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Note: This church was originally known as the "German Lutheran" church of Wyoming and held services in German until late in the 1920s. In the early 1930s it is frequently referred to as "Evangelical Lutheran Zion" and staring in the late 1930s as "Zion American Lutheran."


See also:


from History of Jones County, Past and Present.



Special All Day Service at Church

Next Sunday, May 25th, Zion American Lutheran church will observe the 50th anniversary of the day when the Rev. J. Moehl of Lost Nation, Iowa organized Zion Evangelical Lutheran church with eight members, of whom only one, Fred Koch, is living.

There had been Lutheran preaching in Wyoming and its vicinity for several years. Rev. reck of Spragueville, Iowa did missionary work in this community. Rev. Mensing of Lost Nation began regular services every few weeks in schoolhouses and homes. But Rev. J. Moehl organized the church when the Methodists of Wyoming offered their church for sale.

The church was built by a syndicate for use as a mill. But before it was completed it was given to the Methodist people on condition that they use it as a church. In 1891 the Methodists had outgrown the building and planned to erect the commodious and beautiful edifice. So they sold their old church to the little flock of Lutherans.

After Rev. J. Moehl had to resign on account of ill health, pastors of the Olin Lutheran church began to serve Zion. Among them, especially, the Rev. Walter Bunge. During his ministry a businessman of Wyoming wished to buy the building. He made two offers necessitating two meetings of the congregation. But by this time the people had come to love their little church so much that they voted unanimously to turn down the offer made. In old records we find that the second meeting was the most important meeting in the history of the church and that the Holy Spirit certainly made His influence felt. Even young people talked and nobody was willing to sell. Instead the little flock decided to renovate the church by taking out the second floor and arching it inside. The windows of the second floor were bricked up, new Gothic windows were supplied, also a gallery. A new bell was hung. The expense amounted to about $2000.00 and was almost all paid by the time the work was finished.

In 1917 the congregation felt able to call its own resident pastor. This was Rev. G. Melchert, under whose able leadership Zion saw its halcyon days. After his highly successful pastorate, Rev. P. Radloff, a young man, took up the work. He was soon followed by Rev. H. Daugs. The next was Rev. Ernest Arhelger who remained about six years. Then followed the most popular pastor Zion ever had, Rev. H. Graening, now a chaplain at Camp Forrest in Tennessee. Six and a half years ago Rev. C. J. Zellinger took up the work and is still holding the fort.

In church attendance Zion probably in the stongest church in Wyoming, the attendance often reaching 200. On Easter day 270 attended services, by actual count. There is an active Luther League which meets twice a month and a very active lades aid which meets every month at the Parish Hall.

Next Sunday's services will begin with Sunday school at 9:30. Seventy-four children were present these two past Sundays. Let there be even more next Sunday.

At 10:30 the services of the day will begin. Rev. G. Melchert, the first resident pastor, at present pastor of the largest American Lutheran church in Waterloo where he conducts radio services every Sunday, will be the festival preacher. Everyone will be there to greet the beloved first resident pastor of Zion. The choir will sing an anthem of "Faith of Our Fathers." The congregation will live up to its reputation of being a "singing" congregation.

At 2 p.m. wo hope to continue the festivities. Rev. Grover Weber of Lost Nation will speak as the representative of the mother congregation of Zion. Rev. Zellinger will read on the history of the church, most of which has been compiled by Miss Doris Ingwersen. Neighboring pastors of Olin, Wayne, Anamosa, Ryan, etc. will offer felicitations.

In the evening at 7:30 Rev. H. Daugs of Dubuque will preach the sermon and the choir a portion of Gaul's "Holy City."

The Council will provide seats of planks outside on the lawn and Mr. Harrington will let us use his excellent loudspeaker for those not able to get into the church.

We anticipate a happy, blessed day!

The Wyoming Journal, 22 May 1941, Page 1