St. Paul’s Lutheran Church celebrates 100 years

Many members, former members and families gathered last Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to commemorate 100 years of service to the Milaca area.

Those in attendance were treated to a picnic dinner, followed by a performance from the Alzen Family Gospel group. Former member Marlin Harris and Marvin Blaske, former pastor, spoke at the event.

Current pastor Rev. Harvey Johnson sits with the children as he gives them the childrens message.  Photo provided

Current pastor Rev. Harvey Johnson sits with the children as he gives them the childrens message.
Photo provided

Kids played in a inflatable bouncy castle, and memorabilia such as mugs, beverage glasses and tote bags were given away and sold.

Timothy Schaeckel, who will be ordained as pastor on Aug. 3, attended. Harvey Johnson is the current pastor serving St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s began in 1914 with help from Frank Dranselka and the Rev. Martin Hauser, of Foley. Services began in 1915, and were conducted either in the Norwegian Lutheran Church or at members’ homes.

The Rev. Edward Nauss became the first pastor of the church. In 1917 the group purchased the Norwegian church, or “Little White Church,” as it became known.

After decades of a strong congregation, Blaske joined the church as pastor in 1957.

In 1964 the “Little White Church” was sold for $4,000. A new church was built not far from the old church. By 1972 there were 240 baptized members of the church.

A new edition on the east side of the church was added in 1982 to help make a bigger entrance area.

In 1984, St. Paul’s got a new pastor in Steven Sutterer when Blaske went to Zion Lutheran Church in Princeton. Richard Hans was installed as pastor in 1988 after Sutterer moved to South Dakota.

Vernon Dorn was installed as pastor in 1998. Construction on a new church building began in 2001 after years of planning and fundraising.

The history of the church was shared with members in attendance last Sunday.

The event was concluded with an ice cream social.

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