Church: Colby - UCC (125th Anniversary - 2017)
Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Hanson, Rigert
----Source: The Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 10/27/2017
The congregation of First United Church of Christ in Colby has been celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2017. A special day of celebration is scheduled for Sunday, October 1, for friends and embers of the church.
The celebratory service will begin with the church being open at 9:30 a.m. for members and guests to view displays and watch a video slide show of past memories of the church. At 10:30 a.m. a special service of celebration will be held at the church.
The sermon for the service will be delivered by Reverend Franz Rigert, Wisconsin United Church of Christ conference minister. Special music will be provided by the Christus Choir of the congregation and communion will be served. The pastor of the church, Teri Hanson, will serve a liturgist. All are welcome to attend the service.
In October 1892, the congregation known as St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized by a number of families who sought to worship in forms familiar to them from their heritage in Europe. The organizing pastor came by train from Wausau for serviced in Colby.
The first house of worship was built on land secured on South Second Street which is the site of the present facilities. The church merged with another church located on the north end of the city in 1937 and was renamed First Evangelical and Reformed Church of Colby.
The first building was destroyed by a fire on Sunday, February 9, 1941. Eight months after the fire, a new brick structure replaced the first building and was dedicated.
In 1961, the church changed its name one last time as it joined the new United Church of Christ denomination. Additional land was purchased in 1998 and an adjoining fellowship hall was built to make the church handicap accessible.
Twenty-eight clergy has served the congregation in its 125 years of ministry. Pastor Teri has served the church since 2012.
“God continues to be gracious to us through all of our circumstances, challenges, and seasons,” Hanson said. “And I believe that God continues to invite us deeper into His presence and further into His mission and ministry as God’s hand and feet to the world.”
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