United Church of Christ
History from the Pomeroy Centennial 1870 - 1970
On February 1, 1879 the following men met to organize a congregation. Their determination to establish a church is of sufficient importance to record their names: John Breiholz, H. Albrecht, H. W. Behrens, J. J. Heide, A. Linde, Claus Holtorf, William Knoke, Hans Holst, Carsten Holtorf, Christian Hoppe, August Prange, Amandres Zieman, John Spiess, Fred Mathies, Henry Becker, John Reimers and Jurgen Spiess.
A constitution was adopted at a meeting held on May 15, 1879. The name chosen was the Evangelical Lutheran Church and Reverend M. During, a minister of the Wartburg Synod, was elected and installed as the first resident pastor in Pomeroy. On March 21, 1880, he confirmed the first class made up of the following members: John Albrecht, Henry Hellmich, Emille Hellmich, Emma Albrecht, John Werth, Anna Albrecht and Eliza Becker.
It was during Pastor W. Schutzke's pastorate the Articles of Incorporation of the congregation were filed in Calhoun County, on March 6, 1883. The first church building was damaged by the tornado July 6, 1893. It was used as a temporary shelter to care for the injured. By September the sanctuary was again ready for regular services.
In 1893 the congregation was received into membership of the Evangelical Synod North America at Kahoka, Missouri. The church name then became First Evangelical Church of Pomeroy.
During WWI trouble occurred as it did in many other parts of the country because the use of the German language was considered to be non-American. Hysteria reached the point that the church building was destroyed by fire on the night of December 31, 1917. The present church was dedicated in May, 1919.
A merger of the Evangelical Synod of North American with the Reformed Church, in 1934, gave the church the new name of Evangelical and Reformed Church. A yoked parish was established between Pomeroy First United Church of Christ and the Fonda United Church of Christ in 1967.
Reverand and Mrs. August Bock worked diligently from the fall of 1968 to the spring of 1969, translating into English the first fifty-two years of the church records and minutes which had originally been recorded in German.
Special services to the church include those of Mr. Henry Janssen who gave twenty-three years as custodian of the church and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kroske who have and are serving as custodians since 1953.
Mr. Fred Heide, tenor, a member of the choir, has sung in the choir for sixty years. Mrs. Tena Aden is the only living charter member of the Women's Fellowship (Ladies Aid Society).
Pastors serving this church were:
- W. Schutzke 1883
- G. Merschroth 1883-1885
- Reverend Janssen and Henry Kunz served consecutively during 1883 through 1897.
- Reverend W. Wetzeler
- Reverend R. Lorenz 1920-1922
- Reverend Fred H. Dollefeld 1938-1943
- Reverend Ernst Nussmann 1943-1951
- Pastor Harold L. Behle 1951-1956
- Reverend August Bock
- Reverend Paul Otto 1957
- Reverend Donald Gibson and Rev. Herbert Kelley of Fonda served as supply pastors respectively.
- Reverend Paul Niedermeyer served as pastor during September 1958, until he retired in 1964. His sudden death came on his way home from a visit to Pomeroy in 1965.
- Reverend John Nore served during 1964.
- Reverend Alfred Yungschlager came in March, 1966 and served until his death in Nov. 1966.
- Reverend John Christy of the United Church of Christ and Fonda United Church of Christ in 1967.
- Reverend August Bock 1968-1969.
- Reverend William Imes 1969-present