About Zion Lutheran Church
What We Believe
Zion is a congregation that believes the Holy Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God which forms and informs what we believe and how we worship.
The Bible tells us of the story condition of sinful humanity and the depths of the love of our Heavenly Father. This love finds the fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who being the Son of God, became human in His birth of the Virgin Mary and offered up His life to win the salvation of all humanity.
This AMAZING GRACE is what makes us His children and leads us to reach out to those around us. This undeserved love is proclaimed from our pulpit in every worship service and taught in our School and Bible Classes.
History of Zion Lutheran Church
Construction was completed in a little over a year. Builders took time out in 1905 to have their picture taken with their nearly-completed project. Dedication ceremonies took place on March 12, 1905. Rev. M. Daib of Troy, Illinois, delivered a morning address, and Rev. Frederick Brand of Springfield, Illinois, delivered an evening address.
The new church, surrounded by a picket fence sat firmly on a foundation of Grafton rock. The remainder of the building was constructed of pressed brick. Its main steeple towered to a height of 127 feet. Contained within the bell tower were three bells, one from the old church and two new ones. The church had a seating capacity of 400 and cost $20,000.00 to build.
At the time of the dedication, the congregation had 500 communicant members. It supported one pastor and two teachers who instructed 147 children. It also provided homes for the pastor and two teachers.
In 1905 the interior of the new church featured ornate fixtures, lights outlining the chancel, and the pulpit on the south side of the altar, resting on a tall pedestal. The Ladies Aid purchased the church pews, the altar and the pulpit, the statue of Christ, altar covers, and carpeting around the altar. The stained glass window of the Good Shepherd was donated by school children when the church was built.
Organ music has always been an important part of Zion. The original handpumped organ was replaced in 1908 by a more modern instrument. Various repairs and improvements to that organ have been made throughout the ensuing years. In 1948, chimes were installed in memory of World War II service men and women. In 1996, a new hand-crafted console was installed and the organ was again rebuilt.
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- 1947 - Chimes installed on church organ as a memorial to boys who had given their lives in service to their country; Outdoor church bulletin board donated by Ladies Aid
- 1948 - Church organ rededicated after extensive repairs; Piano purchased for church; The third school classroom reopened; Kindergarten operated from March to May
- 1950 - Modern age officially dawned at Zion - church purchased its first power lawnmower; Present church redecorating begun - steel rods, boxed in to look like beams, which spanned the width of the church to prevent the walls from spreading due to weight of roof, radiators were relocated and covered, lighting was updated, The pulpit was removed from its high stand and moved to the north side of church. The interior was then repainted. Outside the church was tuckpointed and repainted. New steps and railings were added and the outside grounds were landscaped. The total cost of the project was $17,000.00. In addition, 700 hours of labor were donated by members.
- 1952 - Kindergarten operation closed
- 1953 - Lutheran Women's Missionary League organized; German worship services discontinued
- 1954 - Altar Guild begun
- 1955 - School kitchen upgraded
- 1957 - School adds fourth classroom; Parent-Teacher League holds first meeting
- 1958 - A portion of school auditorium converted into a classroom and four teachers are employed
- 1960 - First sausage supper held; School has new west entrance installed and lavatory facilities are renovated
- 1962 - Major church remodeling undertaken. Altar statue repainted; Mr. Max Autenrieb painted two murals which flank the chancel; Extensive repairs are made to church steeple
- 1963 - New lectern and baptismal font were dedicated.
- 1964 - New teacherage built on corner of Mill and Elm; Old parsonage on Henry Street is torn down; Slovak church services are discontinued
- 1969 - Teacherage on West Spring street is purchased
- 1972 - Church celebrates 125th anniversary; The walls and part of the ceiling of the church were canvassed to prevent cracking, the interior was completely repainted, paneling was placed in the narthex, and carpeting was laid over the entire nave, narthex, and balcony. The two murals were retouched.
- 1979 - Church greeter program is implemented
- 1980 - Congregation votes to hold Saturday evening worship services in addition to two Sunday morning services; Immanuel, South Staunton closes - many members join Zion; Office space in school is remodeled to make room for a pastor's office
- 1981 - Organ rebuilt and rededicated. Chancel remodeled, adding new communion railing; Eternal flame was donated.
- 1982 - Lutheran Worship introduced, New Constitution adopted; Handbell choir is organized
- 1983 - School addition dedicated. Enlarged facilities includes a gym, classrooms, a concession stand, etc. Computers are donated to school
- 1984 - New Creations LWML organized; Helping Hands organized
- 1986 - Assistant pastor is called; Shipmates organization is formed
- 1987 - Another redecorating project for the church included among other things, painting, lighting, stairway, and guttering improvements as well as the addition of mail slots for each of the congregation's families. Windows in nave doors serve to illustrate the name of Zion. The windows are the work of Herschel Wilson of Worden, meaning to state clearly: "We are the Lord's Zion whom the Lord is leading to Zion."; Autenrieb Art Studios of Edwardsville are engaged to repaint the church interior; Voters accept proposal to build an addition to the west end of the church building, connected by a bridge-type ramp.
- 1988 - As the needs of the church expanded more office space was needed, the Parish Center was built and connected to the church, containing offices, meeting rooms, and a reception area.
- 1993 - First annual dinner auction held
- 1995 - New chalice is donated
- 1996 - Electric altar candles and Advent wreath candles are replaced with oil candles. Students in sixth thru eighth grade participate as Acolytes during worship; Portions of church's exterior are tuckpointed; New exterior doors are donated and installed; In commemoration of 150 years of Zion, original cross from steeple of church is housed in brick display at east entrance; Church organ is rebuilt; School undergoes updating. Bathroom facilities are upgraded and new wiring is installed in older sections to accomodate computers.
- 1998 - All classrooms in school are air-conditioned
- 1999 - School sidewalks are replaced
- 2000 - After school extended care program is implemented
- 2002 - New computer lab is dedicated; Summer day care is organized