Friday, January 19, 2018

Shirley Margheim

100 years of ministry

Guest column
Christ Evangelical and Reformed Church of Hardin was established in August 1917, and originally named Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. 
Those of the Lutheran persuasion and the Reformed persuasion worshipped together. They had a common factor: They all spoke German, and were mostly Germans who came from Russia. In 1934, they formed the Evangelical and Reformed church of North America.
In 1961, the Evangelical & Reformed Church and the Congregational Church merged and formed the United Church of Christ. The local church withdrew from this union in 1996 and joined the Conservative Congregational Christian Church (4 C’s), where we still are today. May this be the end of our wandering.
The denomination that organized us was the Evangelical Synod of North America, headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. I think we were all happy as members of our original church family. Our church now is called Christ Evangelical & Reformed Church.
Also for your information, on Jan. 1, 1917, a group of German Evangelicals met in Hardin with Rev. Elias Hergett of the Evangelical Synod of North America for the purpose of organizing and building a church. We owe our existence to the faith of those few to whom money and men were secondary to a place to worship their God. Charter members were: Mr. Conrad Yerger, Mr. George Mehling, Mr. Jacob Kern, Mr. Jacob Dittel and Mr. Ostwald Linker.
This article was written and submitted for the church’s 50th Anniversary Book in 1967, by our historian, Amelia Kern.
It is reprinted now for the 100th year celebration of our Church Anniversary, to be held on Aug. 19 and 20.
Special Service will be held at the Big Horn County Historical Museum Church, which was our original church, built with $750 donated by the Sheridan Sugar Co. and a loan from the Synod.
The Sheridan Sugar Co. was interested in helping build a church, since they knew it would take hard workers to work in the sugar beet fields. They wanted people to stay in this area, and they also knew that the people needed a church in which to worship. 
The German people came and worked, and were successful until the day that they could purchase their own farms. Some owned many acres in this area, and agriculture continues to be the largest industry in our area.
Our present church was built in 1949, and the old church was used by another group, and eventually moved to the Big Horn County Historical Museum. Since then, we have added an addition to the entry, brick siding and remodeled the sanctuary. 
The Aug. 19 service begins at 3 p.m. at the Museum Church, following a catered dinner at Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m., an open house for the community at 7 p.m. The Corner Stone time capsule will be opened at 7:30 p.m. by the church officers and members and guests. 
Aug. 20 will be our Sunday service beginning at 10 a.m. and will be including several speakers and a guest soloist from Billings. 
More information on the format will be published at a later date.