Sara Le Beau.
The Rev. William Schreck came into this part of the country
in 1842 as a circuit rider, and it was under his leadership that the church
was organized. It originally was part of the Hermann Circuit; in fact, it
was the oldest church on the circuit and went by the name "Mier's Church."
The people first met in Christ Meyer's home for their services. After they
were organized, they built the first church which was a log structure. It
was situated about one-fourth mile northwest of the Meyer home on what was
known as the Weber farm. In 1853, a frame building was constructed on the
same site when their original structure became too small. Rev. W.
Kleinschmidt was the pastor at the time. This building faithfully served the
congregation until 1878.
Due to the congregation's rapid growth, a new brick
building was started in 1878 at a place called Senate Grove. The land was
purchased from Senator F. W. Pehle, who lived nearby. The 44,600 bricks were
baked on Senator Pehle's farm and were delivered to the site. The dedication
of the new building took place on May 10, 1879, during the ministry of Rev.
In 1887, the congregation, desiring a resident minister,
built a parsonage which still stands today across the road from the church.
Rev. J. Wanner was the first occupant. After 1921, it was no longer used for
this purpose and has since been occupied by caretakers of the property.
In 1891, a balcony was built to accommodate the increasing
congregation. A vestibule and bell tower were also added.
The Senate Grove-Berger charge was established in 1921,
with the minister residing in Berger. This continued until 1950 when Senate
Grove was placed in the New Haven-Senate Grove charge. The minister then
resided in New Haven.
This church was never one to stand still, but was
constantly seeking to improve itself in different ways. During the course of
time, a more modern heating plant was needed, and a wood furnace was
installed to take the place of the stove which was then in use. About this
same time, new pews were purchased to take the place of the old homemade
pews which had served the congregation so well. It also has progressed from
kerosene lamps to gasoline torches, to carbide lights, to a Delco plant, and
in 1946, REA began supplying current.
In 1939, an endowment fund was established to provide
perpetual care for the cemetery.
The congregation started the Lord's Acre Project in 1955.
During the first years this consisted of an auction of produce, livestock,
grain, baked goods, fancy work and other items. Later this was changed to an
offering taken on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, that is followed by a
large dinner. This project, along with memorial funds, has paid for
improvements and has kept the property in good repair.
In 1957, the dining hall was built, and a new church
floor was laid. An electric organ, secured in 1964, was paid for by memorial
A cloakroom and a restroom, constructed in 1971, were
funded by the building and memorial funds, as was the outside repair and
tuckpointing in 1974. New hymnals were secured in 1974 with memorial funds
and help from the W.S.C.S. Complete interior redecoration was undertaken in
1977 with building funds and financial aid from the Sunday School. The
dossal curtain was presented as a memorial by the W.S.C.S. in memory of Rev.
John Jacobsin, our pastor who departed in 1974. Also in 1977, a public
address system and new lights were secured as memorials. In 1978, the new
carpet was installed with funds from the Sunday School.
Incorporation of the church was completed in 1978.
The Special Ministries Committee elected to have a rummage
sale in the summer of 1998. Proceeds went for new paraments. Being a
success, it was decided to continue this annually and donate the money to
the building fund.
A new heating and air-conditioning system was installed in
1998. New hymnals were purchased through private donations in 1999.
In 2001, the church board felt it was time to undertake a
major renovation project in time for the 125th anniversary of the church.
Plastering, painting, and stenciling were done in the sanctuary. New
carpeting was installed and a new dossal curtain was hung. George
Gottemoeller made walnut paneling and framing for the altar and new front
doors. Wainscoting replaced older paneling on the walls.
In 2002, a new digital organ was purchased with memorial
funds. A disability access was added to the south entrance of the church,
along with new steps, sidewalk and landscaping in the front. The cloakroom,
vestibule and restroom were painted and new lighting fixtures were
Cemetery records and photographs will be added when they
are made available.