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St. John's UCC Church - (Cappeln) New Melle, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 41.758 W 090° 54.876
15S E 681357 N 4285102
Quick Description: Official charter as a church: St. Johannes Evangelical Gemeinde.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/22/2017 5:16:14 AM
Waymark Code: WMVA6X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GwynEvie
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of church: St. Charles County
Location of church: St. Johannes Lane, S. of MO-D, 2 miles W. of New Melle
Phone: (636) 828-5221
Pastor: Kevin E. Weaver Interim Pastor

Sunday Morning services begin at 10:30am

Plaque in Cemetery: This plaque commemorates St. John's cemetery and our German forebearers, whose faith and vision established this church. This cemetery has served our church sing 1845. This stone is one of the original steps from St. Johannes Deutsch-Evangelische Kirche.

Plaque near school house:

Built in 1875, it served as a confirmation and German language school until 1935 and a Sunday School until 2003. It is now the church museum. This stone was an entrance step to the church from 1863 to 1890.

"The earliest beginnings of the history of St. John's Church dates back to the late 1830's when several waves of German immigrants arrived in the Missouri River Valley with the hope of settling family farms and finding a new way of life in a land said to be rich in natural resources. One of the most cherished possessions these settlers brought to their new home was their religious faith. . . the Deutsch-evangelische (German Evangelical) faith. The earliest founding of one of these German Evangelical churches was near by Femme Osage, about 1833.

"About the year 1835 several families in and around what later became known as Cappeln, MO, secured the services of the Femme Osage pastor, Herman Garlichs to come to this neighborhood as a "circuit" pastor and occasionally hold church services. For some years services were held in the Schultz family home about four miles west of the present site of the church. Then in early 1839 a forty acre plot of land was given to the St. Johannes Gemeinde" (St. John's Congregation) by the Borgelt family. This is the same site that has remained in the hands of the congregation for some 140 years. It was on this location in 1840 that the first church structure was built. It was a log building situated just east of the present school house, there it stood and was used as the worship sanctuary and Christian education building until it was replaced by the present stone church in 1865.

"Also during those early years of the 1840's the tract that has now become our cemetery was laid out. One of the earliest marked graves is that of E. Meiersiek, 1845. In 1852 a serious cholera epidemic swept through this community, claiming many lives. The open southern edge of the cemetery, bordering on the road between the parsonage yard, is actually the site of a number of unmarked graves, victim of cholera.

"The church continued to be served as part of the circuit by the pastors from Femme Osage. Beginning in 1845, we were served by the German pastor Casper Bode, until 1857. In that year the church was in a position to adopt an official charter and call its first pastor. Thus in 1857 we became the "St. Johannes Deutsch-evangelische Kirche" (St. John's German Evangelical Church) and the congregation called its first resident pastor, Rev. S. Seybold, who resided in the first "Pfahrrhasu" (parsonage) that sat about 50 feet south of the present one.

"Construction on the present church, in which we now worship, was begun in 1863. The building material chosen was local, Missouri limestone, quarried near Marthasville, Mo.

"Above the entry to the sanctuary one can still plainly read the dedication stone, "Deutsch-evangelische St. Johannes Kirche, 1863". The stone was made ahead of time. Even though construction was delayed, the date was left intact.

"Sometime in 1875, it became apparent that a special building was needed for Christian education and the study of the German language. Thus our present school house was built and has remained much the same today. The official dedication date is listed in the church records as 10 Oct 1875. The school house served for many years as the place in which pastors conducted "German School" and Catechism studies (also in German). This language education was such an important part of German heritage in the Cappeln/New Melle area that children were dismissed from public school at certain times of the year to attend parochial classes here.

"Through the years our school house has been used as a meeting room for our youth groups and the Women's Fellowship. It has been the site of many "quilting" days and in recent times it has been used for Sunday School classes. It is not fully restored to its old style with many original items and serves as our church museum . . . a tribute to the devotion and faith of our ancestors.

"As the years have unfolded in our congregation, much care and concern has always surrounded our church building. In 1890, a steeple, bell and vestibule added to the entry way, giving a place out of the weather to gather and bringing to the tiny valley the sound of the church bell, so much a means of communication in the early years. The present steeple and bell are original, even the crowing weather vain is as it was near the turn of the century. The vestibule was enlarged with side rooms by members of the congregation in 1978, providing much needed space." ~ A Narative History

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