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Baptist Church to Celebrate 85 Yrs. Nov. 1-3

"Baptist Church to Celebrate 85 Yrs. Nov. 1-3." Emmons County Record, 30 October 1985.


In the first three days of November, the First Baptist Church of Linton will celebrate its 85 years of existence. Four anniversary services are scheduled.

At Friday’s service, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m., the Reverends Arthur J. Fischer of Linton and Alfred Bibelheimer of Bismarck will speak at "An Evening to Reminisce."

At the Saturday, Nov. 2 service at 7:30 p.m., the Rev. H.J. Wilcke of Portland, OR will consider the subject, "What Faith Is All About."

Rev. Clyde Zimbelman of Columbus, NE and wives of former pastors, Mmes. Grueneich and Effa, will conduct a special Sunday School at 10 a.m., with sections for all ages. That event, on Sunday, Nov. 3, will be followed by the 11 a.m. service, featuring the Rev. Herman Effa of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, speaking on "Appropriating God’s Help Through Prayer."

On Nov. 3 at the 2 p.m. service, the Rev. Reuben Grueneich of Rock Rapids, IA will speak on the subject, "Leaving Behind, Looking Ahead."

Anniversary booklets, with a historical sketch of the church, are now being sold. A few banquet tickets are still available, according to the church’s pastor, Rev. Randall Jaspers. The banquet, at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, will precede the evening service.

The church was organized when a special meeting was called on Nov. 18, 1900. Eighteen attended that meeting, held at the home of Jacob Kiemele, Sr. The Rev. John Reichert led the session, which ended in a resolution to unite the 18 charter members into a German Baptist Church with the name "Freudental" meaning "The Valley of Rejoicing."

Private homes and the Hampton Schoolhouse (12 miles west and two miles north of Linton) were first used as worship sites. A council was convened in September of 1901, recognizing the church, which was then welcomed into the fellowship of sister churches. Delegates came from Berlin, Eureka, Danzig and Ashley. Rev. Reichert was named pastor and his salary was set at $500 per year ($300 provided by a missionary society).

The church embraced several stations, Loebs and Hetterle (east of Temvik), Glueckstal (southwest of Linton) and Braddock (a few miles west). Early but sketchy records mention a Baptist group at Winona, and others in the Worms and Gnadenfeld districts. Church buildings were erected at Temvik, Sand Creek and Weigum (later Hazelton) districts. The only church now used is that in Linton.

Baptists conduct baptisms by immersion, upon confession of faith in Christ. Early accounts indicate that a favorite place for the rite was near the residence of Henry Wittmayer, at a shady grove along the banks of Beaver Creek. Present day baptisms are in connection with in-church services.

Those who updated the church’s history, in book form, are the Reverends Arthur Fischer and Randall Jaspers, and William Fischer, all of Linton.

The steering committee, in charge of arranging events relating to the anniversary, are Ray Wagner of Hazelton, Chairman; Reverends Jaspers and Fischer, Jake Kiemele, Nyla Sauter, Lorraine Tschritter and Alvina Huber, all of Linton.

Following is a chronology of pastors who served the church.

Rev. John Reichert: 1901-1903
Rev. Johann Leber: 1906-1907
Student Adolph Orthner: 1907
Rev. Karl Roth: 1909-1910
Rev. Albert Hild: 1911-1912
Rev. A.R. Berndt: 1912-1915
Rev. Rudolf Luchs: 1915-1921
Rev. Albert Ittermann: 1922-1923
Rev. Stephen Grotza: 1924-1925
Rev. E. Bibelheimer: 6 mos.-1926
Rev. Heinrich Eymann: 1926-1928
Rev. Gustav Eichler: 1928-1934
Rev. Frederick Alf: 1935-1938
Rev. Charles Wagner: 1939-1941
Rev. C.P. Schroeder: 1942-1944
Rev. H.J. Wilcke: 1944-1948
Rev. Adam Huber: 1948-1952
Rev. Arthur J. Fischer: 1952-1962
Rev. Herman Effa: 1962-1966
Rev. Erwin Faul: 1966-1969
Dr. M. Vanderbeck (Interim): 1969-1971
Rev. Reuben Grueneich: 1971-1976
Rev. R.H. Zepik (Interim): 1976-1977
Rev. Clyde Zimbelman: 1977-1983
Rev. Randall Jaspers: 1983-

Reprinted with permission of the Emmons County Record.

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