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125 Years
1878-2003
Friedens United Church of Christ
339 North 4th Street
Seward, Nebraska
Dedication
There is a passage from the Gospel of John which has given direction to the
congregation of Friedens United Church of Christ for its entire history.
"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
Thus our theme, "LIFTING HIGH THE CROSS OF CHRIST" becomes
based on the intention of Jesus, to draw all people to himself in faith.
It is to the founding fathers and mothers of Friedens that we owe gratitude.
There have been so many in each of the generations of the Friedens family
who have worked, contributed, prayed, taught, cared, ministered and loved
in the name of Christ.
It is with great joy we celebrate 125 years of continuous ministry in the
name of the Christ who was crucified to save us all. It is His resurrection
and new life we celebrate every week as we engage in ministry in our
community and the world. The building has changed over the years due to
remodeling and addition, but the fellowship of the faithful is still intact.
We dedicate this booklet to the people who have gone before us and
"LIFTED HIGH THE CROSS OF CHRIST." Praise the Lord!
Friedens United Church of Christ
125th Anniversary Celebration
"Lifting High the Cross of Christ" fohn 12:32
Sunday, September 14, 2003
339 North 4th Street
Seward, Nebraska
ALL 125th ACTIVITIES LOCATED AT THE CHURCH.
FORMER MEMBERS, GUESTS AND VISITORS WELCOME!
CHURCH SANCTUARY AND BASEMENT FELLOWSHIP HALL ARE HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE.
FEATURING: Congregational Worship Service
10:00 a.m.
Special125th Anniversary Speaker: Pastor George Worcester, Conference Minister
Special Music
11:30 a.m.
Catered Anniversary Dinner and Fellowship Time
Church Basement Fellowship Hall - Special Exhibit of Congregational Church Banners
1:00 p.m.
Anniversary Program
Informal Service and Sharing
Featuring the Seward Kitones Men's Chorus in Concen
Special125th Anniversary Exhibits and Congregational Memorabilia at the Church
"Sunday's Finest" Hats of the Ladies of the Congregation Over the Years!
Quilt Exhibit - Quilts Created and Quilted by Ladies of the Congregation
Wedding Dress Exhibit- Wedding Dresses from Weddings at Friedens and Members'
Wedding Dresses through the Decades
Photos - Photo Exhibit of Past Confirmation Classes and other Items of Interest
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Pastor's Letter
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!
It is with great joy that we share this 125th Anniversary. We celebrate the Anniversary in
memory of all those who have gone before us. We are so grateful that a dedicated Pastor,
Christian Bek, came to Seward County and the Seward area. When we read of Pastor Bek' s
journey in the name of Christ, it appears that God leads people in miraculous ways. For his
leadership, for the leadership of five families, we give thanks. Without them, we would not exist.
Through the years there have been faithful people, members and friends of Friedens who have
given generously of their time, talent, treasure and thoughts that this church might make a
Christian witness in this community. We thank God that they responded to the call to service
in His name.
Over the years, I have learned to appreciate with greater intensity, the leadership of the laity of
the church. The loyalty, the generosity, the caring fellowship, the reaching out to others is
commendable. God has indeed blessed Friedens with good leadership and good pastors. God
continues to have need for Friedens to be in the Seward community for ministry in His name.
Praise the Lord!
A special appreciation goes to those who have worked to make this celebration a reality. For all
the hours of effort on their part I give thanks to God! We go forward in the faith that God will
use us to bring people to discipleship in the name of Jesus Christ!
Alvin H. Smith, Pastor
Pastor George Worcester, Conference Minister, with Rev. AI Smith.
History of
Friedens Church
First Church- 1878
Does this look like a church edifice? Today it serves to
house a car, etc., but once it served a genuine spiritual
purpose. Yes, this is the first church, built in 1878.
A very plain, unpretentious building, with simple fur-
nishings, old-fashioned kerosene lamps hanging from the
ceiling, and a large stove in the center providing plenty of
heat for the faces, but usually leaving the feet miserably
cold. Yet here gathered the small group of faithful to
worship, to study God's Word, to build for themselves a
home for their souls, and surely, the best sort of material
was given to them to build such a spiritual home upon
the sure and certain foundation of the Church of Jesus
Christ.
