Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by RITA
This site is exclusively for the free access of individual researchers.
* No profit may be made by any person, business or organization through publication, reproduction, presentation or links
to this site.


.Immanuel Lutheran Church.
 Submitted by Cathe Ziereis

Friday, January 11,1985   SHAWANO EVENING LEADER Page 7

A century by the grace of God...

Immanuel Lutheran Church of Route 1, Gillett, is celebrating 100 years of service

GILLETT — Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at Route 1 will observe its 100th anniversary with special worship serices during 1985. Rev. Martin Sengele will begin the celebration as the first guest speaker on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 9:45 a.m. His topic will be ''Grateful Remembrance and Joyful Response."
    Rev, Sengele came to the United 'States from the Alsace-Lorraine provlence of France, to attend Concordia College in Milwaukee, from 1921-1927. He attended the seminary in St. Louis from 1927-1929.  After he was vicated he lived in Villard Minn. from the summer of 199 to summer of 1930.
    He  returned  to  the seminary, graduated in June 1931 and accepted a call to serve Free Church congregations in Alsace. He stayed there until 1948 when he accepted a call to Browns, Ill., where he served for I8 months. He then accepted a call to this area, where he served Pulcifer
and Hintz first, and later Pulcifer and Green Valley, for 29 years.
    He retired and move to Shawano in 1974. He is married to Florence Oelstrom and they have four sons.
    Although Immanuel is observing its centennial, the beginning of the congregation dates back more than 100 years. The first records indicate that in 1875 Pastor P.H. Dlcke of the Town of Washington in Shawano County, began to conduct Lutheran services for a small group of settlers in the Town of Gillett, Oconto County.
    The first services were held in the Joseph Helmke home, according to older living members. Services were also held for a time in a school in the Town of Underbill. This was the era when settlers, searching for land suitable to homestead, pushed their way through the woods. Pastor Dicke came as often as he could to serve these early settlers, traveling on horseback through Indian trails and wilderness.
    Alter a few years, Pastor Dicke asked the people their opinion of establishing a congregation. In August 1884, a meeting was called to draw up the articles of incorporation. Then the first officers were elected. The name Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation was chosen.
    On Feb. 16,1885, it was resolved to have the articles of incorporation recorded. The new congregation continued to worship in the homes of members and in public school buildings. On March. 31, 1885, they decided to build a log church. Pastor Dlcke, who had guided the congregation from the beginning, preached the dedication service. The first parsonage was built in 1892.
    Pastor Dicke resigned from Immanuel in 1888. Eight pastors followed him in the past 100 years: Rev. Otto List, 1688-1892; Rev. John Huchthausen, 1892-1894; Rev. F. Uplegger, 1894-1898; Rev. Robert Heike, 1898-1904; Rev. David Mark Worth, 1904-1927; Rev. E.A. Wians, 1927-1947; Rev. J.R. Westphal, 1948-1973; Rev. Roger Eden, 1974-1976; Rev. Edward Steyer, 1977-1984. Presently, the congregation is in the calling process.
    The present church was erected in 1898 at a cost of $684. The old log church became the school and the new parsonage was built in 1928. In 1945 the church was completely remodeled, including raising the old structure to erect a basement. In 1909, members decided to build a new school,
     In 1921, services were given once a month in English. Before that the services were conducted in German.
     In 1955 a new entrance was added to the structure. The latest improvement was the complete redecoration of the church for the 100 anniversary.
     During the past 100 years 1336 persons were baptized at Immanuel, 1094 were confirmed, 380 were married while 542 received Christian burial.
     Immanuel congregation numbers approximately 355 baptized members, 298 communicant members and is joined in a parish arrangement with Christ Lutheran Church also of Route 1 Gillett.

Please click on each photo to go to a larger view.

Immanuel Lutheran Church - Gillett

Built in 1898, this the original look of the second church building. The original 1885 log church is at the right, and used as a school .

Immanuel Lutheran Church - Gillett

As it looked at the time this article was written in 1985, during the 100 year celebration. 

Immanuel Lutheran Church - Gillett

Built in 1885, this log church was the first for the congregation.