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Our Congregation


The Elvira Zion Lutheran Church story begins in 1892 when four families met in a rural schoolhouse with Rev. Ossian Hartman to organize a church.  Two weeks later, worship services began in the little English Lutheran Church, one of two pioneer churches which stood on the current location of the Elvira Cemetery.  

For 22 years, Rev. H. Kuhlmann served the congregation, coming from Clinton once every two weeks on Sunday with a horse and buggy.  Later, the old Presbyterian Church, which was also located at the cemetery, was purchased for $1000 in 1925. 

A member donated land to be used as church grounds and the parsonage was built in 1925.  The process of moving the church to its present location began in 1931 and 1932.  It was put on rollers and teams of horses moved it from the cemetery to its present location. Even though it was a short distance, it took a lot of ingenuity and labor to do this.  There was also a lot of preparation that took place at the new location with a basement getting dug and a foundation poured.  There were many cement steps to the church entrance.  

Services were in German and the men sat on one side of the church with women on the other side–until as legend has it, a young bride bravely stated that if she was going to church with her new husband, she was going to sit by him!  And gradually the rest of the congregation followed.  In January of 1915, an English service was introduced.  This grew and later three services a month were in English and one was in German.  

Since this time there have been some additions added onto the church and the parsonage still exists today.  The one thing that has not changed is the love this community has for one another and its church.