There are still names, even of present living members,
to be found scribbled on the plain walls where old layers
of wallpaper continue to peel off, these parties never
thinking that they thus would perpetuate themselves for
125 years. One can imagine how severe the punishment
for such infractions must have been under the watchful
eyes of Pastors C. Bek, P. Speidel and Adam Woth.
_Friedens Evangelical, now known as Friedens United
Church of Christ of Seward, Nebraska was established
September 22, 1878, under the leadership of Pastor
Christian Bek. Pastor Bek had received his education
for ministry in Germany. He came to America to serve
Christ as a Pastor of a church. His career saw him
moving many times and one of those moves included a
three year time span in the Seward Community. The
first members of this new church were immigrants
from Germany and of the Evangelical Synod.
On September 22, 1878 the church was organized.
Five laymen were instrumental in the beginning of the
church. These five were John Schmidt, George Goetz,
Karl Meier, Matthais Schmidt and Henry Meinberg.
They each pledged $100 for the building of a 20' x 30'
first place of worship. Kerosene lamps and a large stove
in the center of the building provided light and heat.
In 1888, the membership had grown to 42 members.
A parsonage had been built in 1885 for the pastor
costing $1 ,000. It was decided to build a larger house
of worship in 1888 and that cost $2,600.
The sacrifices made by these early pioneers of
Friedens were great and we applaud their faithful
efforts. All the services were held in the German lan-
guage during the early years. The change to English
speaking services was made gradually.
In the early 1900's Pastor Woth served the Seward
and Goehner congregations. Pastor Woth used horse
and buggy for transportation. In the summer a three
wheeler bicycle was used on the railroad tracks, with
permission, to travel to Goehner.
As the years passed, the church grew in numbers and
activities. Improvements were made to the church. in
1922 a new parsonage was built. In 1938 a heating
system was installed. In 1945 the basement of the
church was excavated and a new fellowship hall was
built. The cost of remodeling was $9,100.
We continue to send delegates to Annual Confer-
ence. We have lay representation at the meetings of the
Lincoln Association. Friedens is part of the Seward
Ministerial Association through its pastor. We have
children and youth and adults active in the life of the
church. There are two Sunday School classes ...
Parsonage and Church - 1888
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Interior of Church - 1888
children and adults.
We are thankful for those who began the work of
Friedens here in Seward on behalf of the Evengelical
Synod. We thank all who prayed and worked and
contributed to the life of the church. It is because of
this commitment that we are able to celebrate 125
years of continuous ministry in this year 2003. Two
men from Friedens trained for the ministry, Elmer
Brinkmeyer (deceased) and Leo Zillig who is retired.
Glory be to God!
Leo and Joyce Zillig
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Life History
of Christian Bek
Christian Bek was born at Aichelberg. 0/A Schoen-
dorf, Wuntemberg, Germany, on July 12, 1829, and
baptized in the Evangelical Church on the same day.
His parents were modest, God-fearing people. He
attended the Evangelical Village School regularly from
his 6th to 14th year. After his confirmation he assisted
his parents for several years. Heeding the call to the
ministry, he entered the Pilger Mission Institution at
St. Chrischona at Hasel, Switzerland, in 1851, from
which he graduated in 1854. He received his appoint-
ment to minister to the Evangelical and Pentecostal
Brethren which were scattered in this predominately
Catholic territory at Tettnang in the vicinity of Lake
Constance, to instruct and guide them in the Word of
God. At the expiration of one year his Mission Board
transferred him to Texas, U.S.A.
Crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat he landed in
Galveston, Texas, on November 30, 1855, and was
ordained as a minister in the Texas Synod in 1856. He
endeavored to gather the German-speaking brethren
into a united assembly which proved to be impossible,
because of the scarcity of settlers and the great distances
that separated them. After much prayerful considera-
tion and on the advice of the Ministerial Board of the
Synod, he decided to come nonh where there seemed
to be a greater need for ministers.
In April1857, he came to St. Louis, Missouri; where
he affiliated with the Evangelical Synod of Nonh
America and accepted a pastorate of the Big Berger
Church in Franklin County, Missouri, where he served
until 1863 when he accepted a call to the Evangelical
Ebenezer Church of Augusta, in St. Charles County,
Missouri, to establish a new work, the St. Johannes
Church. He ministered there for seven years. While at
this place his wife and one son were called to their
heavenly home and the family so weakened by malaria
and other fevers that he was obliged to seek another
location.
