pastor and Weier.
According to the laws of the State of Wisconsin the trustees are to hold office for a period of 3 years. The congregation maintains the privilege to re-elect the incumbent.
The congregation under the name, “Corporation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation”, Kewaunee, Wisconsin has the right to buy, to sell, receive presents’ or bequests; to sue or be sued.
The congregation has the right to make laws for itself; which laws shall not be in conflict with the laws of the state of Wisconsin.
This constitution shall be a permanent document; and Article I and II may never be changed.
Other articles may be changed by the following procedure: by request of the board of trustees or 10 voting members, by publication on two previous Sundays an Article may be changed by a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the congregation.
The proceedings of this meeting shall be legally incorporated. The President and the Secretary shall enact the incorporation.
Frederich Johannes, Secretary; G. Bachmann, Evangelical Lutheran Pastor.
STATE OF WISCONSIN
COUNTY OF KEWAUNEE
On this 31st day of July 1865 AD came before me Gustof Bachmann and Frederich Johannes, to me known to be the persons who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged the same to be their free act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein stated.
Lyman Walker, Notary Public
Received for record the 3rd day of August, 1865 at 5:45 o’clock P. M. and recorded in Vol. A. of Mortgages on pages 412 and 413.
Charles Deda, Registrar
Kewaunee County, Wisconsin
As may readily be seen from the above Articles of Incorporation the congregation up to this time had no church edifice of its own, but held its meetings in the public school.
Whether or not the congregation built a church and parsonage during Reverend Bachmann’s pastorate cannot be determined. Baptismal records however show Reverend Bachmann’s ministry terminated sometime during the year 1867. Records show that a church was built in 1867 for $900.00.
The next resident pastor was one L. Nietmann. During his ministry the records show the congregation in possession of a church and parsonage. The first church stood on the same place where our former school now stands, near the corner of Dodge and Miller Streets. Later it was moved to the west and served as a school and last of all was converted into a barn for the pastor’s horse. Later when it was torn down, the lumber was used to build a garage for the teacherage on Miller Street. (early recycling?) Little is known of the ministry of Rev. Nietmann, but that the congregation steadily grew in membership as new emigrants came from abroad and from other parts of the United States. He served the congregation up to 1877 when mention is made in the minutes of a meeting of November 5th, 1876 that the congregation dispensed with his services.
It is not possible to state just when Rev. Nietmann left Kewaunee or where he went. The minutes of January 28th, 1877 disclose that the congregation now turned to the Synods of Missouri and Wisconsin for advice and suggestions in the calling of a new minister. The Synods were asked whether it were possible to obtain a minister, who was a member of the above mentioned Synods.
In due time an answer came, we have no record of its wording, but it must have been satisfactory, because the minutes of a meeting of March 21st, 1877 give the name of Rev. J. Vollmar as pastor and chairman of the congregation. During the ministry of the Rev. Vollmar the congregation grew steadily. A meeting of May 18th 1879 gives the information that a peaceful release was granted to the Rev. Vollmar so he might accept a call to another congregation, but does not state to which congregation.
In the same meeting and under the leadership of the Rev. J. Vollmar a call was made out and sent to August Pieper, who graduated as a Candidate of Theology that year from the Seminary.
Candidate Pieper accepted the call and arrived in Kewaunee during the summer of 1879. Up to this time it appears that no distinct Lutheran confession was imperative to membership in the congregation. Lutheran practice was nil. Apparently any one who was German or whosoever desired was admitted to membership. Truly it was a church for all German speaking people. Many Lutheran families living in the vicinity of Kewaunee had so far refused to become members of the congregation because of its laxity in Lutheran practice and its being infested with lodge members. Such were the conditions when the young candidate arrived. He was a man of sound Lutheran principles, conscience bound in the Word of God. A fearless servant of the Lord, preaching the law and the gospel in all truth and purity, and administering sound Lutheran practice. One can readily understand that a bitter lodge-fight ensued. But God in His mercy gave the victory to those members who were faithful in confession and practice.
Many familiar names now disappeared from the roster of the congregation, but many who had so far refused to join, now joined and the congregation grew. In a short time mention is made that the congregation numbered 77 families. A discussion often came before the congregation regarding the buying of property for cemetery purposes. No resolution was ever passed, hence the congregation never owned its own cemetery.
In the year 1879 the resolution was passed to permit the pastor to serve the St. Peter’s Congregation at Carlton also.
