Nazareth celebrates heritageOn Aug. 12, the Nazareth Congregational Church in Fredonia, N.D., honored its heritage in the tradition of the German immigrants that settled in the area.
On Aug. 12, the Nazareth Congregational Church in Fredonia, N.D., honored its heritage in the tradition of the German immigrants that settled in the area.
About 100 people attended the German service “Gott ist die Liebe” led by the Rev. Clayton Scheaffer, guest German speaker, and the Rev. Bernie Jasken, presently serving the congregation.
The German Heritage Singers, directed by Ortha Bertsch, accompanied by Paul Janke on banjo, Yvonne Wegner on accordion, Adella Kjos on the organ and Nora Gums playing piano, sang several German hymns and led the German singing by the congregation.
The German Heritage Singers originally from the Fredonia area singing with the group were Betty Brosz, Lucille Kennedy, Adella Kjos, Paul Janke and Florence Goehner, and Art Schmidt of Gackle, all now of Jamestown.
Participating in the German service were Florence Radke, organist, who began as church organist in October 1980 and Schmidt, sharing German prayers.
In 1898 the pioneers of the church were John and Katherine Eslinger, Christian and Ottlie Eslinger, Adam and Oelke, Jacob Sr. and Carolina Dittus, Daniel and Karolina Flaig, the Gottlieb Duerrs, Fredrich and Rosina Strobel, Martin and Eva Buerkle, the Fredrich Hillers, Jacob Dittus Jr., Gottfried and Rosina Gackle, and Friedrich and Margaret Schlenker. The Rev. Albert Vogel of Kulm officiated at the first service. At the Aug. 12 German service, relatives of these pioneers shared their family heritage and remembrances of Sunday school teachers.
Recently the members refinished portions of the church to carry on the tradition of their forefathers to continue a monument to the pioneers for their faith and trust in God. The present church was built in 1929 on the location of the old church and has served a community of believers for 114 years.
The ladies of the church served a lunch after the service in the Fellowship Hall to guests from Ashley, Wishek, Gackle, Kulm, Medina, Napoleon, Lehr, Pingree, Fredonia, Devils Lake and Jamestown in North Dakota and Moorhead, Minn.