In February 1877, he accepted a call to the newly
organized St. Peters Church in Elmhurst, Illinois. Here
he served for only seven months because the necessary
family expenses exceeded the suppon the congregation
was able to give and there was no other means to
supplement his income. Neither was there at that time
a call for a minister in a new location, so after investi-
gating a movement by the Burlington Railroad Com-
pany to settle some of its cheap lands in the middle
west, he felt led to accept a contract for 160 acres of
land in Seward County, Nebraska.
In October of 1877, he moved with his family to
this homestead. Arriving at their destination, the task
of making a home, supporting a large family on a raw
piece of land with little or no material means, and with
winter coming, seemed insurmountable. But the Lord
helped them through it all. After their arrival they
found there were several German families of the same
faith who gathered together helping each other, and
after they had prepared the most material necessities
they joined as a body of believers and built the Evan-
gelical Friedens Church at Seward, Nebraska. Christian
Bek served as its pastor for three years.
In the fall of 1880, he received a call from the
Evangelical Salem Church at Alhambra, Illinois, which
he accepted in December of that year. Conditions at
that church however, were such that he terminated his
stay after 20 months and accepted a call to the Evan-
gelical Zion Church in Richardson County, Nebraska,
where he labored for 12 years. These were perhaps the
most richly blessed years of his life.
Toward the end of this period his health and
strength did not seem to be adequate to keep up the
manifold activities which the field required. After
much consultation he retired and moved to Seward,
Nebraska, in the year of 1894, to make his home in the
place where most of his children were located. From
this time on he supplied his services wherever they
were needed until his death on April12, 1922. Having
labored in many fields, he went home in the full
assurance of the atoning blood of Christ received by
grace through faith.
Seward Friedens
Ministers ofF riedens
United Church of Christ
To attend the weekly service, members drove in
open wagons from Milford, Staplehurst and Bee. The
first infants baptized in the new church were the late
George Meinberg and Chris Bek, son of Rev. and Mrs.
Bek. The services were conducted in German for the
founding members and it continued to be spoken until
the 1920s.
Pastor W oth served both the Seward and Goehner
congregations in the early 1900s, traveling by horse
and buggy. Also during the summer, after teaching
religion classes in German at Goehner, a three wheeler
bicycle was used, by permission, on the Northwestern
Railroad. The bicycle was fitted with a third wheel to
extend to the other rail of the railroad tracks. A motor
was on the bicycle as the trip back from Goehner at
noon could be very hot.
June, 1938, brought the merger of the Evangelical
Synod and the Reformed Church.
In 1957 theE & R Church united with the Congre-
gational Christian Church to form the United Church
of Christ.
Pastors serving Friedens United Church of Christ.
Rev. Christian Bek 1878-1881
Rev. P. Speidel 1884-1895
Rev. Goerlitz 1896-1896
Rev. Karl Schneider 1896-1899
Rev. C. Hauck 1899-1900
Rev. Adam Woth 1900-1922
Rev. A. Abele 1922-1929
Rev. Thomas Marshall 1929-1936
Rev. C. Jakowsky 1937-1941
Rev. R. Walkenhorst 1941-1946
Rev.M.Seybold 1948-1954
Rev. R. Stock 1954-1960
Rev. Dale Krampe 1961-1967
Rev. Garret Karow 1968-1971
Rev. Gary Thomson 1971-1973
Rev. Don Hartman 1974-1978
Rev. James Armour 1979-1982
Rev. Herry Vieth 1983-1991
Rev. T ex Miller 1991-1992
Rev. Joan Moss 1992-1996
Rev. Jack Scavo Sept.- Dec.1996
Rev. John David 1997-1998
Rev. Alvin H. Smith 1998-present
Two men of the congregation have entered the mini-
stry: Rev. Elmer Brinkmeyer (now deceased) and the
Rev. Leo Zillig (now retired).
