Church: Withee – Nazareth Lutheran (75th Anniversary – 1968)
Surnames: Nielsen, Knudsen, Matson, Laird, Mikelsen, Holst, Frost
---------Source: OWEN ENTERPRISE (Owen, Clark County, Wis.) 03 Oct 1968
The congregation of Nazareth Lutheran Church at Withee (Clark Co., Wis.) celebrated its 75th anniversary on Sunday, September 29, 1968. Taking part in the services commemorating the adoption of the first constitution on October 4, 1893 were two of 'Nazareth's' former pastors, the Rev. W. Clayton Nielsen of Omaha, Nebraska, and the Rev. Beryl M. Knudsen of Des Moines, Iowa. The preacher at the well-attended morning service was the Rev. T.E. Matson of Milwaukee, President of the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, of which Nazareth is member.
A delicious ham dinner was served to the congregation in the assembly hall at noon by the women of the church, following which the visiting former pastors spoke at an informal afternoon program. Nazareth's choir, for the occasion in new gowns, sang at both the morning serving and the afternoon program.
Greetings read to the assembled members and friends included those from former pastors who were unable to return to Withee for the anniversary observance. Pastor M. Mikelsen of Minneapolis and Pastor Jens A Holst of Aurora, Nebraska. A personal letter of greeting to the congregation was also received from the Honorable Melvin R. Laird.
The present congregation at Nazareth is linked with the original group of founders in the person of Alfred Frost, whose name is the first one recorded in the baptismal records. Addressing the afternoon gathering, Mrs. Frost said, "As a boy I was impressed by the seriousness the pioneers felt for their church and its future…In cold, rain of bad roads we got to church somehow. Is that old fashioned now?" His expression of gratitude to God for the blessings of the past and his hopes and prayers for the congregation's future life and effectiveness well summed up the purpose of the anniversary celebration.
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