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ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH OF MISSION VALLEY

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History of Zion Lutheran Church of Mission Valley

     

In approximately 1899 services were held in homes of families in Mission Valley by Pastor Kuelps of Arneckeville.  This practice was continued by Pastor Herzig, Pastor Rapp and Pastor Gerstmann (Meyersville) until 1908, when Pastor Bergner began holding services in the Mission Valley school house as well as in family homes.  Services by Pastor Bergner were conducted mostly in German. Records in the Gisler and Schaefer Store indicate the first financial entry for the Lutheran Church was June 1, 1911.  Then on July 1, 1914 the Sunday School was organized.

 Zion Lutheran Church of Mission Valley was established in the immediate vicinity of the present church by 10 families officially released by Zion Lutheran Church of Arneckeville (the parent congregation), and four other families of the Mission Valley area.  The official organizational date was the first Sunday in August 1915.  In 1917 the congregation was received into the First Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The newly formed congregation continued to meet in the old school house.

 Then, in 1918 the DeWitt Council of Defense forced the church to have all services in English.  The first Confirmation class to be instructed and confirmed in English was in 1924. The Luther League (youth organization) was organized on June 20, 1926.

 On July 13, 1924 a new church building was dedicated on land donated by John L. Gisler.  Shortly afterwards the Ladies Aid was organized.  The congregation continued to be served by Pastor Bergner in connection with the Arneckeville congregation.  Pastor Bergner also built the altar for the new church.  He continued to be minister for Zion Lutheran Church until January 1925. By God's grace and Spirit, Zion Lutheranís congregation continued to grow. 

 Additional church property was purchased in 1934, and in 1936 a parsonage fund was begun.  The F.L. Gisler home was purchased on January 16, 1938 to be used as a parsonage.  At this time, a decision was made to have a full-time pastor for Zion Lutheranís congregation. Pastor Kramer was installed on May 8, 1938 as the church's first full-time pastor.  The parsonage was also dedicated on this date.

 A kitchen was built next to the church in 1939. A government surplus building (barracks) was purchased and converted into a Parish Hall in 1952. The Altar Guild was organized in 1964, and the American Lutheran Church Women in the early 1960ís.

 The present Sanctuary was built in 1968 and dedicated to the glory of God on Sunday, November 3, 1968. Pastor Burnett was serving at that time. A brick parsonage was built in 1972 and Pastor Tesch and his family were the first to reside in it. An Educational Building was formed by two subsequent additions (1977 & 1982) that tied into the pre-existing barracks building. A transept to the Sanctuary was completed in 1993. The newly constructed Fellowship Hall/Educational Building was dedicated on December 27, 2015.   

 Zion converted from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of American (ELCA) to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) on August 22, 2010. Spiritual growth of the church is evidenced by today's membership of over 300 baptized members.  The membership represents a wide area, which includes Victoria, DeWitt, and Goliad Counties.

 

 

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