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Current Church Council
John Yelden - President
Joyce Meyer - Treasurer
Marsha Y elden - Elder
David Leising - Trustee
Alvin H. Smith - Pastor
Leo Zillig - Vice President
Mary Jo Yates- Secretary
Norman Schulz- Elder
Duane Preston - Trustee
Organizations
The membership is currently at 75 members. The
average attendance for the Church service this year has
been 52. Several members are descendents of the
original founders of the Church. Henry Meinberg was
the grandfather to Joyce Meyer, Walter, Henry, and
Leonard Meinberg. Walter, Henry and Leonard are
now deceased but their wives Marie, Della and
Mildred are members. Walter, Henry and Leonard
were also descendents of Rev. Bek. George Goetz was
Joyce Meyer's mother's uncle.
The Women's Guild became the Women's Fellow-
- ship in 1965 through action of the United Church of
Christ. All women in the church are members. The
meetings are held the first Thursday of each month
except June and July when no meetings are held. The
Silver Tea is held in October where local Churches are
invited to attend, a Christmas party in December, and
a Mother-Daughter affair in May. Lap robes are made
out of recycled material to give to local nursing homes,
hospitals and shut-ins. There are no dues, only free will
donations.
The Quilting Circle meets every Thursday, quilting
about three quilts a year. The money they raise is given
to church supported children's homes.
The Gleaners have been meeting and serving
Friedens for 78 years. True to their objective of fellow-
ship, instruction, inspiration, and service to the local
church, the community, the U.C.C. Conference, and
the Kingdom at large, this dedicated group of women
have met to the best of their ability any need that
presented itself, whether it meant being "Marthas" or
whether it meant being "Marys." They have been
faithful in supponing the benevolences under the care
of the U.C.C., both as an organization and as indivi-
duals ministering in service to others. They gather each
month to have devotions, to enjoy a program, and care
for the business of the organization. They have on
occasion been able to share their Christian concern
with others in the congregation and community
through acts of caring. Lately the group meets fewer
times during the year. They continue to have that spirit
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of caring and sharing.
There are two Sunday School experiences available
to the people of the congregation ... an Adult Class,
attended by a dozen or more adults each Sunday, and a
Children's Class attended by as many as seven or eight
depending on the day. Two very loyal teachers teach
these classes ... David Leising the Adult Class and Carol
Schulz the Children's Class. Over the years Christian
Education has been an imponant part of Friedens and
for the teachers who have been faithful, we give thanks.
In the evening of the last Sunday of the month a
Monthly Supper and Fellowship is held. Meat is
provided and members bring dishes to go with the
meat. After the meal, dominos, card games such as
pitch, and cribbage are played.
2003 Listing of 50 Year
or More Members
Louise Bauer - 70 years
Roben Bauer
Ron Brandenburg -
Fred Bruns- 70 years
Vera Bruns
Erma Flowerday
Boyd Gabel
lone Gabel - 70 years
Mildred Hentzen
Lloyd Keller
Della Meinberg - 70 years
Marie Meinberg
Mildred Meinberg
Joyce Meyer
Janice Preston
Carol Schulz
Jean Schulz
Norman Schulz
Evelyn Tipton
Dorothy Viets
Velma Yelden
Mervin Zillig
Myrna Zillig
Boyd Gabel, Bell Ringer.
Quilting Circle.
Church members trying out new elevator.
Supper and game night. Gleaners.
Women's Fellowship. Adult Sunday School.
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Children,s Sunday School.
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'fllllrlli , l!lll(
Supper and game night.
Mother-Daughter banquet.
MEMORIES ... written by members of the church
Our Friedens United Church of Christ
by Erma Flowertlay
Twas over 70 years ago I first came here to worship
With my boyfriend, Ted; on his brother Albert's tip.
In fact when Rev. Marshall announced Dale's Christmas
recitation
I decided his last name would be my destination.
We continued to come and Ted decided to be a member
I went with him and tried to remember
My instructions when confirmed at Congregational Church
at Garland.
Later the two churches were merged as planned.
We were married by Rev. Marshall in '35
To keep our membership from various homes we did strive.
In his farewell sermon Rev said,
I baptized, confirmed, married and baptized his child - That
wasTed.
The years rolled by and many activities were enjoyed
There was 'chicken-noodle soup supper' we did for pay.
Min Goehner and crew cooked - none were employed
We all contributed food and made it a rewarding day.
There was the Sunday School picnic on Children's Day
After each child had their recitation to say.
