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St. John Church of Ixonia
to Observe 75th Anniversary
Oconomowoc Enterprise, 06 04 1953
St. Johnís Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ixonia will observe its 75th anniversary at special services next Sunday, June 7.
The jubilee observance will consist of three services, one in the morning, afternoon and evening.
The Rev. Walter Krueger of Friesland, Wisconsin will conduct the morning service at 9 oíclock which will consist of a Holy Communion service.
The afternoon service is scheduled at 2:30 oíclock with the Rev. Martin Stern officiating.† The confirmation class will have a class reunion at this time.
The jubilee evening service and congregational reunion, will be at 8 oíclock and the Rev. Gerhardt Albrecht of Tomah will be in charge.
A male choir from Northwestern College, Watertown, will sing for the services.
Organized In 1878
St. Johnís Church, which belongs to the Wisconsin Synod, was organized back in January of 1878 by a number of Lutherans from the Ionia area.† The charter members were Herman Eppler, August Timmel, John Lindemann, Wilhelm Kieck, Herman Backhaus, August Kieck, Carl Kieck, Wilhelm Ehrke, Ferdinand Pasewald, Michael Holzhueter, Carl Tietz, Heinrich Tietz,Carl Rohloff, Ferdinand Rohloff, Ferdinand Schilberg, Johann Sell, Daniel Bauman, Wilhelm Koeppler, August Streig, Carl Streig, Wilhelm Will, Frau Tena Ladewig, Eduart Diebel and Frau Amelia Kosch.
The church acquired the present sits of land shortly afterwards from August Timmel and his wife for $25 and proceeded to erect the church structure.† It was under the leadership and guidance of Rev. A. Siegler of St. Paulís Congregation of the town of Ixonia.
St. Matthewís of the town of† ????non, that the congregation was formed.† Services were conducted every two weeks by the pastor, since he had two other charges.
When Rev. Siegler went to Columbus in 1882, Rev. Ph. Brenner came to St. Johnís.† He was succeeded in 1887 by Rev. P. Christian Roeck who served the congregation until his death in 1894.† A monument in his memory bought by the three congregations marks the grave in St. Paulís Cemetery.
School Built In 1990
Then came Rev. Julius Haase, during whose pastorship, the church school was constructed on land north of the church.† The school building was dedicated in April of 1900.† Albert Roeck, son of a former pastor, became the first parttime teacher in the new school.
Succeeding Rev. Haase in 1907 was Candidate Fred Kammholz who served until March of 1911.† Rev. J. B. Bernthal of Oakwood, Wisconsin became pastor of St. Johnís in May of 1911.† By that time the congregation had grown substantially, and it became a self supporting parish.† Property was purchased next to the church for $100 on which to build a parsonage.
On August 8, 1915, Candidate Herman Klingbiel from the seminary at Wauwatosa was installed as the first resident pastor.† He occupied the newly built parsonage after it was dedicated Sept. 26 that fall.
In 1917, Rev. Ernest Schoenicke came to St. Johnís and remained until the spring of 1925.During that time, a basement was placed under the church and the chancel was added.
English Services Begin
The next pastor was Rev. Christian Sauer who came from Juneau and was well known in church circles.† He was installed May 24, 1925.† On Feb. 21, a resolution granted permission to have English services once a month.† Electric lights were installed in the church and parsonage.† After shepherding the parish for nearly 11 years and after being in the ministry for 55 years, Rev. Sauer retired and lived at Watertown.
In September of 1936, the Sunday school was begun when Rev. Walter Krueger was pastor.† The present English constitution was adopted in 1937 and in February of that year the renovation of the inside of the church was begun.
The congregation became a member of the Wisconsin Synod in the year 1940, when Rev. Gerhardt began his pastoral work in Ixonia.† In 1944, extensive repairs were made on the parsonage.† An electric organ was given in memory of Louis and Emilie Timmel by their children.
The Rev. M.F. Stern, present pastor came to St. Johnís in 1945.† The following year Cathedral opalescent glass was placed in the church windows as a gift from Fred Tietz and his wife.† Repairs and improvements have been made on the property since that time in preparation for this anniversary celebration.
An entire Sudbury Altar set has been purchased with the contributions of the members.† It consists of a 24 inch cross, candle holders, vases, candelabra and altar linen.† A new chalice for the communion set, a new church seal and a guest book were purchased by the Sunday school.
Since the congregation was formed, there have been 337 baptisms; 90 marriages; 286 confirmations and 125 burials.
St. John's Evangelical 125th
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ixonia celebrated its 125th anniversary on January 26, 2003.† The church is located on County Trunk F, one mile south of the village of Ixonia on the corner of Rockvale Road.
Rev. David Tetzlaff was the guest speaker at the service.† A former pastor at St: John's, he was instrumental in organizing the ladies aid, a group which has performed many valuable services for the congregation.
In addition to Tetzlaff and the Rev. Donald Swartz, the current pastor at the church, congregational members Hilbert Eppler, Ed Bankert and Rodell Mallow spoke about the development and growth of the church as they have observed it.
A special feature of the day will be a display of pictures submitted by congregation members of confirmation classes, weddings, baptisms and activities in and around the church.
Swartz is the present pastor of the congregation of 134 baptized members. The congregation is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and has been since its founding.
On Jan. 28, 1878, a number of Lutherans met at the schoolhouse of District No. 8, one mile west of the present church, and organized the congregation. Under the leadership and guidance of Pastor A. Siegler of St. Paul's of Ixonia and St. Matthew's congregation in the town of Lebanon, the congregation was formed.
Upon organization, the church acquired the land for its present site for $25. Regular Worship services were conducted every other Sunday and Siegler's salary was $130 per year. In 1915 land was purchased west of the church to build the present parsonage, with dedication on Sept. 26, 1915.
In its 125 years of existence, the congregation's membership has been made up primarily of rural families, maintaining a lifestyle that has continued since its founding.† Looking at the names of the present congregation and comparing with the original roster shows there are many identical names, although current members are the fourth and fifth generation descendants of the founders.
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ixonia observed its 125th anniversary in January. The anniversary continued to be celebrated throughout the year.
The following article on the history of the church was contributed by Ben Feld, chairman of the 125th Anniversary Committee.
Lutherans from South Ixonia organized St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in the town of Ixonia on January 28, 1878 to serve God by presenting his word in its truth and purity. †For the past 125 years, the same brick building has existed at the same location for the same purpose.
The original brick building is still being used for worship services, but over the years some changes have been made. In 1900, a school was added in a small building north of the church. †A steeple and bell were added to the front of the church in 1908. In 1915, the present parsonage was built. †Between 1917 and 1925, a basement and chancel were added to the building. †The present Fellowship Hall was added in 1970 to provide space for Sunday school, Ladies Aid and congregational meetings.
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church is more than a set of buildings that began 125 years ago. †It is a desire to worship and serve God that produced the set of buildings.† St. John's has been blessed with the services of 17 faithful pastors. †Through the efforts of these pastors, 525 souls received the sacrament of baptism; 408 individuals reaffirmed their baptismal vows by the rite of confirmation; 145 couples were united in marriage; and 174 individuals were acknowledged as entering into the Church Triumphant through the grace of God.
The 125th anniversary was observed on Jan. 26 when the morning sermon was delivered by Rev. David Tezlaff, who served as church pastor from 1958 to 1960. †After a noon meal served by the Ladies Aid, three members of the congregation recounted their memories of St. John's in the early 1920s, told about physical changes to the church property, and the decision to build the Fellowship Hall. †Tezlaff and the present pastor, Rev. Donald Schwartz, also shared their memories of a developing congregation.