IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

German Apostolic Church
Apostolic Christian Dunkard Church
Section 20, Marion twp.

The Apostolic Christian Dunkard Church is located on section 20. They believe in immersion, and have several peculiar tenets. The first meeting was held in Michael Garber's house, in the northeast quarter of section 30. Meetings were held in private houses until 1854, when they procured a preacher from the old country, Christian Bowman. He served until January, 1870, when he died. The congregation have built a substantial stone church, 28 x 40 feet, at a cost of $1,600. The membership includes thirty families. The present pastor is Rev. Jacob Raugg.

~History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882; Chapter 34, Marion twp., page 928


Elgin Apostolic
Of Swiss Descent, Members Still Practice Age-Old Customs

by Irene Kiple

Elgin - The Apostolic church located four miles east of Elgin, is one of the most unusual churches in Iowa. Members of its congregation are all of Swiss descent, and most of them are operators of neat farms, which are located near the church. Many of the church's older members still speak the language of their European ancestors.

Part of the church was built in 1866. The frame structure in it was erected in 1897. Sheds, which were built close to the church to house horse teams, still stand today, although they haven't been used for many years. A platform, built to help members of the congregation get out of wagons, also still stands.

Each Sunday church members hold all-day services, with the noon meal prepared by a different family each week. The meal usually consists of bread, butter, jelly and coffee.

While attending services, men and women sit on opposite sides of the church. In the past, women wore only plain, dark dresses with aprons and bonnets. Their hair was worn parted in the middle and bound tightly to the back of the head. Men, who don't wear neckties, are not allowed to grow mustaches but may grow beards if they wish.

Ministers of the Apostolic church are not ordained and receive no salary for their services. Usually an outside minister takes charge of a wedding or funeral. The late Jacob Gehring, who was 96 when he died, served as minister of the church for more than 40 years. His son, Jacob Gehring, Jr., Emil Moore and George Metzger are serving the church at present.

~Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 25, 1949
~contributed by S. Ferrall


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