St. Peters UCC

St. Peters United Church of Christ, 510 Ring St. in Mapleton celebrates 100 years of service.

From humble beginnings in March of 1919, the Rev. W. R. Wetzeler, pastor of Frieden’s Evangelical Church of Schleswig, was invited to Mapleton with the hopes of organizing a church in Mapleton.

Forty interested people attended this meeting at the Presbyterian Church, which was not being used, and as a result, the Reverend Vander Ohe of German City was called to be pastor.

On May 11, 1919, the petition calling for the organization of a congregation was signed by 45 men and women. The first council was elected – Henry Godberson and Ferdinand Sonksen as elders and M.J. Baagoe and John Passick as deacons. The following were appointed to form a constitution committee – M.J. Baagoe, Henry Cook, T.H. Schenjahn and Rev. Vander Ohe as advisory member.

On June 9, 1919, the constitution was adopted, together with the name St. Peters Evangelical Church. The congregation continued to meet in the Presbyterian Church until a new church was erected and dedicated of their own in 1923 at the present location at Sixth and Ring Streets.

In 1930, the Westside Evangelical Church was being served by our pastor every other Sunday. The Westside affiliations were canceled in 1965.

In 1966, the Castana Community Church was yoked with St. Peters UCC of Mapleton. The Castana Community Church affiliations were cancelled in 2007.

Through the years, many improvements and updates were made to the church. This was possible by many fundraisers and donated monies and labor.

The Women’s Fellowship served an evening meal every Wednesday for the Rotary Club for many years. Youth groups picked up spilled ear corn from the corn pickers and sold many wagonloads to the elevator. There were many bake sales, soup suppers, pancakes and rummage sales. Membership at one time was close to 200.

Two local young men of the church were ordained into the ministry in the church. In 1957, Paul Otte, son of Rev. and Mrs. Elmer Otte (Rev. Elmer Otte was a pastor to St. Peters for 30 years) was ordained. In 1964, Arlan Fick, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lenhardt Fick (from rural Mapleton) received his ordination.

St. Peters through the years had an active Sunday School, Bible School, and Youth Groups. Many youth participated in Bible Camps at Blake’s Grove and Pilgrim Heights.

Many baptisms, confirmations classes, weddings, and funerals were blessed through the ministry of St. Peters. The church doors have been and always will be open to all. St. Peters UCC is truly the people’s church.

“Lift high the cross of Christ! Tread where His feet have trod. As followers of the Son of Man, Rise up O Church of God!”

A special service and 100th celebration is in the works! Church members will keep you posted.

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