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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Wausaukee Presbyterian Church Marks 125 Years

First Presbyterian Church of Wausaukee will celebrate its 125th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. with a service and meal to follow. Head Presbyter Sarah Moore-Nookes will take part in the worship as well as Commissioned Lay Pastor Lin Wittmann. Church choir, as well as the Churchettes and Northwoods Gospel Quartet, will provide music.

First Presbyterian Church was formed in April 1889 after 39 people petitioned Presbytery to start a church. The first worship service was April 29, 1889 in the Wausaukee School, with L.P. Grant and David Edgerly as the first Elders elected. Edgerly’s great granddaughters visited in the area two years ago.

In November, 1889, the Church was incorporated to borrow $800 to build the first little church, which was completed in February of 1890, on land donated by Mr. Monroe’s estate. No permanent Minister was installed until 1900 when Rev. W.J. Lewis was elected to serve both Wausaukee and Amberg in a “yoked field” capacity.

Rev. Lewis preached two services each Sunday, a morning and an evening one except the last Sunday of the month when he preached in Amberg. His wages were $70 per month, with Amberg paying $20 of that amount.

The Minister stayed in the old Manse in Wausaukee and paid $5 rent monthly. In 1895 a new house and lot were purchased much closer to the church and in better shape. The growth of the early church was rapid, with membership increasing to 91 by 1904, and 127 children attended Sunday School.

In 1920 the few records remain, due to a fire and a new church was completed in 1922. Except for a few modifications it is much the same today. Several additions were made due to the generosity of the Monroe girls who donated several lots next to the church which gave space for an addition. During the Depression the church was active in Evangelism and youth programs, one being Christian Endeavor which was held on Sunday evening. In 1935 during 13 week go to church campaign, 30 people were baptized under Rev. Trembley’s guidance. He also preached at the prison camp in Amberg.

Over the years there were many different Ministers due to the “yoked field” arrangements with Athelstane and sometimes Amberg and Pembine. As well many members served as Elders and Deacons. Present Pastor is Lin Wittmann and Elders are Gene Peplinski, Doug Morrison, Jerry Philipps, Paulette Fugate and Bobbi Russ.

Current Deacons are Sue LaCoy, Lois Dunn, Mary Alice Rowley and Linda Hogan-Stream. There is an active youth outreach with Kidz Club which meets Wednesday afternoons and a non denominational youth group which meets once a month.

The Presbyterian Woman’s Group is very active in the mission field donating to many area needs such as the Wausaukee School Christmas Food Basket program, emergency situations, school supplies giveaway, the public library, and an orphanage in the Sudan where there is a local connection.

Pastors who have served Wausaukee Presbyterian Church during its 125 years are listed by name and years they served.

Rev. Charles P. Andrews 1902-1905, Rev. J.S. McGreaham 1905-1909, Rev. Donald S. West 1909-1913, Rev. H. Lothian 1914-1918, Rev. Benjamin Freye 1918-1919, Rev. E.E. Andrus 1920-1921, Rev. A.E. Roberts 1921-1921, Rev. B.C. Stuart 1922-1924, Rev. H. George Vorsheim 1925-1926, Rev. R.O. Moon 1926-1928, Rev. C. Ramsay 1929-1930, Rev. Ernest Tremblay 1930-1938, Rev. Ralph Finn 1939-1941, Rev. H.E. Turley 1941-1943, Rev. C.E. Haskins 1943-1946, Rev. R.E. Donaldson 1947-1950, Rev. Leland G. Rubesh 1952-1958, Rev. David Rockefeller 1958-1960, Rev. Wallace L. Smith 1961-, Rev. Christian Land 1965-1978, Rev. Peter Markey 1981-1984, Rev. James Thomson 1985-1986, Rev. Reagan Gibbs 1986-1989, Rev. Maynard Krieder 1990-1991 Interim, Rev. Nancy Horvath 1991-1994, Rev. Marion Conditt 1995-1995, Rev. Russ Tillotson 1996-2000, Rev. Anne Caughran 2000-2006, Rev. Steve Davis 2007-2008 Interim, Rev. Robert Goebel 2008-2009. Lay Pastor Lin Wittman 2009-Present.


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