The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the Holy Cross

Monroe County, Illinois

This history was extracted from the following book on:


Combined History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, Illinois

Published by J. L. McDonough & Co.

Philadelphia 1883



The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the Holy Cross, located southeast of Waterloo and northwest of Burksville (Wartburg P.O.) was organized in 1841 by the Rev. G. A Schieferdecker, with nine members, among them Jacob Horn, J. C. Just, Sam. Koch, from the southern part of Germany; and H. Johanning, from the northern part.   Devine service had, for the first year, to be held in private houses.  In 1844, Mr. J. Horn donated to the congregation four acres of land, situated about two miles south of Waterloo; and in the same year a small frame church, at a cost of about $300, was erected thereon.  This church was dedicated on the 10th day of November 1844.  Te Rev. Prof. D. Walther, from St. Louis, Mo., preached the dedication sermon.  On the 4th of Dec 1846, the church was consumed by fire.  Too poor to rebuild, the congregation again held its services in private houses.  In the meantime it was resolved to build in a more central and more convenient locality.  In 1848, Mr. J. C. Just granted the  congregation, for this purpose, one acre and a half of land, about two miles south of the former site, and in the same year they erected their second church, which was dedicated on the 27th day of August, 1848.  The Revs. C. Strasen and R. Lange preached on the occasion.  This second church became too small, and in 1863, a stone building, 48x32 feet, was erected and dedicated.  The Rev. E. A. Brauer preached the dedication sermon.  This church erected, in 1874, a steeple 75 feet high.  Besides the church, the congregation owns a parsonage, a school house, a dwelling house for the teacher, all brick buildings.  The whole property of the congregation, at the present time, is worth at least $5,000.  It numbers at present 43 voting members and 152 communicants.  The pastors who have served this congregation are:  Rev. G. A. Schieferdecker, from 1841 to 1849; Rev. C. H. G. Schiepsick, from 1849 to 1850; Rev. J. G. Birkmann from the 26th of September, 1850, to his death, on the 28th December, 1865, Rev. C. S. Kleppisch, from the 24th November, 1867, to August, 1871.  The present pastor, Rev. J. Nachtigall, was installed on September 17, 1871.  Up to the year 1858 the pastors taught the school, but at that time a teacher was employed.  The first teacher was Mr. L. Deffuer.  The other teachers have been Mr. F. R. Bix, Mr. H. Johanning and Mr. H. Keller.  Since October 1881, Mr. H. Johanning has again been teacher of the school.  It counts 55 scholars.