George, Iowa

1890 —— 1996

In 1889, the Methodist Church in George was organized and was served by Rev. J. Cole and Mrs. M. D. Wheeler. In 1890, the present church building was constructed. This was the first church building to be built in the city of George. However, this was not the beginning of the congregation of 1996.

This congregation was organized as the result of a revival conducted in 1890 by Rev. H. Borchardt who was an Evangelical minister and circuit rider. During these meetings around 30 families were converted and church congregation resulted, holding their services in the original school house which was located in what is now Siebring City Park in the south end of town.

Among the charter members were Folkert and Tytje Sudenga, George and John Sudenga, Eilert and Siebenna Wibben, Jake and Anna Busker, Mrs. Peter Folkens, Mike Zimmer, Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Behrends and John Meyerhoff, who later became an ordained minister and returned in 1910 to serve four years in his home church.

This early church was a George Mission Church of the Evangelical Church. At the first conference, F. Tholen and E. Wibben were elected stewarts. The pastor received a salary of $225.00 annually and the local church paid $140.00 of this.

In 1892, a resolution was passed to erect a church on lots 13 and 14, Block 32, George OP on the corner of Calumet Avenue and South Baldwin Street. It was a 30 by 50 foot frame building with a bell tower and bell, costing $1350.00 The church was dedicated September 16, 1893 as the Zion Evangelical Church. The personage had been built in 1890 and located just north of the new church building.

During the pastorate of Rev. Karl Kaupp, the Methodist Church congregation disbanded and offered their building for sale. Conference records of December 18, 1915 records the purchase of the present site. The building was moved several feet north and full basement was built. The bell from the old Zion Church was brought to the new building and since it was so large and heavy, the original tower was rebuilt to accommodate it. The business men of the community contributed to this because the bell served early George as the fire alarm. This bell still exists in this bell tower. At this time the name was changed to Trinity Evangelical Church. A new parsonage was built in 1921 , three blocks east of the new church.

It should be mentioned here that the Evangelical Church and the Methodist Church have always shared mutual and similar beliefs. Since the Methodist Church was an English speaking church, the Evangelical Church might be considered a break from the Methodists in order to minister to German speaking people in the United States. This English/German difference was true in George. Because of this, a number of the Evangelical young people attended the English speaking Sunday School at the Methodist Church rather than stay for the German speaking service.

The Women’s Missionary Society was organized in 1915 under the direction of Rev, and Mrs. Kaupp. Mrs. A. P. (Ivy) Meyers served as the first president.

Prominent families in the early church history were Raker, Bruns, Reints, Boom, Brunsma, Johnson, Schmidt, Meyers, Moody, Smid, Freerks, Snuttjer, Jansen, Lucas, Sudenga, Rypkema, Siebring, Starr and Ripley.

On October 24—26, 1941, the church celebrated its fiftieth year anniversary under the direction of Rev. W. C. McKinley.

Sunday School was started in 190 and George Sudenga served as the first superintendent. The Sunday School was an important part of the spiritual growth of the congregation. A number of faithful teachers gave of themselves through the years. Appreciation and thanks is given to all of them. The Sunday School picnics in June, down at the park will also not be forgotten.

There were scheduled activities for all ages including Cradle Roll, Little Heralds, Mission Band, Youth Fellowship, Women's Missionary Society, Kome Two and Home Builders and Men's Breakfasts.

Music has played an important part in the life of the church. An active choir and, from time to time, an orchestra supplied our music ministry. There were also a number of small musical groups. For a number of years, Floyd Sudenga served as the faithful choir director often using his music creativity to produce mini—programs for services, as well as presenting cantatas. "The Singing Gospel Four” did much traveling, ministering in a number of churches in an extended area. This quartet with some changing members ministered once a month at the Sioux City Mission for over 50 years. In 1946 the church decided to purchase an organ and in one Sunday enough money and pledges were raised to purchase a Hammond Organ which has served the congregation for 50 years. The first organists were Alice King Harms and Theresa Smid, who served as pianist and organist for 60 plus years.

Also in 1946, the Evangelical Church as a denomination merged with the United Brethren Church in Christ. The local church became known as the Trinity Evangelical United Brethren Church.

By 1950 there was a need for remodeling and enlarging the facilities. An addition was made to the north making a new chancel with an additional Sunday school room downstairs. A new kitchen and a pastor's study were put in and a new main entrance was built. Rev. A. W. Dumke directed this work. This was dedicated on September 23, 1951. Included in this was a 60th anniversary celebration.

In 1968, another denomination merger between the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church resulted in a name change to the Evangelical United Methodist Church (EUM).

As the result of church revivals and special services, a number of George young people began their spiritual journey through salvation and personal acceptance of Jesus as Savior and went out from the community to serve the Lord in various capacities including pastors, overseas missionaries, and other Christian organizational staff persons. Those who stayed home had a community outreach through neighbor helping neighbor, Good Will annual collection drive, volunteering in various local organizations, supporting overseas missions and involvement in Gideons.

The church has always been a small church, but it has been a lighthouse in the community during its 106 years of service. The heritage laid by the founders with the help of the Lord has served as a good foundation. The church has stood for the authority of God’s Word, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit. The members have attempted to be servants serving the Lord to the best of their ability, showing forth the love of God in their lives. Most important of all is the realization that God provided salvation through Jesus. The acceptance of this provision—— the shedding of Jesus’ blood to cover our sins——has led to a personal relationship with God and because of this relationship, God has promised a wonderful hope-—the hope and assurance of eternal life with God in heaven.

On Sunday, April 14, 1996, Evangelical United Methodist Church will disband after the worship service and fellowship around the communion table. However, this is not the end. The members of the congregation will now move to a new ministry or service wherever God may lead.

We thank the Lord for following us to be a part of the community of George and also to have been able to serve this community. "TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE.”

Those who have served as ministers of this congregation:

1890 H. Borchardt
1891 J.H. Mayne
1892 C.A. Maerz
1896 J. Sass
1898 K. Kaupp
1900 F. Jerger
1902 J.M. DeWall, Sr.
1902 J. Borkhardt
1903 C.A. Naerz
1906 F.A. Frase
1907 J.H. Mayne
1910 John Meyerhoff
1914 Karl Kaupp
1918 Earl Secrist
1919 Thomas Koch
1920 J.H. Wackerbarth
1924 L.T. Olson
1927 A. S. Beckman
1930 W. F. Ellerbeck
1934 C. G. Zeigler
1941 W. C. McKinley
1948 A. W. Dumke
1952 Amos Walker
1955 Robert John
1963 Clifford Kile
1967 Bert Hulsing
1972 Wnlter Phelps
1978 Russ Burnett
1982 Leslie Calhoun
1983 Don Nelson
1987 W. K. Hamann
1991 Charles Tefft
1995 Daniel Jenks

Transcribed by Roseanna Zehner

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