All took filled baskets and went to the park
We played games, had ice cream and got home before dark.
Baptisms were done in a special way.
Several babies were baptized that day.
Then there was more time for sermon and song.
These many couples and babies sure did belong.
There were couples with five who filled a pew.
Anderson, Bruns, Flowerday, two Hentzens, & Zillig to
name a few.
Many others with two, three, or four, to add to the crew.
There was no nursery so they learned to be quiet - That's
new!
To ready all five for their Sunday School Class
Was quite an undertaking but quickly did pass.
I remember being told after a frustrating morn,
You're wearing two different shoes -lucky to have two pair
to adorn.
Women's Fellowship was very active then.
A large number of lap robes were freely given.
Ladies over 70 were exempt from officers work.
Now we can't find many that young- from the activity they
shirk.
Sunday School was a big operation.
Emma Meyer had the little ones on every occasion.
She loved them like they were her own.
They felt like she was an angel when they were away from
home.
Several classes were reaching for room.
Then the basement was enlarged-a new Sunday School
addition did loom
I taught the 7th and 8th grades for several years-
Around the 60's- L.J. is still one of those dears.
The teenagers also were a large bunch
They met quite often and had a big lunch.
They went on hikes and outings
And had much fun- I'm not doubting!
Men's Brotherhood- I haven't mentioned
What a large group of men & boys with good intentions.
They had a softball team- didn't win many games.
But the Easter breakfast they served deserves much fame.
The Sewing Circle is where quilters go once a week.
Velma and Helen have made it a business - so to speak.
They give to the needy and distribute their wealth.
I helped until needed at home for Ted's health.
Sometime ago we had a church choir.
Several soloists and duet teams we did admire.
A men's quartet, we did enjoy.
We have them all yet when a 'special' we employ.
The business part of this place of meeting.
Has many members doing special treating.
The depression and the 30's were solved in many ways
Ted served as V.P., also Trustee during some of those days.
The many ministers I can recall
At least ten - I can't name them all
They administered to those who needed it most
And were to the Congregation, "A PERFECT HOST!"
Many anniversaries and weddings have been here
Those little ones grew up and left- some every year.
Our four daughters were married and guests and bride and
groom
Were all served by our ladies in the basement dining room.
Our church is the same, but much improved.
An electric organ instead of the pipe organ they played.
Colored glass windows - the clear ones showed outside.
Carpeting, air conditioning, and a lift we welcome with
pride.
Throughout the years there have been many times to be sad.
With the loss of our loved ones we contend.
Our Church was the best place we had.
For a haven of rest and our dear friends.
9
Just two years ago our couple attendance did end.
I lost my husband - My best friend.
What a consolation for me, my family and all
To bring him to our Church when he answered God's call.
There are many willing workers in our Church plan.
An unsung group give of their labor and talents the best
that they can.
Officers, Ushers, Greeters, Candelighters, Bell Ringers and
more;
Organist, S.S. teachers, readers, and record keepers for sure.
Now the welcome doors ofU.C.C. are open wide.
There are coffees and Sunday evening dinners served with
pride.
But mostly for PastorAl's inspiring message anq songs
We come and for the friendships we've had for so long.
Fred Bruns and Family
Submitted July 27, 2003
Fred Bruns was born on October 8, 1919, and baptized
at Friedens Church parsonage on February 7, 1920, with
Grosseltern Henry Hemsath as sponsor. He was confirmed
on June 3, 1933, by Pastor Reverend Thomas Marshall. On
October 8, l940, he married Vera Manke at Friedens. They
have five children who were all baptized and confirmed at
Friedens: Sharron born December 20, 1942
Connie born May 26, 1945
Daphne born June 12, 1946
Marley born July 6, 1950
Lonnie born September 4, 1953
The following were married at Friedens:
Daphne to James Blausen in July, 1965
Sharron to Earl Gary in February, 1967
Connie to Gerald Ludwig in June, 1967
Lonnie to J uli Adams in June, 1972
The church has been an important part of their lives.
Fred taught Sunday School many years, sang in the choir,
served on the Church Board and was a member Men's
Fellowship where he also served as President. He assisted in
hand digging the east church basement and building of the
educational addition. Vera is still active in Gleaners
Women's Fellowship, and Quilting Circle. '
Joyce (Brose) Meyer's Memories
My memories of Friedens UCC are many. I was baptiz-
ed, confirmed and married to Herbert Meyer in the church.
