Church: Humbird United Church of Christ (75th - 1975)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Dalmus, Schumacher, Bryner, Laffe, Theiler, Marty, Michael, Eisenhart, Schroer, Babler, Schmid, Menger, Weidler, Botts, Stucki, Grether, Hauser, Fritzmeier, Burt, Dechant, Hohmann, Kluge, Srether, Hartmen, Serr, Stockmeier, Walker, Lura, Kirkpatrick
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 10/02/1975
Humbird United Church of Christ (75th Anniversary – 12 October 1975)
The Humbird United Church of Christ will observe its 75th anniversary Sunday, Oct. 12.
Early records of the church were compiled for a publication for the Golden Jubilee held October 8, 1950, the history for the past 25 years has been gathered by a committee and will be compiled with the first booklet and printed in time for the celebration in October.
The congregation traces its beginning to 1899, when a Rev. Dalmus of Stratford conducted pastoral duties here. The constitution was adopted and the congregation formally established December 1900, with 14 communicant members.
They were: John, Maria and Ernst Schumacher, John and Katharine Bryner, George and Elisa Laffe, Frederick and Elise Theiler, Gottlieb and Bertha Marty, John Michael and Jacob and Elise Eisenhart.
On Dec. 30, 1900, the first meeting of the newly formed congregation was held at the home of Gottlieb Marty. The first officers elected were: John Schumacher and John Bryner, elders; and John Michael and Gottlieb Marty, senior deacons.
The consistory, at its first regular meeting, elected Gottlieb Marty, secretary and John Michael, treasurer.
In June 1901, the congregation was officially accepted as a member of the Sheboygan Classis and became a part of the Reformed Church of America. The pastor, Rev. H. W. Schroer, received a salary of $50 per year.
The church sought to serve the Swiss and German people of the Humbird area, and services were conducted in the German language.
Recorded firsts in the congregation are first marriage ceremony, Dec. 26, 1901, uniting Elizabeth Bryner and Vincez Babler.
First baptismal services included a group of nine children, five of whom were members of the Bryner family of Humbird, and four Rhyner children of Hewittville.
Frist confirmation class consisted of John and Anna Bryner, and they were confirmed April 7, 1907.
The first funeral service was for Mrs. Marie Schumacher, on April 27, 1908.
All services were performed by the Rev. H. W. Schroer.
During the summer of 1907 the congregation bought the church building they had been renting for their worship services from the Humbird Seventh Day Adventists. At the same time, they purchased the land where the present structure is located at the foot of Humbird Bluff.
The cornerstone for the new church edifice was laid on September 4, 1913.
Excerpts from the Humbird Enterprise of March 21, 1914, note: “The dedication took place on March 15, 1914, beginning at 9 o’clock Sunday morning at the old building. After bidding farewell to the old home, the congregation proceeded to the new edifice.”
“Here the Rev. H. G. Schmid dedicated the church, ‘German Reformed Church of St. John.’”
The construction of the cement block church was completed at a cost of approximately $4,500, of which all but $1,000 was paid at the time of the dedication.
The Ladies Aid, known as the Frauen Verein, paid for the pulpit, pulpit chair, pulpit Bible, carpeting, window shades, furnace and a 1,200 pound bell, all of which were purchased at the cost of $583. The ladies raised the money by holding monthly food sales.
The congregation was supplied with a pastor from the Stratford church until 1910, when the Sheboygan Classis granted permission for Humbird and Neillsville to separate. Services were held every Sunday afternoon thereafter.
Prior to this, services were held once a month then every third Sunday.
Humbird did not have a resident minister until 1926, when a call was extended to the Rev. F. F. Menger. A parsonage was purchased just south of the church that year and burned in 1950.
During the 1930s, while the Rev. Victor D. Weidler served, the German Language was discontinued, and worship services were conducted in English.
In the early 1950s the church name was officially changed to St. John’s Reformed and Evangelical. The name was again changed in 1962, when it became St. John’s United Church of Christ.
St. John’s congregation found it difficult to secure resident ministers and after a period of years with supply pastors, joined with the Humbird and Fairchild United Methodist churches in 1969 to form a three point charge. The Rev. Otas Botts of Fairchild is the present pastor.
Pastors who have served the congregation since it began in 1900 have been: H.W. Schroer, Jacob Stucki, H. G. Schmid, J. G. Schmid, David Grether, Calet Hauser, E.F. Menger, Victor D. Weidler, William Fritzmeier, Harold M. Burt, N. J. Dechant, George Hohmann, Ralph Kluge, Benjamin Stucki, Jacob Grether, Herman Hartmen, Carl Serr, Otto Stockmeier, Ralph Walker, Wayne Lura and Harold Kirkpatrick.
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