Saint Matthew Lutheran Church Warrens, Wisconsin
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HISTORY 1944 - 1969
CONTRIBUTED BY CLARENCE SEFLOW
The foregoing is a compilation of the first fifty years of the history of St. Matthew’s congregation. It is properly credited to Pastor Gerhard H. Geiger who was then serving the congregation. The following account of the last twenty-five years of the congregation is an attempt to touch upon the highlights of its history and bring it up to the present time. (1969)
In 1945, the minutes show that the parsonage well was fitted with new pipes and a discussion was begun on installing a water works in the house. IN 1946 the roof of the house was reshingled by members of the congregation. In late December of 1946 Pastor Geiger presented a call from Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Wilson, Minnesota and received a peaceful release. During Pastor Geiger’s pastorate at St. Matthew’s, five adults and 25 children received Christian Baptism; Twelve adults and seventeen children were confirmed; fourteen marriages and thirteen funerals were also conducted.
In January of 1947 a call was extended to Pastor Albert Eberhart of Ellensburg, Washington and accepted. The water works project for the house received approval to be paid for by assessment of the members. The church and church basement were also wired later in the year. On March 10, 1948 Pastor Eberhart held the first service at Danavang at the public school house. On March 16, 1948 the congregation organized and adopted a constitution giving the name of St. Mark’s to the newly formed congregation. In November of 1948 Pastor Eberhard having received a call asked for his release. His pastorate numbered twelve children baptized, seven children and two adults confirmed, three weddings and no funerals.
In December of 1948 Pastor August W. Maremba of Spring Valley, Wisconsin was called by the congregation and accepted the call. During the semi-annual meeting held on July 3, 1949, it was decided to pain the outside of the church and steeple. The congregation received an organ for the church from a donation. Four stained glass memorial windows were given in memory of loved ones. Approved during 1950 was the building of a garage, the cost was to be defrayed by assessment of the members . In 1951 a crucifix for the altar was given as a memorial. The church had new rugs installed in the nave and chancel, the interior itself was completely redecorated with the Ladies Aid assuming the cost. New and enlarged steps were added on the front of the church and the roof was reshingled during 1952 and 1953.
In 1954 Reverend Saremba was granted his peaceful release from the congregation, accepting a call to Spencer, Wisconsin. During Reverend Saremba’s pastorate, fifty three children and four adults received Holy Baptism; fifteen children and thirty adults were confirmed and four weddings and four burials were conducted from the congregation.
The congregation next called Reverend Robert Mackenson from Madison, Wisconsin to be its next pastor. Reverend Mackenson accepted the call and was installed on June 12th, 1955. During the year a new road was put in south of the parsonage. A new Baldwin electric organ was purchased and installed with the complete cost being met by the end of the year. In April of 1959 Reverend Mackenson asked for and received his release from the congregation. His pastorate numbered 39 children and one adult baptized; twelve children and two adults were confirmed and six weddings and five funerals were performed.
The congregation next extended a call to candidate Russel Kobs through the assignment committee. He was installed on July 19th, 1959. During this time repairs were made to the interior of the parsonage in the living room and kitchen areas. Assessment was made at $6.00 per communicant. Flower vases for the altar were donated as a memorial during the year.
In early 1962 the interior of the church was completely redecorated. In September of 1962 St Mark’s of Danavang voted to dissolve as a congregation. The majority of the members of the congregation joined St. Matthews and some joined St. Paul’s of Tomah. A few became inactive but most later joined St. Matthew’s.
In October Pastor Kobs accepted a call to Cambridge, Wisconsin and received his peaceful release. His ministry included 2 children and 5 adult baptisms; there were 9 children and 6 adults confirmed, 5 weddings and 10 funerals.
The congregation again placed a call with the assignment committee and candidate Erling Carmichael was called. Pastor Carmichael was installed on July 20, 1963. In 1964 it was decided that oil furnaces be installed in the church. A motion was also made that $450.00 be utilized from funds of the former St. Mark’s congregation toward the purchase of a furnace for the parsonage. The last memorial stained glass window was also given during this time.
In 1967 a motion was approved to install lavatories in the church basement. The church kitchen was also renovated during the year. In January of 1968 Pastor Carmichael received a call from Fairfax, Minnesota and was given his release. Pastor Carmichael’s ministry included 24 children baptisms, 3 adult baptisms, 5 adult confirmed and 18 children confirmed, 11 marriages and 8 funerals.
The congregation then called Pastor Henry H. Klug from Graceville, Minnesota. He was installed on June 2, 1968 and is the twelfth pastor in residence of the congregation. During the vacancy, interior painting and additional renovating of the entire parsonage was done. A new door and window were installed in the study and necessary plumbing and electrical repairs were made.
In the fall of 1968 it was decided to observe the 75th Anniversary of the congregation in the fall of 1969 with appropriate observances. At the first quarterly meeting of the congregation an anniversary committee was chosen consisting of Clarence Seflow, Martin Heeler and Charles Spooner.
During the week prior to Mission Festival the congregation was saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Lydia Saremba, widow of Pastor August Saremba on September 7th at Tomah Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Saremba had been visiting in the area prior to her passing. A memorial from members of the congregation has been received with thanks.
There are many gifts and memorials which have been received over the past twenty-five years. Crocheted altar and lectern cloths are a recent gift of Miss Mathilda Kemp. The remainder of the stained glass windows were given as memorials. Many of the memorials to be noted are: lectern, missal stand, electric candles, collection plates, front entrance doors, steeple cross light, railings, flower vases, crucifix, liturgy book and stairway carpeting. There is of course the possibility that some memorials may have been overlooked such as memorial gifts to charitable organizations etc.; there is however no intention of slighting anyone by not listing them all. The committee would extend its apologies to anyone that feels they have been overlooked.
The congregation’s own observance of its 75th was in the redecorating of the basement including paneling of the walls, posts and beams plus the installation of new light fixtures and carpeting of the front stairway, part of which was from a memorial. The pulpit and altar received a new coat of paint to complement the gold leaf. The parsonage was also scraped and painted plus minor repairs. We are ever mindful of the words of the Psalmist: “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1.
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This website was last updated on September 16, 2017.