Church: Dorchester, Peace United Church of Christ (1898 - 1973)
Surnames: BEHRING BITZER DISTELHORST EVENS GENRICH GUMZ HERMAN HOFFMAN HUNDT JAHNKE JEIDE JENSEN KALWITZ KEINATH KOLLATH LIECH LINDAU PAULOWEIT PLAGEMAN SCHARINGHAUSEN SCHMIDT SCHOENFELD TESSMER VIRCKS WOLF ZUTS
----Source: Historical Sketches of Dorchester, Wisconsin.
Dorchester, Peace UCC (1898 - 1973)
|The above photo was taken in 1902, on Avon Ave. Dorchester, Wisconsin. The Peace Church (before the steeple was added) can be seen on the right side of the street. From the Jantsch Collection.|
In the summer of 1898 the German Evangelical Synod of North America received a request from a small group of immigrants who had settled in Dorchester to provide services for them. A graduate Seminarian Paul Keinath was sent in answer to the request. Services were held in the homes. Arrangements were then made with the Swedish Lutheran Church located on the property now occupied by Mrs. Lydia Vircks.
Among early members were William Behring, Carl Liech, Frank Tessmer, Bernard Wolf, Joseph Hundt, Fred Distelhorst, Jens Jensen, Gustav Genrich, August Plageman, Frank Lindau, Frank Gumz, August Schmidt, Charles Schoenfeld, Robert Hoffman and Louis Scharinghausen.
Rev. M. F. Zuts served at the turn of the century. In 1901 Rev. P. Herman accepted the call and Peace Church then known as Friedens Kirche purchased the present site and constructed a frame building. Most of the labor and material was furnished by the members. Lumber was from native trees and pews and chancel appointments were made by artisan members of the congregation.
Rev. A. Jahnke took charge July 1, 1904 and in 1905 the frame building was covered with brick. The members of Friedens Gemeinde constructed a parsonage south of the church, also woodshed and stable. Rev. J. Bitzer served from 1913 to 1930. During his stay a joint pastorate was formed with Community Church, Medford, Wisconsin.
Rev. R. J. Kalwitz came in 1930 and served until 1936. During this time the German language was discontinued and a union with the Reformed Church took place, making it the Evangelical and Reformed
Rev. Fred Kollath came to Dorchester in 1946, serving until his death on March 7, 1964. During his time the parish hall was built and dedicated November 2, 1952 also new pews and new lighting were installed and the church was redecorated. During his pastorate the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church entered a union and the name was changed to the Peace United Church of Christ.
Rev. Hugh Evans and Rev. Joseph Jeide followed as pastors. Rev. Milton Petzold came to the parish in the fall of 1970 and is the pastor at this writing. In 1972 the congregation completely renovated the church with a new floor, wall to wall carpet, an enclosed entrance, restrooms and a cloak room.
The church has besides the council the following organizations: Women s Guild, Evening Circle, Men s Club, Youth Fellowship and Sunday Church School.
Dorchester, Wisconsin Peace United Church of Christ
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