Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Historic Homecoming at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

As the summer begins to fade and our thoughts turn toward autumn, we also begin to look forward to the annual St. Peter’s Homecoming Celebration. This event marks a tradition which began over one hundred years ago.

When St. Peter closed its doors to weekly worship it was decided then to hold a “Homecoming Service” each year. Most of the congregation that remained moved their membership to nearby Lutheran churches like Trinity, at Versailles, Friedens Lutheran at Bloomer, St. Paul’s at Willowdell, or St. John, near Greenville.

Why is St. Peter Evangelical Church unique? It has celebrated more “Homecoming Services” than years of regular worship, closing in 1905; this marks the 111th Homecoming service!

The little, country church, founded by immigrants from Kammerforst, Langensalza, Providence Larheim, Kingdom of Prussia, (Germany) whom settled in what was known then as “Dutch Roost” offered regular German Lutheran worship services in this log structure from 1850 till 1905. When they closed the doors in 1905, all was left in place. It looks today much as it did when they worshiped here.

On Sunday September 18th the historic church will host a pre-service concert given by the Shelecty Family in the sanctuary at 1:30 p.m. The annual worship and hymn sing are reminiscent of the German Lutheran style of the late 19th and early 20th century. The service will begin at 2:00 p.m. The Rev. Robert Akins, of Trinity Lutheran Church Versailles and Friedens Lutheran Church, Bloomer will lead the abbreviated worship service. Karen Lawrence will play the original pump organ and many hymns of a by gone era will be sung.

Prior to the service at 12:30 p.m. there will be a pulled pork luncheon. Complete with a pulled pork sandwich, au gratin potatoes, baked beans, and delicious apple crisp all for a $10.00 donation. These wonderful dinners will be prepared by Trinity of Versailles and must be reserved prior to September 6th. Reservations may be made to J. R. Kelch at 105 Greenhaven Drive Greenville, Ohio 45331 with a check made to St. Peter’s.

You say you are not a descendent of this Congregation? We welcome all to come and learn the unique history of this church who welcomed immigrants in the American tradition for fifty years. Why not make a day of it and make plans now to join us on September 18th, as we invite the community to join us and “come “home” to St Peters”.

St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church is located one mile south of Versailles just east off of State Route 185 south of Versailles, on the St. Peter’s Road.

Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon in the country where our earliest settlers walked and prayed.

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