GERMAN LUTHERAN CHURCH
1874 Centerville Precinct
In 1874 the German Lutherans organized and built a church on the southeast quarter of Section 35.
1890 - 1926 Centerville Precinct
As the population increased in the Centerville Community, other churches appeared. The Highland Church was an outgrowth of the Centerville Church and administered by the preacher in charge at Centerville. For two years before the church was built, the group met in various homes and in the schoolhouse. In 1892 under the leadership of Brother F. H. Schultz, pastor of Centerville, the Highland Church was built four miles west and one mile north of Centerville. This arrangement of pastors continued until 1926 when the consolidation of the Highland Church with the Centerville and Martell Churches ended the Highland congregation. The land where the church stood soon returned to the owner as was arranged under a previous arrangement.
1868 -1926 Centerville Precinct
A group would meet occasionally for religious services during 1867 -1868 for Sunday School in the home of Julius Wittstruck. In 1868 Brother Fred Miller began preaching services in various log homes and especially in the home of Charles Krull. Later they met in the little log schoolhouse.
The next year Brother H. M. Menger came to be the preacher of this group. Under Brother Menger's leadership the Centerville Church was built in 1869 just across from the road south of where the Centerville School was later built.
In 1882, under Brother Christian Brugger, the first church was sold to William Stutheit who moved and remodeled the church for a dwelling. A new and much larger church was then built on the southwest corner of the intersection and was referred to as "Beacon of the Hill." The church was part of the West German Conference of Methodist. The sermons were in German. The parsonage of the Centerville Church was built in 1899 under the leadership of Rev. John D. Hammel.
Some of the charter members of this church were Mr. F. Soneman's mother, E. Preye, D. Krull, C. Zimmerman's father, Henry Freye's father, J. C. Miller's parents, and J. A. Sittler's parents.
In 1926 the members voted to consolidate with the churches at Highland and Martell in the building of a larger church in Martell. Under the leadership of Rev. Paul Barnes, the three congregations were consolidated to hold meetings in the Martell Community Hall until the old churches were torn down and the new one built.
Following is a list of the pastors and their years of service:
H. M. Menger, 1869
J. C. Kost
L. L. Eichenberger
Christian Brugger 1881-1884
J. G. Keller 1884-1887
F. H. Schultz 1887-1892
Gustav Becker 1892-1896
L. D. Wagner (assisted)
P. W. Mattai 1869-1898
J.D. Hammel 1898-1901
John Swink 1906-1908
Bernard Johansen 1908-1912
F. W. Bintz 1912-1916
G .J. Jaiser 1916-1922
H. A. Feldman 1922-1926
Webmaster - Kathie Harrison
Denton Community Historical Society of Nebraska