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Congregation. Historical Sketch - 1945-1955

Ten years have passed since the writing of the historical sketch of Zion Lutheran Church for the Golden Anniversary booklet. No attempt will be made to present the complete history of the Church since its organization in 1895, but rather to dwell on the developments of the past decade.

The Twenty-third Psalm of David has been chosen as the theme for our 60th Anniversary. We humbly admit that it is only as we let ourselves be led by the Good Shepherd and walk where He would have us go, can we accomplish anything for His Kingdom. We covet no praise for what has been done realizing that all we have and are is a gift from God, and that we have given back to Him but a small part. We merely state a few facts that may be of interest in the future and as a matter of record.

We realize also that before our Diamond Jubilee arrives most of the early workers in our church will no longer be with us and it is well to honor them while they are here and to be inspired by the example they have set.

When our Golden Anniversary was observed in 1945, Pastor Carl Pontus Peterson was the Shepherd of our congregation, and he is still shepherding the flock of Zion as we pause in this year of 1955 to herald the 60th Anniversary. For thirteen years he has labored among us, making his the longest tenure of any pastor. His fine Christian spirit has made him beloved of all. We are thankful to the Heavenly Shepherd who brought Pastor Peterson through the serious illness of two years ago. It was a time of tribulation for the Pastor and his family and for our congregation. But our God, who sends times of trial and testing, led us through to greater spiritual growth and faith. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art, with me." (Psalm 23:4).

As a Congregation we wish to thank those Pastors who tended our spiritual needs during Pastor Peterson's illness, especially to Pastor Verner A. Granquist and Pastor Frank J. Carlson.

As we call the roll of Charter Members we are reminded indeed that time marches on. Only five remain to answer the roll: namely, Matt Blomquist, Mrs. John Davidson, Andrew Wickman, John Wickman, and Matt Sandstrom. (Since 1945 the following have been called from their earthly labors: John Blomquist, Alfred Anderson, Andrew Willman, John Davidson, Mrs. Anna L. Willman, Mrs. Brita Anderson, Mrs. Matt Blomquist, and Mrs. Andrew Willman.)

In 1946 Alfred Andeson submitted his resignation as Secretary of the Congregation which office he had held since the church was organized.

May the memory of these departed charter members and of others who have gone on into the Heavenly Fold be blessed among us as we who remain carry on where they started and have worked so diligently for the Church they loved.

Very recently on June 30 one of our former Pastors died at the cage of 76. Death occurred to Pastor Herman Anderson at Sioux Falls, S. Dakota. He served here the first year after his ordination and remained until September 1914.

Improvements have been made during the past decade to the church property. Shortly after the Golden Anniversary, as material was available, the interior of the Church was redecorated and the exterior painted. In 1947 a new furnace was installed in the church. Shortly after that the kitchen at the parsonage was improved by the addition of built-in cupboards and inlaid linoleum rug. A new pump was also put in.

The "old church", the annex to the Church proper, has been remodelled and decorated to provide an attractive room for the Primary Department of the Church School. Small metal chairs and kindergarten tables have been furnished.

Cupboards and a sink were added to the Church kitchen and a large gas stove. A water system and sewage disposal system were installed and rest rooms built.

This year the basement has been repainted.

More land was purchased to provide a parking place on the hill by the church.

Many of these improvements have been sponsored by the various organizations and have been made possible by the generous gifts of many individuals. It might be well to mention the "God's Acres" project of the Brotherhood which certainly has been a large factor in financing many of the improvements. Zion Lutheran thanks all who have contributed in any way to the improvement of the church property.

Our love for our Church is certainly evidenced by the care we give to the building dedicated to the worship of God.

A forward-looking step was taken at a special meeting of the Congregation July 13. At that time we decided to go ahead with plans for the building of a new parsonage located on the same side of the road as the church. Realizing this as a large project for a small country church we put our trust in the Lord as we make our plans.

Not alone for the physical aspects of the Church have we labored. To evaluate the spiritual is a more difficult task and one that only the Good Shepherd who knows His flock can truly evaluate.

Zion Lutheran has contributed $2,893 to Lutheran World Action during the past ten years. Over $400 was given to the Centennial Thank Offering Fund of our Church.

The impact of the Advance for Christ appeal upon our people was great. It was expressed in a monetary gift of $2,364.39. The effect of the calling of committees and workers for "Advance for Christ" was a great spiritual experience. We are thankful for all who gave of their time, their prayers, and their gifts to promote the cause of Missions at home and abroad. God will truly bless all who participated.

In 1949 the Church Papers were put on the Budget to bring the Lutheran Companion or Augustana into every home. An annual contribution is lifted. This weekly visitor helps us keep abreast of the work of the Church on the Synodical level and helps us realize we are a part of a larger group not just our local congregation.

In the fall of 1954 our Church participated in the Area-Evangelism program. House visitations were made by Committee members; members attended Area meetings at Fortune Lake and Norway, and many attended the evening meetings when Pastor C. Wilbur Nelson of Racine, Wisconsin brought the Word of God to us.

As we reach the 60th Anniversary of our Zion Lutheran Church it is well for us to recognize that the first and foremost task of the Church is to Evangelize. Each one who calls Jesus Christ Saviour has an obligation to reach out the hand of love to lead others into the fold of the Good Shepherd and to continually look to God for spiritual strength and courage to fulfill the ongoing program of the Church. Then like a benediction will come the closing words of our theme: "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Published in Sixtieth Anniversary Memories. 1895-1955. Zion Lutheran Church. Metropolitan, Michigan. 1955.

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