By Starrla Cray
NEW GERMANY, MN In the 100 years that St. Mark Lutheran Church has been in existence, the New Germany parish has had 10 pastors, 5,200 Sunday services, and made millions of memories.
Some of those memories are printed in a new St. Mark history book, available at the church for $15.
Parishioner Marlene Orlip, for example, recalls the Christmas programs, with a giant real tree at the front of the church.
“We would get brand new outfits for the event, and Christmas bags with an apple, orange, a huge candy bar, and peanuts inside,” she noted in the book.
Many memories center on the Christian day school, which opened in 1915 with 38 students.
“When I started at St. Mark School, it was a one-room school with eight grades,” Donna (Schubert) Menth wrote. “Mr. George Reese was my teacher and principal. He was very strict and a strong disciplinarian.”
The tiny schoolhouse had been purchased for $400, and served students until 1944.
“There was a wood-burning stove in the corner,” Vernon Guetzkow noted. “The children had to bring in wood from outside.”
Years later, after the old schoolhouse was condemned by the state fire marshal, a new building was constructed at a cost of $25,786.
“When I taught at St. Mark New Germany from 1947-1949, I had the time of my life working and playing with my students,” Rosemary Beck Dietrich wrote. “I was blessed to teach in a new school building where everything was bright and new.”
The St. Mark history book includes photos of the school and church, and a listing of all pastors, teachers, confirmations, and baptisms. Each group at church is also featured, and detailed historical information is provided.
Carolyn Effertz of New Germany was the historian for the book, with help from the records of the late Lillian Trittabaugh. The book and other commemorative items will be available for purchase at the church’s centennial celebration Sunday, June 22.
To learn more about St. Mark Lutheran Church (500 Broadway St. in New Germany), call (952) 353-2464, e-mail Pastor LeRoy LaPlant at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the church’s Facebook page.
Worship services take place Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. Bible study and Sunday school start at 10:15 a.m. Sundays.
Centennial celebration Sunday, June 22
The public is welcome to attend any part of the 100th anniversary event at St. Mark Lutheran Church in New Germany Sunday, June 22. The schedule is as follows:
• 9 a.m. Choral and musical worship service featuring St. Mark adult choir, handbell choir, Sunday school children, and The Singing Friends Chorus.
• 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Turkey and roast beef dinner at St. Mark school gym, provided by Hillcrest Catering. (Free-will donation. RSVP to email@example.com by Sunday, June 1.)
• 2 p.m. Anniversary worship service with guest preacher Rev. Dr. Dean Nadasdy, MN South District president. A cake reception will follow.