Star Prairie Baptist Church

Star Prairie Sunday School was organized in 1911 by a Methodist minister, Rev. Lane. Nelson's, Murray's, Keszler's, Hansen's and other were among the people who attended. Mrs. J. P. Hansen was the first Sunday School superintendent and Carl Keszler was the first Sunday School teacher.

The members came from different denominations so Star Prairie was pretty much an Interdenominational Sunday School.

In 1920 members of the South Crystal Springs Sunday School including Schaer's, Meyer's, Berry's and Mrs. Underwood joined the Star Prairie group who were meeting in the North West Star Prairie School House. Their minister was Rev. Keepers, who lived in Carter and served the Carter Church.

When Rev. Keepers moved, about 1925, the group asked Rev. Wold from Witten, SD, to stop by and preach as he went to Keyapaha. These services were held about every other Sunday afternoon. Rev. Wold continued to serve until he retired in 1944 due to failing health. Many remember the big tent he would bring down for special meetings.

Over the years this Sunday school had a great influence on young people, bringing them to Christ. In 1928, a young peoples' group, with Carl Keszler as sponsor, was organized and was active for many years. Vacation Bible School has also been a project of the Sunday School.

In 1945 we purchased a school house north of Carter that Henry Wentz had located for us, and moved it to the location on a north east corner of the Carl Keszler farm. Curtis Gatson came by to candidate and had the dedication of the corner stone June 18, 1945.

Rev. Gatson continued to serve us many years, even through this time we were still a missionary church with assistance from the American Baptist denomination. In 1945 we organized into a church and adopted a constitution and had a preaching ministry every Sunday.

Pastors Howard Remmick, David Lydeeker, Harley Henderson, David Stratton and Francis Hubbel were later ministers.

Star Prairie celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Sunday School in 1981. With rural population declining and many young people leaving the community, attendance dropped. However, many people continued to be influenced by the Sunday School. On June 3rd, 1984, the doors were closed with a special service and in 1992 the church building was sold to replace the 100 year old historical Ascension Chapel.

Information from Viola Keszler

Picture and information courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives

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