History of St. John Lutheran Congregation
So, ten years passed, but during those ten years other "missionaries" came, never asking for contributions, praising good works, perverting the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. When our forefathers began to realize that, unless the pure Gospel was preached as zealously as these false teachers were working, it would be lost entirely, they decided to organize a congregation, to buy land, and to build a church.
And so, according to a deed from the Oconto Company, dated August 2, 1886, 40 acres, more or less according to government survey, was purchased approximately near the center of the Town of How. The price of the land a mere (to us) $100.00, but in those days, when a family's cash income for a year might not exceed $50.00, it seemed astronomical.
Accurate records could not be found, but a list of twenty men, who each contributed $5.00 seems to have included:
|William Buhrandt||Frederick Hischke|
|Herman Yakel||August Ruch|
|William Bartz||John Pethke|
|Edward Suring||John Venzke|
|August Schuettpelz||Christian Hein|
|William Schuettpelz||Frederick Drewe|
|Ferdinand Schuettpelz||Herman Elfe|
|Martin Schuettpelz||Gustave Hischke|
|Christian Zaddack||Carl Kruschke|
|William Schoessow||August Buhrandt|
Of these, William Buhrandt, August Ruch, and William Bartz were chosen as "elders".
During the winter of 1886, trees were felled on the newly acquired church property and during the summer of 1887 a church was built and furnished by volunteer labor. Except for the small, cheap windows, no money was required. In November it was formally dedicated to the glory of God during a service in charge of Pastor Dicke, wherein Pastor Ebert of Shawano preached the sermon.