In 1880 a foundation was placed under the parsonage and a cistern built. In the same year it was resolved to serve St. John’s Congregation at Sandy Bay also.
1880 should be a memorable year for Immanuel Congregation , In that year a new floor was laid in the school and the resolution accepted to organize a regular Christian Day School. So far the school had been but a part time school given chiefly to instruction in German and religion. Perviously a part time school had been taught by Rev. Nietmann with the assistance of his daughters Christine and Lydia.
In 1881 a call was extended to the pastor from the congregation at Two Rivers, but the congregation refused to let its beloved pastor go.
In 1882 it was decided to conduct the business meetings on Sunday. On February 4th it was decided to build a new school, to place a steeple on the old church and to add an altar recess to the church. This resolution was never carried out.
February 18th, 1882 brings the resolution to build a new church of brick; the edifice to be 36x60 feet with spire. The old church was now converted into a school house. The resolution to build a new church was accepted and the following building committee appointed: H. Pautz, J. Streu, J. Tess, J. Kuehl, C. Boettcher and W. Oestreich.
Mention is made in the Kewaunee Enterprise that a contract was given to one Joachim Kuehl to build a church for $2,254.69. A Frank Hildeman built the foundation. From information in the cornerstone the total cost was to exceed $4,000.00. No mention is made as to when it was completed or dedicated nor is any mention made as to who preached the dedicatory sermon, but a meeting of November 20th represents the church as finished and equipped.
In ‘the midst of the rejoicing at the completion of the church there came a call to the pastor from the congregation at Green Bay But again the congregation refused to let its pastor go.In 1884 the first teacher was called to teach the parochial school. So far the pastor had been obliged to do the teaching. Since 1 884 the pastor has not been called upon for that duty. From that time on the congregation has engaged teachers for the school, giving the pastor more time for his particular work in the congregation. On December 21st, 1884 a call arrived in Kewaunee for the pastor from the congregation of Menomonie, Wisconsin. The congregation decided to permit its shepherd to accept the call, and at the same time extended its call to the Rev. P. Kleinlein of Menomonie. Thus ended the blessed and successful ministry of A. Pieper in Kewaunee.
The Reverend P. Kleinlein came to Kewaunee in the beginning of the year 1885. On February 1, 1885 it was decided to make the daughter of Reverend Kleinlein the teacher of the parochial school. Incidentally she was the first regularly called teacher.
1885 also saw the building of an addition to the parsonage. The paragraph in the congregation’s constitution regarding the congregation’s stand toward lodge membership was accepted in 1887.
The first English instruction in the school was permitted in l887.
On April 25th, 1889 Reverend Kleinlein asked far and received his peaceful dismissal. The records make no mention of where he went.
On September 15th, 1889 the call was extended to Reverend Wm. Bergholz, who accepted and soon arrived in Kewaunee. In the same year a student of theology was engaged to teach the school. About this time the final payment was made on the church.
On January 25th, 1891, a resolution was passed to buy two bells for the church. It had often been discussed to join the Wisconsin Synod, but no resolution was ever passed to that effect until May 1891 when the congregation asked for and was granted membership in the Synod of Wisconsin.
In February 1892 a resolution was passed to sell the old organ, and to buy a new one, the price not to exceed seven to eight hundred dollars. A rebuilt pipe organ was purchased from the Hinners Organ Co. of Pekin, IL, and served the congregation till 1940. The money to pay for the organ was raised by voluntary contributions.
In 1893 the hymn book of the Wisconsin Synod was introduced.
The first permanent call for a male teacher was issued in 1896, but the records do not state who was called. The first school board was elected in 1897, the members being Fred Detjen and Helmuth Aude.
In May 1901 a constitution was adopted that met the approval of the Wisconsin Synod. It was also decided to conduct the annual business meeting on the first Sunday in the New Year.
In April, 1902 it was decided to buy new pews and to decorate the church.
About this time (1902), a local branch of the Aid Association for Lutherans was organized.
Forty years had now elapsed since the congregation had first come together, and so it was decided to celebrate the fortieth anniversary and also the incorporation of the congregation.
At this time the members began to realize that the old parsonage was in dire need of repairs. A committee was elected to investigate how much would be needed to put the old house in order. It appears that the investigating committee found the old house in such shape that they did not recommend repairs, but suggested to the congregation a better plan was to build a new house. So we find the Resolution accepted in the meeting of April 30th to sell the old house and to build o new one the price of which is not to exceed the sum of $2,000. A building committee was elected consisting of W. W. Kuehl, J. F. C. Kuehl, Carl Struck, F. J. Kuehl and F. J. Waterstreet.
