The German Evangelical Church

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 German Evangelical Church

By Rev. F. Holke.


St. Paul's Church - Waterloo

St. Paul's Church This church is at Waterloo, and dates its origin back to the year A. D. 1846.  Of the small number of German families that had then settled in and about Waterloo, Rev. W. Binner organized an evangelical congregation, which assembled for services at the court house.  The first confirmation was celebrated in an English church.  The feeling of being homeless evoked in the congregation the desire of having a house of worship of their own, and the little flock accordingly built a small edifice.  This neat brick church was dedicated on the 28th of November, 1847.  But twelve families were then actually members.  The Revs. Baltzer, Wall, Binner and Knauss, who are now dead, officiated at the dedication.  A year after dedication Rev. Binner was compelled by sickness to leave the congregations .  He installed Dr. G. Steinert, recently from Germany, as his successor.  In 1850 a parsonage and school-house were built.  The church attendance increasing a more commodious church, 70x40 feet, with galleries and a steeple with a large bell was built in 1855-56.  It was dedicated on the 21st. day of September, 1856, Reb. A. Baltzer, assisted by Rev. Biner, Wall, Knauss, Peters, and pastor loci officiating.  Dr. Steinert labored faithfully and diligently in church and school, and succeeded in building up a large congregation.  When the public school-house was built, the parochial school was closed, and remained so the several years.  In 1874 the old steeple was removed, and a more massive spire built up from the ground to the height of 125 feet.  Two new bells were placed in it at once, and a third one was added in 1880.  Soon after the accomplishment of this improvement Dr. Steinert, after having labored with great energy and perseverance for 26 years, tendered his resignation, preached his farewell sermon on the 27th day of September, 1875, and installed as his successor the present pastor, Rev. Father Holke, then at Summerfield, Ill.  Father Steinert died on the 16th day of April, 1876.  The ministrations of the present pastor, Rev. F. Holke, have been blessed with success.  He established a good parochial school, secured for its work the services of Mr. J. F. Riemeier, who fills his position to universal satisfaction.  In 1877 a new pope organ, valued at $1,000, was acquired.  The interior of the church has been improved, a new parsonage, a two-story brick, built close by the church. The congregation numbers now 120 active members (families).  Three of the founders, H. Pinkel, J. Koechel and J. Oldendorph, are yet very active member.

St. Paul's Church at Columbia

Rev. Dr. Steinert, during his ministration at Waterloo, preached occasionally to a few German families at Columbia. In 1857 a congregation was organized, and as they were not able to support their own minister, Father Steinert served them served them seven years.  In 1861 Rev. M. Fotrich took charge of the church, but left after two years and several months labor.  Rev. Klingsohr, an independent minister, was then elected pastor.  His labors were unsuccessful, and he left.  The people then applied to father Steinert to procure them a good minister.  This he did in the person of Rev. E. Otto, a pastor that served four years with good success, after which he was elected professor of the theological seminary at Marthasville, Mo.  Rev. L. Reymann was his successor two yars, and then he was also elected professor.  After that Rev. Jul. Hoffmann served two years, and Rev. C. Kantz was his successor for five years, until 1880, when Rev. J. Hoffman, who is now pastor, was called the second time.  There are at present 44 families in membership.  The property consists of a church, parsonage and school house.

Salem Church

This church is in Bluff Precinct, and has been in existence since 1844. It was organized by Rev. G. Ries, but never had its own minister.  Until 1875 it was a second church to Waterloo; since that time it is in connection with the St John's church at Maeystown. It numbers 42 members (families).  Five of the founders- Peter Voelker, John Mueller, Jac. Schlemmer, Philip Hoffman and Christ Schaefer are yet actual members.

St. John's Church

The origin of this church dates back to the year 1858.  Rev. Bergmann gathered a few families at the residence of Mr. W. Feldmeyer, near Maeystown.  In 1859 the congregation, numbering but very few members, erected a log church at Maeystown.  Some difficulty among the members caused Rev. Bermann to withdraw his service.  Rev. Louis Haeberle, stationed near Burksville, was called to reorganize the congregation.  This was done, and from that time its growth was such that in 1865 a larger church was required.  This church, a  stone building, was finished and dedicated in '66.  In the following year a parsonage at the cost of $1700. was built. Rev. F. Rasche was the first stationed pastor at Maeystown.  He served 4 years.  Rev. F. Streit was his successor from 1871 to 1875.  Rev. J. Baehr served two years.  The present pastor, Rev. E. J. Hosto, was installed in spring of 1876.  His ministrations are blessed with great success, so that the congregation at Maeystown to-day is among the best in the county.  It has 57 members.

St. Mark's Church

This church is in Prairie du Round, and is the oldest German evangelical church in the county.  A congregation was organized in January, 1840, but it prospered very slowly.  The first church, a log building, was erected in 1845, and dedicated April 22d, 1846  The religious interest that was shown by the members was very feeble, so the change of ministers was frequent. No less than ten pastors served in this church in 36 years, including long vacancies.  Under such circumstances prosperity was impossible.  The present pastor, Rev Aug. Jannrich, a faithful and diligent gentleman, has been laboring with good success since 1876.  In 1877 a brick parsonage was erected.  The chuch attendance is better than ever before. 32 members have joined the congregation.

The Immanuel's Church

This is a second church to the St. Mark's at Prairie du Round.  It was organized by Rev. F. Eerdmann in 1857.  From 1863 to 1876 it was vacant.  In August, 1876, Rev. Aug. Jennrich took up the work, and since that time the congregation prospers, so that a chuch will be built soon.  The services are held in a public school-house. There are 25 families in membership.

Zoar Church

In the year 1844 German ministers were rare in this country, and the German Christians lived scattered without churches.  Rev. Conrad Riess, Centreville, St. Clair county, Ill., came over to New Hanover to look after the religious interest of the Germans at that place.. He found a number of families that were happy to see a minister in the new country.  A congregation was organized and soon a log church and parsonage were built.  Many difficulties, however, came in the way and the change of ministers was frequent. The successors to Rev, Riess were:  Revs Ch. Schrenk, R. Boeticher, N. Werth, F. Delveau, J. Seyboldt, W. Wahl and George Maul. The last named gentleman has been in charge of the church since spring, 1876.  In 1865 a new stone church, and in 1870 a new brick parsonage were built.  The membership numbers 50.

Zion's Church

The German evangelical Christians in and about Burksville, for a long time, traveled form 8 to 12 miles to attend church at Waterloo. In 1860 they thought themselves strong enough to build their own church and have their own minister.  By mediation of Father Steinert Rev. Louis Haeberle was sent to organize a congregation.  This was done in October, 1860.  A church and parsonage were soon built, and by the faithful labor of the pastor the congregation prospered, but after three years Rev. Haeberle was elected pastor of St. John's church in St. Louis.  Rev. F. A. Umbeck was his successor for one year, then he was drafter and served for several years as chaplain in the union army. The congregation had the misfortune of a frequent change of ministers, and prospered but slow.  The present pastor, Rev. H. Schmidt, has had charge of the church since August, 1880.  The membership at present numbers 40.

St. Paul's Church

About 1879 the English Methodist people at Harrisonville built a neat frame church, but as they were so few they sold their church to the Germans and in the spring of 1882, a German evangelical congregation was organized by Rev, E. H. Hosto from Maeystown.  About 40 members joined.  Messrs. Peter Pflaesterer, Hy. Niebruege, Gottfr Haltenhoff and William Stechmesser are the first elected trustees.  A minister was stationed there in the last days of November, 1882.