Background

On June 27th 1871, a petition was presented to the Butler Presbytery by the Rev. Carl Linn and signed by twelve persons requesting the establishment of a German speaking church. Their request was granted and the church organized on July 8th 1871, by the name of Linnville Presbyterian Church, consisting of nine members and afterward ten were added. The original members were: Frank Fruth, Mrs. Anna Fruth, Carl Goebel, Mrs. Elizabeth Goebel, George C. Grabe, Mrs. Elizabeth Grabe, Wilhelm Montag, Mrs. Catherine Montag, Edward Montag, Mrs. Maria Montag, John Cooper, Mrs. Hannah Copper, Maria G. Cooper, Caroline Cooper, Catherine Cooper, Gottlieb Steinhauser, Carl Steinhauser, Fredrich Siebert and Mrs. Chrstina Siebert. On April 22nd 1873, the name was changed to the German Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

From the beginning, the church at Jefferson Center struggled for survival. Five years after its organization, the church had no pastor or supply and the Session did not meet. The Rev. C.A. Limberg (1885-1897) was forced to break the exclusive use of the German language because the young people of the church could not read German. He first preached one English sermon a month in the evening, and by 1902 German was no longer used in the church.

Through the efforts of Rev. A.J. Sauerbrum the church gained strength. His own modest assessment of the church was this: “The people simply plodded long and patiently carried on, and so managed by the grace of God to keep the church in a prosperous condition, and in some instances, setting a worthy example to other churches in the Presbytery.”

May God give us the grace to move forward in His will, no longer struggling for survival, but rather serving Him with all our strength.

Through the efforts of Rev. A.J. Sauerbrum the church gained strength. His own modest assessment of the church was this:

“The people simply plodded long and patiently carried on, and so managed by the grace of God to keep the church in a prosperous condition, and in some instances, setting a worthy example to other churches in the Presbytery.”

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