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St. Paul Lutheran Church
Nachusa IL

The history of St. Paul's Lutheran church, Nachusa, is a story of a community enterprise which has existed for 63 years since the laying of the cornerstone in 1887.

The small white church has continued to draw worshipers all through this period despite difficulties which included destruction of the bell and tower by lightning on July 18, 1941.

Fire following the lightning strike destroyed the tower and cracked the bell, but by the 65th anniversary of the church's organization on Aug. 9, 1952, the congregation plans to have a new bell and tower ready for dedication

Forty-five adults were united with the congregation as charter members. Deacons elected at the organization meeting, Aug. 9, 1887 were J.B. Eicholtz, J.S. Eicholtz, C.A. Herbst and Henry Herbst. The Rev. W.L. Remsberg was on hand to welcome the new members. He had come to the parsonage at Dixon in 1886 as pastor of the South Dixon charge of St. James and Zion Lutheran churches. He noted the thriving Sunday school at Nachusa and on May 21, 1887, received permission from his joint councils to proceed iwth the organization of a congregation at Nachusa to become a part of the South Dixon charge.

W.C. Dysart offered the use of his hall to the proposed church and Sunday school. In August, 1887, after the gathering of an initial $2,100 work was started on a church building. John Spangler gave the lots. John Shank began theexcavation. Henry Hartzell hauled the first load of stone from the quarry below Stony Point school house. On the subscription list appeared 102 names of persons giving a total of $2,399.50. The building committee, A.P. Dysart, chairman, J.S. Eicholtz, secretary, W.C. Dysart, John Shank, C.A. Herbst and Henry Herbst reported that the total cost of the original church building was $2,686.75.

Samuel Bechtelheimer and Hiram Eicholtz supervised the building. Aiding them were Emanuel Bosley, Akland Stoudt, James Rice, James Gordon, Edward Herbst, Edwart Trostle and Alexander Hamilton. The cornerstone was laid Sept. 4, 1887. The church was completed and dedicated on Dec. 11, 1887, after workers labored all night on Saturday completing last minute details. By that time the church was debt free. The building had been a community enterprise, built by the joint efforts of members and non-members.

The congregation remained a part of the South Dixon charge until Nov. 1, 1906, when it was separated and united with the Mary E. Shippert orphans home under the pastorate of the Rev. C.E. Wirick. On Dec. 3, 1908, this arranement was terminated. A parsonage was built in the summer of 1908. On June 1, 1911, the Rev. John M. Herbst, a sons of the congregation, returned as a full-time pastor.

In August 1912, the church was redecorated at a cost of $150. At Christmas, 1912, a piano was purchased at a cost of $250. In 1914, the church was wired for electricity at a cost of $39.50. In 1916, the Sunday school addition was erected at the north end of the church at a cost of approximately $900. During the summer of 1918 the church was redecorated at a cost of $285. In 1924 a basement was put under the church. On March 4, 1944, a service of rededication was held commemorating the complete remodeling and refurnishing of the chancel and the installation of pews. A Hammond organ was installed in 1947.

The Rev. Luther H. Cooperrider is presently pastor. After serving from July 1948, as pastor at Nachusa and part time assistant at St. Paul's Lutheran church, Dixon, he became full time pastor at Nachusa Feb. 1, 1950. The congregation now numbers 177 baptized members.

The organization of the church are as follows: A brotherhood with 33 members, a Womens Missionary society with 28, a Senior Luther league with 16, an Intermediate Luther league with 11, a Sunday school with 144, a choir of 16, a junior choir of 23, an Altar guild of four and the Truth Seekers class (adult) with 25. The congregation is governed by a concil of seven including the pastor.

Dixon Evening Telegraph May 1, 1951

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