Our children, Merle, Charles and Kay were baptized and
confirmed here also. I attended Sunday School in a class-
room where the organ is today. It was a small room with
Dora Bek as our teacher. We had larger classes then and not
enough room for everyone; today we have the room and
not as many children.
A big pipe organ was in the center of where the altar is
now and the pulpit was up a few stairs.
The church used to be so full on special occasions like
Easter, Christmas Eve, and Mission Festivals, chairs had to
10
be put down the aisle and in the hallways. Sunday School
picnics were held in the park with games after the meal.
My grandparents, Henry Meinberg and his brother-in-
law, George Goetz, were charter members and were part of
building a small building about the size of a garage for the
first church.
My husband, Herbert Meyer was also baptized, con-
firmed and married in this church. He was also a member of
the church for over 50 years. He tells about the Christmas
Eve program when one of the boys had a pin beneath his
robe and he would stick the girls during the programs. This
boy is not a member of our church now. He left the church
when he got married.
Herbert and I both taught Sunday School, served on the
council and I was a Sunday School Superintendent.
Meinberg
Submitted by Joyce (Brose} Meyer, _Della Meinberg,
and Mildred Meinberg
Our ancestors, George Goetz and Henry Meinberg were
two of the founding fathers of the church in 1878. Henry
Meinberg and George Goetz were brothers-in-law.
George Meinberg was the eldest child of Henry
Meinberg. He was married to Emma Deden. Their children
were Louis, Clara, Edna, Henry, Elsie, Leonard, George,
and Walter.
Emma was the second child of Henry Meinberg. She
married Henry Eggerling. Their children were Arthur and
Norman.
Mary, Henry's third child, marri_fd Chles Brose. Their
children were Gertrude and Joyce.
The following descendents of Henry Meinberg are:
Henry and Marie Meinberg and their children, Virginia
Cover, Marilyn Ellis, Jean Tonniges, g.nd Robert Meinberg
who were baptized and confirmed in the church.
Leonard and Della Meinberg and their children, Linda
Pannkuk, L. J. Meinberg, Tim Meinberg, and Kent Mein-
berg.
Walter and Mildred Meinberg and their children, Gary
Meinberg, Jane Schnittker, and Donald Meinberg.
Herbert and Joyce Meyer and their children, Merle
Meyer, Charles Meyer and Kay Rohren.
Beryl Bauer
My memories of the church started in the spring of 1955,
the year Bob and I were married. I joined the church that
fall. Rev Roy Stock was pastor. Bob's parents, Fred and
Louise were married in 1930 at the parsonage. Louise, an
expert seamstress, was a member of the Sewing Circle for
many years. She made lots of pajamas and layettes that were
sent to the church's children's homes. Gladys Johnson, Jean
T oovey and I worked together many years decorating for
the Silver Tea. It was a lot of fun, but a challenge to come
up with a good program every year. The year St John's
choir marched in with 50 kids really surprised us! They
didn't want to leave anyone behind and their numbers
surpassed the audience!
/mig and Rocker Families
From Della Rocker Meinberg
My grandfather Jacob Imig became a member of Friedens
in 1880. My mother, Maria Johanna Imig, was baptized in
1887. There does not seem to be a record of Grandfather
Rocker or my father, Jacob Rocker, joining the church, but
she is sure they were members.
Della says that when Katie Meinberg was confirmed and
joined the church, she was the fifth generation of Imigs and
Rockers to be confirmed in Friedens Church. All of Della's
children except Gisela were baptized and confirmed in
Friedens Church. Those children are named, Linda, L. J.,
Tim and Kent.
Mildred Meinberg
Friedens United Church of Christ has been a part of my
life since I married Walter on March 12, 1944. Walter was
a third generation Meinberg to be a life time member of the
church.
Some of the most memorable things in the church for me
were the Chicken Noodle Suppers. They were sponsored by
the Women's Fellowship. Min Goehner was responsible for
making the soup. She was known as the best chicken soup
maker around! -
I remember the Gleaners having lunch stands at farm
sales. They seemed to be held on the coldest winter days.
