Church: Chili - Immanuel United Methodist (100th Anniv. 1983)

Contact: Kathleen E. Englebretson


Surnames: Hinebaugh, Winkowitch, Kiekhoffer, Schneider, Zimmerman, Zellmer, Betzold, Spreng, Seager, Kolander, Happe, Carlson, McCormick

----Source: Marshfield News-Herald (07 October 1983)

Immanuel United Methodist Church of Chili of which the Rev. Frank R. Hinebaugh is pastor, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding. Special services are planned for October 14th and 16th in observance of the event.

The church at chili traces its beginning to somewhere between 1879 and 1883, when a few pioneers came to the town of Fremont in Clark County and started clearing the forests to establish homes. They began having worship services in homes, then in a schoolhouse and finally in a church.

Mapleworks Church, a member of the Clark County Mission, was started in 1879 by the Rev. George Winkowitch of La Crosse Services were in the church south of Granton. The Fremont Evangelicals attended there until January 27, 1883, when the Immanuel congregation was formed.

The new congregation began conducting services in homes until the schoolhouse became a regular meeting place. Services were in German. Immanuel Evangelical was organized officially October 20, 1883. The first church building was erected in 1896 and dedicated by the Rev. G.F. Kiekhoeffer, presiding elder of the Portage District. The Chili field belonged to that district. The Rev. D. Schneider was pastor and the congregation worshiped there for 31 years.

In 1904, Immanuel was added to the Marshfield Mission, of which it was a part until 1929, when the Wisconsin Conference granted permission for the organization of the Chili Mission, with Spokeville Evangelical Church as part of the field.

The Rev. G.W. Zimmerman was the first pastor to serve this new field The Spokeville congregation was discontinued in 1937.

The present brick church was built in 1927 while the Rev. G.E. Zellmer, with the Rev. M.D. Betzold as assistant, served the Chili Mission. The church was dedicated by Bishop S.P. Spreng of Naperville, Illinois, October 16, 1927.

The 50th anniversary was observed September 13-17, 1933 with Bishop L.H. Seager of Naperville, Illinois, guest speaker. The Rev. C.H. Kolander, district superintendent, and six former pastors, along with the Rev. A.E. Happe. a son of the congregation, took part.

In 1950 there was a union with United Brethren in Christ Church, and in 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches united, forming the present Immanuel United Methodist Church.

On October 14, Pastor Hinebaugh will be in charge of a worship Communion service.

Although there will be no Sunday School October 16, there will be an event including a look at the history of the church and denomination with flimstrips. "The Founder" and "Travels on a Long Road." There will be a family worship with the district superintendent, the Rev. William E. Carlson, guest speaker. The day's festivities will continue with a carry-in fellowship dinner and a praise service with the former pastor, the Rev. Lloyd L. McCormick, guest speaker.

All friends of the church are invited.



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