The new parsonage was built during the summer and October 1905 marks the time of its dedication. Another memorable event is that at this dedication of the new parsonage, mention is made for the first time of an English service being held.
In November 1907 twenty-five years had passed since the new church. A commemorative service was held on November 17th 1907
In 1908 the church was equipped with electric lights by the Ladies Aid.
1914 marks the 50th anniversary of the congregation. A special service was held in which the former Pastor A. Pieper, Reverend C. Doehler and Reverend J. Bergholz preached. At this time the parsonage was equipped with electric lights.
In the year 1917, the first English hymn book was introduced, and the church was redecorated. The Ladies Aid paid for the redecoration. In the same year the art glass windows were purchased from Wm. Weerts for the price of $300. The old stoves in the church were replaced by a furnace in the year 1919. In 1920 an electric blower for the organ was installed.
On February 24th, 1924, fire broke out in the school and damaged the interior badly. Realizing the value of its school the congregation immediately went to work to rebuild and repair the damage. Extensive improvements to the school were now made and it was equipped with modern aids.
The Reverend Bergholz had now served the congregation faithfully and well for a period of 34 years. Illness and frailties incident to advanced years caused him to come before the congregation in its meeting of April 27th, 1924 and tender his resignation, which after due consideration was accepted. So ended another faithful pastorate and another servant of the Lord was permitted to take a much needed and well deserved rest. The Reverend Bergholz moved to Green Bay where he died in the year 1935 and was buried in Riverview cemetery, Kewaunee, Wisconsin, where his mortal remains now rest awaiting the Master’s call to a joyful resurrection.
A call was extended to the Reverend L. Baganz of Elroy, Wisconsin. He accepted the call and came to Kewaunee in the summer of 1924. During the vacancy the congregation made extensive repairs on the church, school, parsonage, and built the garage.
With the coming of the Reverend L. Baganz a blessed time in its history developed for this congregation. So far the services had been conducted in the German language only. The parochial school was on the wane. Being a young man and well qualified to preach in English the Reverend Baganz was willing to serve in both languages. So it was decided to have services alternate, English one Sunday, German the next.
We will not give dates and figures just when certain improvements were made but write them merely as occurring during the ministry of the Reverend Baganz.
Business meetings were now conducted in English, and the constitution of the congregation written in both Ger man and English. When the Reverend Baganz came the school had but a small attendance, but soon grew to such proportions that it was found necessary to buy more seats and employ two instead of one teacher. The enrollment during this time grew to 52 scholars.
A Lutheran band was organized and for a period of time enjoyed the distinction of being a first class organization much in demand.
Many who so far had no affiliation with the church; because they could not understand German, but could now have regular English services came and joined the congregation. Soon it became apparent, that the congregation would be obliged to provide more room to accommodate its members. About this time the congregation purchased a parcel of ground in the southwest quarter of the city. This ground has become the present church home of the congregation.
Now again the question arose: Shall we build a new church, build an addition to the old one, or enlarge the balcony? The resolution that was finally accepted was to enlarge the balcony and so provide the much needed room.
In 1927 a Junior Ladies Aid and a Young Peoples Society were organized. Various improvements were made from time to time, such as placing a pump and pressure tank into the basement of the parsonage, reroofing the church and cleaning the interior. All single members who were of age were asked to contribute to the expense of the congregation.
In November, 1928 the Reverend Baganz received a call from the congregation at Burlington, Wisconsin. He informed the congregation and expressed his desire accept this call. A peaceful dismissal was granted him on November 24th, 1928.
The call was now extended to Reverend W. A. Kuether, who was then pastor of the Zion Evangical Lutheran congregation at Louis Corners near Kiel, Wisconsin.
The Reverend Kuether received the call in December 1928 and arrived in Kewaunee, Wisconsin in January 1929.
So far the congregations at Carlton and Sandy Bay had been served by the pastor of the Kewaunee congregation, but in the last years the congregation in Kewaunee had grown to such on extent, that the fact was apparent that it would be expedient to have the new pastor serve Kewaunee only.
However, Carlton and Sandy Bay were not able to support their own pastor; hence permission was granted the pastor to serve them until a solution could be found. In 1932 Sandy Bay was switched to Two Rivers, Carlton is still served by Kewaunee except for the time when Reverend Kuether and Reverend Kionka served them as pastors.
