The very beginning of this congregation can be traced back to 1883 when Rev. H. Heiner of Lincoln, Nebraska, conducted services in the public school house in District No. 80 (one mile north of the present church) Rev. Heiner organized a congregation (“Deutsche Evangelische Zions Gemeinde”) on April 13, 1884, with a membership consisting of only four families (C.F.Nobbmann, Christ Nobbmann, Henry Harjehausen, and John Berg). In February of 1885, the church was reorganized and the name of the church was changed to “Deutsche Evangelisch Lutherische Zions Gemeinde”.
In the winter of 1884-1885 the congregation built its first house of worship on donated land. The church was dedicated in April 1885. The original church was only 24 feet x 48 feet and included a space of 24 feet x 14 feet on the east end of the church used as a parsonage. The cost of the entire building was $468.
On April 29, 1885, the congregation was incorporated according to the laws of the State of Nebraska. On August 15, 1897 the congregation resolved to build its first parsonage as a special favor to its Pastor, the Rev. John Gutleben, who had a large family and was exposed to many hardships in the small living quarters on the east side of the church.
On January 3, 1900 the congregation resolved to build a new, bigger church because it had already outgrown the original building. On February 24, 1928, the church built in 1900 burned completely down. On March 4, 1928 the congregation resolved to build a new church (the same size of the old church), but with some modern improvements.
Other milestones of the church:
- The church was organized as a German Church with services and language being in German. On March 28, 1928 it was agreed to use both the German and the English language. Except for an occasional German Service, the English language has been used in worship services since 1942.
- The first parsonage, built by the congregation in 1897 burned down on February 3, 1932. Then on February 28, 1932, the congregation resolved to build a new parsonage which still stands today.
- On April 29, 1928, exactly 43 years after the incorporation of the congregation, the cornerstone of the new church was laid.
- In 1972 an addition was build on the church for Sunday Schools rooms and Pastor’s study.
- In 2004, an addition was dedicated , The Nolte Center, with assembly area, Sunday School rooms, kitchen, Pastor’s study and secretary office.
- Two transept areas were built onto the nave of the church for additional seating areas. Construction was completed in May 2008.
- In April of 2010, we celebrated our 125th Anniversary of the church. Many memories were shared and our history was passed on to our congregation so they too can feel part of our great heritage.