The members of St. Paul Evangelical Church-Naugart will celebrate the congregation’s 150th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 10:30 a.m. at the church, 11329 Berlin Lane, Athens. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, has agreed to preach for the occasion.
A lot has happened since Pastor Johannes Strieter first made the two-day journey by horse-drawn sled from his home near Princeton, WI, to preach to some Christian Pomeranians he heard were living northwest of Wausau and whom he had never met before.
The congregation was officially organized on March 11, 1861, in a log schoolhouse where the old town hall stands today. St. Paul dedicated its first church building in 1872. In 1903, the congregation voted to build a new church with a towering steeple. A new pipe organ was dedicated shortly after the new church was completed. Many of those same pipes are still in use today.
Not many establishments in the country remain for 150 years, but the members of St. Paul continue to be served with the gospel of Jesus, presently by Pastor Nathaniel Biebert, their 21st pastor.
A chicken and ham dinner will follow the service at the Town of Berlin Center. Historical slide presentation, displays and church and grounds tours will follow.