In 1932 it was 50 years since the church was built. To rightly commemorate this event a special service of thanksgiving was held. The former pastors of the congregation namely Pieper, Baganz and Bergholz were invited and preached the sermons.
The year 1932 shows the largest enrollment our school ever had up until then 56 pupils. A second teacher was now engaged. The following year brought a decided change. It became clear that the school house was inadequate to have so many pupils. Then also the depression made itself keenly felt and the congregation accepted the inevitable, to have one teacher and take pupils only in grades 4 to 8.
During the last years various improvements had been made from time to time such as the introduction of the larger English hymn book and the originating of a sinking fund, which was later discontinued and an improvement fund started instead.
Repairs were again made on the school, church and parsonage. An oil burning furnace was installed in the school, the church decorated in oil painting by the Senior Ladies Aid. New altar covers, runner in the aisle, statue of Christ on the altar and the bulletin board were donated by the Ladies’ Aids, and the Young Peoples Society.
Sums of money were willed to the congregation by two faithful Christian members. These donations were spent in part for altar candelabra, communion set, plaque depicting the Last Supper, and a chancel chair was donated by the Senior Ladies’ Aid.
A safe was purchased by the congregation to preserve its records. The Junior Ladies’ Aid bought and donated to the congregation two lots adjoining its property on the hill.
So far the Ladies’ Aids had met in the homes of the various members. But having grown steadily from year to year this became quite difficult. The Young Peoples Society found it most inconvenient to meet at the school. And as members of the congregation realized the dangers connected with having our organizations meet in public places the question arose: Could we not provide a place of our own? At one time a community hall was spoken of, but so far no special place had been provided for our social functions.
The Men’s Club now proposed to make some changes in the school so it could be used for social gatherings. The congregation gave its consent and with the assistance of the Ladies Aids and Young Peoples Society, they equipped the school with kitchen facilities. The latest activity of the Men’s Club has been the improving of the property on the hill.
Up to the year 1934 all contributions were raised by the old tax system which often caused resentment, as some members were in arrears. Since 1934 all contributions are raised voluntarily and every communicant member is requested to contribute. And God has blessed us. Voting members are all male members who have attained the age of 21 years were confirmed here and attend our services and commune with us regularly. All others are accepted by a vote of the congregation. The things that are praiseworthy are the congregation’s faithful attendance at divine worship and Holy Communion, strict Lutheran practice and the maintenance of the parochial school.
For some time it had been realized that the old Hinners organ, purchased in 1892 no more met the requirements of the congregation. It had been repaired several times, but again and again it failed to meet the demands. So when in the summer of 1939 the matter of celebrating our 75th anniversary came up for discussion, the question arose: “Would it not be good if we purchased o new organ to beautify our services and give much needed assistance in our singing?” After duly considering the matter, the congregation decided to buy a new organ. A committee consisting of C. A. Seifert, Orville Kuehl and Arno F. Waterstreet was appointed to investigate and finally make recommendations to the congregation. This committee, in conjunction with other members of the congregation, worked diligently and well. Due consideration was given to the purchase of an “Orgatron, Hammond Electric Organ and Pipe Organ.” After thoroughly and conscientiously studying all angles, the committee came before the congregation in its meeting of February 18th, 1940 and recommended the purchase of on 11 stop Pipe Organ from the Wangerin Organ Co. of Milwaukee, Wis., for the price of $2,500.00. The recommendation was accepted and the congregation voted almost unanimously to purchase the organ. The new organ was installed and ready for service by June 1st, 1940.
The dedicatory services were held on the third Sunday in June, 1940. Mr. Brockmann, the representative of the Wangerin Organ Co., presided at the organ. In the evening Mr. Brockmann also delivered an organ concert. We have an organ of which our congregation can well be proud. An organ whose beautiful tones shall resound among us to the praise and honor of God’s Holy Name. The organ was paid for by voluntary donations.
During the deliberations concerning the purchase the organ, the congregation had an opportunity to hear a set of chimes. The chimes so greatly appealed the members of the congregation that the general consensus of opinion was: We want a set of chimes. But at meeting of February 18th the congregation was informed that they would not be obliged to buy the chimes, as one of our members in his liberal, wholehearted manner donated the chimes to the congregation along with a loudspeaker system so that the organ and chimes could be broadcast from the church tower.
