Tripp County, South Dakota
Wewela Community Congregation Church
Wewela Community Congregational church was dedicated at services Sunday. The occasion was significant in that the new house of worship was the product of labor and money contributed by many people of the neighborhood. And it also was a historic event. It marked the completion of the first building ever to be constructed in Wewela for use solely as a church since the town came into being in 1909.
Two services were held during the day including the Act of Dedication in the morning. Prayer of Dedication was brought by Dr. Ralph J. Hoffman, superintendent of the South Dakota Congregational churches. Dinner was served in the church basement.
The congregation was first organized in 1911 with first meetings held in a schoolhouse. Difficult times were encountered from 1913 to 1920 and work came to a standstill.
On September 5, 1920, a re-organization took places. Charter members numbered 21. A strong Ladies Aid was formed and through the group's efforts, enough money was earned to purchase and furnish an empty building as a church in the fall of 1927. The building had formerly been used as a saloon in the early days and served in other capacities such as a school and for recreation. The ladies' organization is credited with providing a place of worship in the 20's and 30's.
In 1950 a young Ladies Aid was formed and made a better church building their project. In 1956 the church building was sold, proceeds put in a building fund and services held in the school.
On September 23, 1956, the cornerstone for a new church was laid.
Of interest is the fact that of the 58 babies baptized during the history of the congregation, Dick Richey was the first, Mr. Richey now a member of the board of trustees, is shown in the center of the top photo with other members of the board, Ed Musilek, left, and Donald Turnquist.
The bottom picture is of deacons and deaconesses who were in charge of afternoon services Sunday. They are, left to right, Oscar Smith, Mrs. Oscar Turnquist, Mrs. Vernon Jamison and husband. Rev. Arnold Brown of Wood is the present pastor.
[Winner Advocate, Winner, SD, Published 29 August 1957}
Submitted by the Tripp County Historical Society