GRACE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
1 8 6 3 – 1 9 9 8
The history of Grace congregation traces its origin to missionary work done by Rev. L.H. GERNDT. Rev. Gerndt did work throughout the area in the 186O’s. There are records pointing to services begin held as early as 1862. However, the year 1863 is most commonly referred to as the year of origin.
The first church was built in 1867 while Rev. Gerndt was the pastor. In 1869, Rev. Gerndt was assisted in mission development by Rev. F.W. FRANKE who took over completely when Rev. Gerndt moved in
1870. Rev. Franke left the Canada Synod in 1872 to join the Missouri Synod and developed what is now St. John’s Germanicus.
Rev. F. EHINGER came in 1873 to restore order in the congregations that remained faithful to the Canada Synod in spite of the disruptive influence of Rev. Franke. Rev. Ehinger left in 1874.
The next two years, 1874 – 1876 were spent under the leadership of Rev. GRAEPP with Rev. L. DUBIEL supplying. Rev. G. BASTIAN served the congregation for the years 1876 – 1881. Rev. H. BRONNENKANT supplied between the leaving of Rev. Bastian and the coming of Rev. Herman PETZSCHE who served the years 1883 – 1884. During the pastorage of Rev. Petzsche, the second church was built.
The first records of the parish started by Rev. Earnest LITTEVIN during the year 1885.
Rev. Conrad SCHROEDER, 1886 – 1887 followed Rev. Littevin. The first parsonage was built on land owned by Fred Kruger, situated a few hundred yards behind the present church building. It was
also during this pastorate of Rev. Schroeder that Greenlake left the Alice parish to join St. John‘s Bonnechere and Grattan.
Rev. Emile SCHUELKE served the years 1887 – 1895. During this time, the second Church was redecorated and a bell installed. It was Rev. Schuelke that met with the founding fathers of Grace, Eganville (organized 1888). In the year 1895, there was another parish alignment with Grattan (St. John‘s Augsburg; St. John‘s
Sebastopol; Trinity South Algona) joining Eganville, and Bethlehem joining Greenlake and St. John‘s Bonnechere.
Rev. H. L. HENKEL came in October of 1895 and remained until 1903. Rev. Henkel later (1920) became a member of the Seminary faculty at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary which was formed in 1911.
It was during the pastorate of Rev. Markus HAMM (1903 – 1908) that the present church building was constructed. In 1907, Bruno Michel, Engineer for the town of Pembroke, was the architect and
R.G. Reinke of Eganville was the contractor with the job of erecting the new building. Consecration of the church took place November 7th, 1907.
Rev. Gerhardt DAECHSEL served the congregation from 1908 – 1914. Rev. Johnnes ALBERTI came in 1914 and left in 1917. During Rev. Alberti’s ministry, the second parsonage was built. The year of that construction was 1916.
The Rev. Adolf ZIMMER served the years 1917 – 1920.
Rev. PAPAR was the parish pastor during the time that the Luther League was started (1921 – 1923).
Rev. Jacob GRAUER served 1924 – 1926.
In 1927, Rev. William SCHULTZ moved to the Greenlake Parish and served until 1930.
Rev. Gerhardt KAISER has the distinction of serving the parish for the longest period of ministry. It was on July 31st, 1938 that the parish celebrated its 75th anniversary. Rev. Kaiser served the parish from 1930 – 1947.
In the summer of 1948, summer student Herbert GASTMEIR introduced English services.
Rev. Wolfgang BUESING came in 1949 and remained through 1951. The Ladies’ Aid began during this time.
Rev. Robert LANGEN was parish pastor 1951 – 1953. Rev. Langen left the parish to become a philosophy professor at Waterloo Lutheran University.
Rev. Norman LANGE was ordained in the summer of 1954 and soon after assumed parish duties which he held until 1957.
Between the time of vacany (1957 – 1958) the parish was served by Adolph KAPPES and Harold GRAM.
Rev. Charles DECHERT served the years 1958 – 1968. During this time, there was another parish alignment that came, into being the beginning of 1964.
St. John, Bonnechere joined the Grattan parish and St. Peter’s Alice, formerly with Petawawa now joined with Bethlehem Woito, and Grace Rankin.
Rev. George STRACK of Petawawa served as vice-pastor from 1968 – 1969, until newly ordained Rev. William BROWN assumed the pastoral charge in June of 1969, serving until 1972.
Rev. Donald STROH served as vice-pastor 1972 – 1973 when Rev. Ken WARD moved into the parsonage and became the pastor (1973 – 1976).
Rev. Bernard PAETZOLD came in November of 1976 and remained until September 15, 1981.
Rev. Fred HAAK was vice~pastor both before the coming of Rev. Jacob PILLIBEIT (1981 – 1982) and after Rev. Pillibeit left.
Rev. William BROWN came in September 1984 to the now two-point charge of Bethlehem woito and Grace Rankin. The parish became the ‘RANKIN LUTHERAN PARISH”. Rev. Brown is the only pastor that has accepted and served the parish for a second ministry. During this time, Grace celebrated it‘s 125th Anniversary. Rev. Brown left in April 1989.
Rev. Gerald SCHAUS served as interim pastor from 1989 – 1990.
Rev. David METZGER served as resident interim pastor from 1990 – 1994.
Rev. Gilbert (Gil) SCHARF became Pastor on a half-time call from 1994 – 1996. Then after his retirement, continues to the present date as resident interim pastor.