On July 28, 1940, the Almighty God in His graciousness permitted us to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of Immanuel. Speakers at the celebration were: Reverend Paul Pieper, son of Prof. Aug. Pieper, who served this congregation as its pastor from 1879 to 1884 Reverend H. Bergholz, a grandson of the former Reverend W. Bergholz, Reverend T. Baganz, son of the Reverend L. Baganz who served the congregation from 1924 to 1928 and Arden Stuebs, then a student of Theology at our Seminary at Thiensville, who is a great-grandson of the Reverend L. Nietmann, pastor of the congregation from 1867 to 1876.
Here are a few statistics of our 75th year that may be of interest. Up to this time 1,456 were confirmed. 1,020 were baptized, 277 couples were married and 526 were buried. How many persons communed we are unable to state.
There were 212 voting members, 485 communicant members, 600 souls which constituted Immanuel congregation at the time of the 75th anniversary.
In 1939, even before our 75th anniversary celebration, the black clouds over Europe erupted into the gigantic holocaust of World War II. From that time until the end of the war, many of our younger people departed to help our country overcome its enemies. This was particularly true after Pearl Harbor forced the entry of the United States into the War in 1941.
Church attendance during this time dropped somewhat due to the stringent gas rationing policies in force. Then, as now, a great proportion of our membership was drawn from the rural areas and together with the loss of our young people made a drop inevitable. Many of the young members that were so widely scattered never did return to take up life again in Kewaunee, but settled elsewhere making our loss permanent.
In the fall of 1943, Reverend Kuether resigned as pastor of Immanuel due to advancing age and the heavy duties of two congregations. He thereafter devoted his full services to St. Peter’s of Carlton which he served until his death in October, 1956.
Reverend Zink accepted the call from Immanuel leaving his charge at Dale, Wis., and assumed the pastorate in January of 1944.
In 1945, a second teacher was added to our school to take care of the increased enrollment when it was again expanded to cover all eight primary grades. An usher system was also started in this year and we still have this organization. They have done and still do a fine job.
Also in 1945, under Reverend Zink’s guidance, the church constitution and by-laws were updated. Very few changes had been made up to that time, the last being in 1901, so many of the non-permanent by-lows were changed to meet the needs of the then present congregation.
When the property on the hill was purchased around 1927, a spark was struck and members talked and discussed the feasibility at a new church many times, the depression that started in 1929 and World War II restrained any serious planning, but at the war’s end the spark flamed anew. Under Reverend Zink’s direction, this dream began to assume reality when plans were put into operation for the establishment of a building fund.
After much consideration, a Mr. Hugo Haeuser was engaged to draw up plans for a school and church building in 1945. He submitted a beautiful design which became the basic plan of our present building.
It took six more years at fund raising, discussion and planning and records show, ground was broken far the new church on April 22, of 1951. The cornerstone was laid an Aug. 27th at the same year. Work progressed more or less as the funds became available. Finally the congregation, by resolution did finance part of the cost through the B. C. Ziegler Co. of West Bend, Wis. This enabled the congregation to at least complete the structure. These bonds were retired ahead of the 20 year schedule although some member loans were still necessary.
In 1951, members at St. John’s Congregation of Sandy Bay voted to discontinue their church and members were to either join Immanuel in Kewaunee or St. John in Two Rivers. We gained many new faithful members through this move and they have contributed greatly to our development.
During the war years due to the many restrictions, text books, equipment and the school building itself became hopelessly outmoded. Later, with the building program demanding the mast attention and funds, we suddenly found ourselves conducting a school much below the standards of the day. The new building would take care of housing the school but there was another problem of indifference created by the pressure of the building program.
It was felt a strong hand was needed and in 1953, a decision was made to call a male teacher on a permanent basis. Up until this time the male teachers had been called under the terms of a female teacher’s contract. Mr. H. C. Rupprecht of Grace Congregation in Oshkosh was the Lord’s choice and with the cooperation of the congregation, our school was elevated to a high plane.
The two bells of the old church purchased as recorded earlier in this history were moved to the new building and services were conducted without their sound for almost a year prior to the dedication of the new church. One of the first acts after Dedication Sunday was to toll for all those members who passed away during the time the bells were silent.
During discussion of the problem of moving our new Wangerin organ purchased in 1940 to the new site, questions were asked as to whether the organ had enough volume to fill the new church. It was recommended that a new violin stop be added to provide body to the great organ as it would be more feasible to do it then as the organ had to be built into its new chamber. The recommendation was accepted and the new stop was added at a cost of slightly over $1,000.00.
During the building of the new church the cornerstone of the old church was removed, opened to check its contents and resealed. It was then incorporated into the new church and can be seen inside the narthex by the doorway of the main entrance. This is a symbol portray our link to the past.
