St. Peter's Lutheran Church

PO Box 56
1075 Pine St
Ocheyedan, IA  51354-0056

A History of the Congregation

On February 19, 1901 Lutherische St Peter Germeinde Church was founded to the glory of the Triune God. The organization was under the leadership of Rev. C Daeumler, who at the time was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Horton Township.   Deidrich Wassmann was elected to the office of chairman.  The board of deacons and trustees were Deidrich Wassmann, August Palenske and August Arend.  Christ Wassmann held the office of treasurer.  August Arend was the first secretary and served in this capacity for thirty three years.  All of the minutes were kept in German until 1928 then were kept in both English and German.  When August Arend resigned as secretary in 1934 the minutes were written only in English. 

 

It was then decided to erect a house of worship which stood north of the present church site and was dedicated August 1901.  The first resident pastor to serve the church was Rev. C E Miller.

 

In May of 1901 the house on lots south of the church property was purchased as a parsonage.  Pastor Miller used the parsonage as a school during his time here.  There have been many additions and much remodeling done over the years but it is still the original house.

 

In 1911 English services were begun once every two months. Prior to this, services were conducted in German only.

 

In 1912 Pastor Fiene taught in the parochial school that stood between the parsonage and church.  The school was closed in 1920.

 

In 1919 the Ladies Aid was organized.  It was discontinued for a brief time and then reorganized in 1938 and continues today.

 

A choir was organized in 1921.  Shortly thereafter discontinued and about 1932 started again for a short time.  In 1986 until 2001 the choir was reorganized.

 

In 1937 the Walther League was organized for the confirmed members through high school.  Meetings were discontinued during World War II then started again in 1946. The name was changed to LYC in the 1970’s.  A Junior LYC was organized around 2000.

 

In 1941 the church building was enlarged.  A full basement was dug south of the church.  A team of horses moved the original building to the new foundation.  The west wall was cut off and moved 24 feet west.  The arched chancel was built, the pulpit and alter were separated and the stained glass window was installed above the altar.  At this same time the school building which was located between the parsonage and the church was sold and moved.  

 

The congregation was reincorporated on May 1, 1951 with the name St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.  That same year the 50th Anniversary Celebration was held.

 

In 1952 the Lutheran Laymen’s League was organized.

 

The Christian Fellowship Club was organized in 1971 for adult members.

 

In 1974 a Ladies Bible Study Group was organized.

 

In 1976 enlarging the narthex, adding classrooms and enlarging the former basement to include a new kitchen was done.  The 75th anniversary was observed in 1976.

 

In 1996 the local preschool was closing so the congregations of St Peter and Zion started a Christian preschool.  The school was very successful but due to lack a space it closed in 2009.

 

The year 2001 was a milestone as St Peter Lutheran church celebrated 100 years.

 

Pastors that served St Peter through the years are as follows-

1901-1905 – Rev. C E Miller (resigned because of ill health but continued to live in Ocheyedan)

1905 – 1907 Rev. Valentine Walther

1907 – 1912 Rev. Albert Menkens (Rev. C E Miller played the organ for services)

1912 – 1920 Rev. Ernest Fiene

1921 – 1950 Rev. Carl Boye

1950 – 1967 Rev. William Marth

1968 – 1972 Rev Don Burch (installed at St John, May City with St Peter as a permanent vacancy)

1973 – 1976 Rev. Wayne Brinkman

1980 – 1984 Rev. Robert Barth

1985 – 1988 Rev. Emmet Rogness

1988 – 1999 Rev. Robert Trueblood

2000 - 2001 Rev. John Rutowicz

2002 – 2013 Rev. Russell Anderson

2013 -  2017 Rev. Neil Wehmas

2017 - Present Rev. Richard Milbrandt

 

Sons and daughters of St Peter that entered church service are as follows-

1944 Candidate Clarence Boye was ordained

1958 Candidate Eugene Glade was ordained

1963 Candidate Darwin Wassmann was ordained

1966 Linda Seymour completed Deaconess training