Church: Neillsville SDA Church (125th Anniversary - 2016)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Ratlinger, Schofield

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 8/03/2016

SDA Church to Celebrate 125th Anniversary August 7

By Nancy Curtin

One of the oldest churches in the area will be celebrating its 125th anniversary soon.

The Neillsville Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church is putting on an anniversary celebration Sunday, Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m. Clay Street between 4th and 5th streets will be closed during that time.

SDA head elder David Ratlinger said festivities would include two performances by the bluegrass gospel band, Family Ties, from Medford, a silent auction, a lawnmower barrel train for the young kids and a health fair. Roasted sweet corn, fresh fruit, juice and water will be available for purchase.

Family Ties will perform its first set starting about 12:30 p.m., with a second set to follow at 4 p.m.

The health fair will be available in the church basement and will include free blood sugar and blood pressure checks along with body mass screenings.

Ratlinger said proceeds from the anniversary event would toward roof renovation and exterior painting of the building. He said the bell tower, which was added in 1937, is salvageable. Prior fundraising efforts have made a significant dent in the estimated expense.

“The trouble has been finding someone willing to provide a bid to do the work,” Ratlinger said. “The design of the roof poses an extreme challenge for anyone willing to take on the task. We need to find someone who has a real heart for the history of the church and preserving it. God performs many miracles.”

While awareness of this momentous occasion occurred nearly three years ago, planning for the anniversary even t began in earnest this spring.

The building has served many congregations over the past century. Historical records reveal the Unitarian Church was the first to worship there in the 1890s. The Reformed Church took over at the turn of the century.

In later years, the church merged with the United Church of Christ. The building was then sold to the Assembly of God. The Masonic Temple then purchased the property, and eventually, it became the SDA.

Pastor David Schofield oversees SDA churches in Neillsville, Marshfield, Bethel and a home study group from Medford. He gives a sermon one Sabbath per month and on special events/occasions.

Ratlinger has been head elder for the past two and a-half years. He does most of the preaching and finds guest speakers a few times a year.

“SDA appreciates the support and generosity received from its congregation, family, friends and many local businesses who’ve donated items for the auction, food and water, time and effort,” Ratlinger said.

The Neillsville Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church is recognizing its 125th anniversary with a celebration Sunday, Aug. 7; from noon to 5 p.m. Clay Street between 4th and 5th streets will be closed during that time. (Photo by Nancy Curtin/Clark County Press)




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