On October 11, 1953, the dream became a reality and the present beautiful church and school were dedicated to the Triune God!
The services on Dedication Day were broadcast on radio station WOKW in place of St. Peter’s, of Sturgeon Bay, regular broadcast at 9:30 AM. The dedicatory service was conducted by Reverend W. F. Zink, Prof. John P. Meyer of our Seminary at Thiensville, Wis., preached the sermon. During the afternoon service, our school was dedicated by Reverend W. F. Zink and the sermon was delivered by Pastor Arden Stuebs of Bangor, Wis., a son of our congregation and a great-grandson of a former pastor, Reverend L. Nietmann. In the evening, a service of organ and song was given by Organist Robert J. Theis of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church of Cleveland, Ohio, along with the choir of Immanuel directed by H. C. Rupprecht, principal of our school.
On Tuesday, Oct. 13th, Reverend Theo. Baganz of St. Peter’s, Sturgeon Bay, conducted a reunion service of all former confirmands of Immanuel. Reverend Baganz is the son of former pastor, Reverend L. Baganz, and was a member 0f the 1927 confirmation class.
On Wednesday evening, Oct 14th, the Baganz Trio gave a concert of sacred music to continue the joyful festivities.
The final event of Dedication Week took place on Thursday, October 15th, at a fellowship pot luck supper at which the main speaker was Reverend Hogey Bergholz of Center, Wis. He is a grandson of former Pastor Wm. Bergholz.
The ceremonies of the week were witnessed and beard by thousands of people and climaxed many years of hard work and sacrifice by our membership. God was with us in Name and Spirit and we now were blessed with a beautiful and wonderful church and school. The cost of this unit was approximately $300,000, and again it shows what a congregation can do when moved by the Holy Spirit.
From time to time since the dedication, additional projects were completed such as blacktopping school play ground and parking area, adding a public address system, landscaping the church and school grounds and tiling of basement and gym.
In October of 1957, the stained glass chancel window of the Rising Christ was dedicated and more recently the church was redecorated and a new roof was placed on the church.
The Lord has continued to favor our school and we presently have four teachers — two men teachers on a permanent basis and two lady teachers. Mr. Werner Roekle is the present principal and has headed the school since 1959. Mr. Paul Willems joined the staff in 1964 along with Mrs. Lois Willems and Miss Judith Sieker. We feel that presently we hove a highly qualified school to “feed His lambs.”
1964 saw the congregation celebrate 20 years of faithful service by Reverend W. F. Zink and a full house turned out to honor our pastor. The Lord surely blessed both Reverend Zink’s work and Immanuel Congregation during those twenty years as one can see from this history.
The year also was a year of sadness as Reverend Zink accepted a call to Coleman, Wisconsin. He left January 31, 1965, completing 21 eventful years in Kewaunee.
Pastor Floyd Mattek of Emanuel’s, Kohlberg, was appointed vacancy pastor. This is the second time that Pastor Mattek served our congregation. He previously served as a teacher and principal of our day school 1941-1947.
Stained glass windows ordered in 1964 at a cost exceeding $12,000 as a thank offering for our centennial, arrived during the vacancy and were installed in April.
A generous member of our congregation willed his entire estate to our congregation except for certain bequests. With these funds available the congregation voted during the vacancy to build a five bedroom parsonage on the northeast corner of the church lot. Plans are being readied and building will begin as soon as feasible. The home will be in a style to harmonize with the church and school building.
At this point mention must be made that our congregation received many other very fine and welcome gifts and bequests for which we are eternally grateful. The donors are reassured that they were used well to further the kingdom of our Savior.
In May of 1965, the Lord heard our Prayers and Pastor A. W. Tiefel of Bethel in Menasha accepted our joint call with St. Peter’s of Carlton.
Pastor Tiefel was installed June 27, 1965. His first year has been a busy one as the dedication of the stained glass windows was held on Aug. 15, 1965 and both St. Peter’s and Immanuel’s are celebrating the 100th anniversary of God’s Grace this year.
A few statistics of our 100th year may be of interest. We started 1965 with 204 voting members, 545 communicant members and a total of 776 souls. The budget for our current year was set at $44,850.00. Our Christian Day School enrollment contains the names of 99 students.
Abridged and condensed from “History of the first 75 years”, Compiled and written by Rev. W.A. Kuether Pastor of Immanuel 1929 – 1943 (edited by E. Holub)