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North Grove (Zion) Evangelical Church
Mailing Address: 10384 Coffman Rd., Forreston, IL 61030-9404

Location actually in Maryland Twp.

For more information contact: Pastor Dave Boehner

Click here for photos and surname index of church cemetery


History of North Grove (Zion) Evangelical Church

The history of North Grove Church as an organized congregation officially began on October 20, 1860, however several families came to this area about 1845 and formed a Christian fellowship. These families came from the state of Maryland. The name - North Grove - seems to have been given to the area because it was the northern most timber land in Ogle County, Maryland Township.

The Coffman family was the first to locate in this area. They built their first log cabin in 1840.

In the next years after Ogle County had been opened for settlement, these first families wrote to their family and friends in Lippe-Detmold, Germany encouraging them to move here. Among the early families who came were the Fosha, Kaney, Schure, Korf, Kilker, Brockmeier, Moring, Paul, Runte, Stukenberg, Tadtman, Vietmeier and Zumdahl families.

The little group of Lippurs - so called because of the area they came from and the dialect they spoke - soon grew and prospered. One of the main reasons for the exodus from Germany at this time was the unsettled political situation there and the compulsory military service.

The little group had not only a common bond of language, origin, thrift, and energy but all had a deep interest in the church. In the early days they were served by a pastor from Freeport. The services were first held in the home of a Kaney family and later in the Green Prairie school house. The Rev. W. Kampmeier succeeded in uniting the congregation in Adeline and North Grove congregation into one charge and on October 20, 1860, both churches subscribed to the Constitution of the German Evangelical Synod of North America. Mr. Fredrick Moring attended a conference in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1862 and at this time the congregation was officially accepted into the denomination.

At the same time that the congregation was organized the members decided to construct a church building. The land for the building was purchased from the Schure family for $50.00 and a promise to keep up the fences around the land. Construction was begun in the summer of 1861. The stone for the building was quarried near Adeline on the banks of Leaf River, on land which was later owned by Earl Gesin. The stone was hauled in carts drawn by oxen or horses and most of the work on the building was done by members. This project cost a total of $2,745.00, part of which was raised by assessing each household a certain amount of money for each 80 acres owned.. This practice of assignment was used for the building of the parsonage and for the school house on the church grounds. The church was dedicated on February 19, 1862.

The Rev. Wm. Jung was the first pastor, he resided in Adeline until later moving to Forreston. His annual salary was $300.00 plus house rent.


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