Founding of Grace Lutheran Congregation
at Nasonville Follows Merger of Churches
Transcribed by Kent Alexander.
Grace Lutheran Church is the name of the new congregation in the Nasonville community, southwest of Marshfield, formed by the merger of Zion Lutheran Church, Town of Fremont, Clark County, and St. John’s Lutheran Church, Town of Lincoln, Wood County.
The Rev. Edgar Milleville, who has served the two groups since July 4, 1943, will be the first pastor of the new congregation, which is affiliated with the American Lutheran Church.
Construction of its new house of worship will be preceded by a ground-breaking service at 2:30 p.m. on Palm Sunday, April 10. The site selected is on the parish grounds a mile west of the Nasonville store, on U. S. Highway 10.
Use Community Church
The work of tearing down the original church buildings, four miles apart on the highway, has been completed and services are being held in the Nasonville Community Church on the same highway, where the first Lutheran rites were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Milleville April 3.
Because of limited space, two Sunday morning worship periods are scheduled, one at 9 and the other at 11, with Sunday School at 10 o’clock. On Good Friday three one-hour morning services will take place, beginning at 9 o’clock.
Total membership of the new congregation is listed as 500 baptized persons, of whom 350 are communicants. Of these the Fremont church had 188 and 130, respectively, with the others coming from St. John’s. Church records reveal that in the two congregations there had been 324 baptisms, 465 persons confirmed, 194 marriages, and 139 funerals.
Merger Voted March 27
The merger, tentatively agreed upon in 1947, was made effective at meetings held in the two churches March 27, when the new name was chosen by ballot. Four names had been proposed, and each group selected Grace. Each also voted in favor of the building this year, and farewell services were held in both churches on that date.
Council members of each congregation form the new council, which has named the following officers:
Reinold Ott President
Donald Braatz Vice-president
Wilbur Sanger Secretary
William Weichelt Financial secretary
William Heinrich Treasurer
Walter Seehafer Deacon
Lawrence Dix Deacon
Raymond Lindow Trustee
Harry Baumgartner Trustee
Robert Bredeman Trustee
Braatz, Sanger, Weichelt, Dix, and Baumgartner comprised the former Fremont Council.
First church in 1895
St. John’s church was built in 1895, and Zion church in 1903. Early services were conducted by pastors from Zion Church of the Ohio Synod, near Granton, better known as the Fischer Church. In 1903 the Rev. Carl Polman became the first resident pastor, the parsonage being built at Nasonville. In 1929 this was replaced by the present dwelling.
Other resident pastors were:
Rev. Henry Dageforde 1906-1907
Rev. E. Kemena 1907-1910
Rev. D. Zielsdorf 1910-1913
Rev. W. Viergutz 1914-1918
Rev. M. Stricker 1918-1921
Rev. E. A. Koch 1921-1926
Rev. R. Ploetz 1927-1928
Rev. A. G. Diemer 1928-1943
Only living charter member of St. John’s Church, so far as can be learned, is Mike Fischer, now living at Port Edwards. At least two remain of the original members of the Fremont church, Charles Kampin, Chili, and Mrs. Henry Albrecht.
Plans for the new edifice, drawn by G. A. Krasin, Marshfield architect, and accepted at the March 27 meeting, give the dimensions as 32 by 81 ˝ feet with full basement. Stone supplied by a Stevens Point firm will be used for the exterior, and lumber from the old churches will be used in the building process. The front elevation, to be surmounted by a bell cote, will be at the east end and another entrance will be placed near the west end, facing south toward the highway.
The basement, which will include a large recreation room and a kitchen, as well as other facilities, will extend 3 ˝ feet above the ground. The church auditorium will have 10 foot side walls and an open-rafter ceiling. Much of the work will be done by members of the parish, who supplied the labor for the tearing down of the old buildings.
This information is from an undated and unnamed newspaper clipping. From the obituary of Rev. Edgar Milleville – "He helped unite the two congregations into Grace Lutheran Church and was instrumental in building a new church at Nasonville in 1949."