The 100th anniversary of St. John’s Lutheran Church will be celebrated with a number of events this weekend. The public is invited to join Lutherans during any or all of the activities.
The celebration marks 100 years since the congregation joined the Missouri Synod, a conservative denomination of the Lutheran Church, in 1916. Lutherans came to the area in the early 1900s to work in the developing beet industry. It was in the early years of the town, before the sugar factory
was built. Many Lutherans migrating to the area were of German descent. A roving missionary named Rev. Rauh, who was based in Billings, conducted the earliest worship services in private homes. The congregation later built a church building for worship in 1918 and many of the services and catechism classes were conducted in German. A service was held in German until 1962, which was about the time most of the original German-speaking church members began to pass away, according to the congregation’s current Pastor Christopher Brandt.
Karen Schutte, author of “The Ticket” and other books about the Volga Germans
will pay tribute to those early parishioners with a talk about the German/Russian migration to the Lovell area on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 2–4 p.m. in the parish hall adjacent to the church.
Dr. Robert Rosin, grandson of the Lutheran church’s first pastor (Spitz) and a scholar of the Lutheran Reformation, will share his knowledge following Shutte’s presentation.
In a tribute to the German heritage of early congregation members, brats and German beverages will be served following the presentations.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the church will hold its regular services at 10:30 a.m. A special anniversary service led by Dr. Rosin will be held later in the day
at 4 p.m., followed by a banquet for those who have previously made reservations.
By Patti Carpenter