The Gleaners went from those cold days to warmer summer
days with their activities. They hosted a picnic in the park
in August. We always had a lot of good food and good
times playing games.
A Firm Foundation
by Maureen Joy Flowerday Dunn
One of my earliest memories of my home church was my
first day of Sunday School. I finally turned three and could
go with my older sisters, Jan, Mitzi and Judy. I had a penny
in my hand for the offering and sat in the front row. Mrs.
Meyer was my teacher and Mrs Bluhm was the superinten-
dent. Each year when my class was promoted, we moved up
a row. My religious foundation was on its way!
Our mothers, aunts, cousins and friends were our
teachers. They were a strong influence during the week as
well as on Sunday. With each passing year my spiritual
foundation became stronger. Confirmation class soon began
for this 13 year old girl. We met every Saturday morning
from around 9:30 until close to noon. The work was hard
but I learned so much. My bible verse from Reverend Stock
was "Be faithful until death and I will give you the gift of
life." It has served me well over the years.
Over the years I have watched my sisters get married and
my parents celebrate anniversaries at our beloved United
Church of Christ. Then in 2001 we gath.ered together as a
family and a community to say good-bye to our father, Ted
Flowerday and niece, Barbara Preston. It was a very hard
time, but because of my firm religious foundation I was able
to find the peace and strength needed for my family and
myself . .
So it is with gladness in heart that I send congratulations
to Friedens on its 125th anniversary and to say Thanks
from one of your children.
BENTZEN
On August 31, 1884 the brothers Gustav and Julius
Hentzen left their home in Rehme, Kreis Minden, Ger-
many, to live in the U.S.A. They were sponsored by friends
who lived in Minier, Illinois. Several years later they moved
to Seward County, Nebraska. They arranged for their
widowed mother, Anna Hentzen, and their sister, Martha,
to come to America. Martha later married Gustav Tempel
and Gustav Hentzen married Edna Fuehring. The Hentzen
family had a continuous membership in the Evangelical
Friedens Church. They participated in all programs and
activities.
Gustav and Martha (Hentzen) Tempel and their five
children were members of Friedens-Goehner. Anne married
Otto Schroeder and became a member of the Seward
church. A grandson, Norm Schulz is a member today.
Gustav and Edna had three Herbert, Walter
and Irene. All were baptized and confirmed at Friedens.
Herbert married Beulah Batchelder. Five children were
born to them. Carol (Schulz) still a member of Friedens,
Richard, Charles, Neal and Keith. All are active in their
various churches. Carol's children, Tom and Sarah were
confirmed at Friedens. Charles serves on the board of a
living facility for the elderly owned by the UCC in
Minnesota. Neal has been an actor in the Seward Methodist
Churches well known Lenten play. Keith and his family
participated in a medical mission to Jamaica.
Walter married Mildred Vogt who was baptized and
confirmed at Salem Methodist Church in rural Seward
County. They were married October 6, 1937. It seemed the
logical thing for Mildred to transfer membership to
Friedens E & R Church because Walter was a member of
the Church Council at the time. The distance to the
country church was several miles farther and mud roads.
(The roads from the family farmstead .to town were hard
surfaced and fewer.) Mildred never regretted the move.
Five children, daughters Ruth, Marg, Alice and Jane and
son Dennis blessed this home. The children were all
baptized, confirmed, attended Sunday School and were
active in the youth work as well as a United Christian
Youth Group that was organized during this time. Dennis
has four of the 12 grandchildren that are part of this
extended family. Only he and his family still live on the
original farmstead and farms. The daughters are all nurses
(as is Dennis's wife). They live in other parts of the country
but are continuing in the life of churches where they live.
Irene married Allen R. Koop of Louisville, Nebraska. She
was the Choir Director of the Louisville Methodist Church
for many years and also played the organ. Their daughter,
11
Marilyn lives in Denver.
On February 15, 1894, Julius Hentzen married Emma
Meyer, a native of Tazwell County, Illinois. They had four
children: Elza died in infancy, Clara was born in 1896,
Arthur in 1903 and Agnes in 1906.
Clara lived in Seward and was active in Friedens until
1947 when she moved to Tacoma, Washington. Arthur and
his family lived in Oklahoma and Kansas. Agnes (Friis)
taught school in David City, Nebraska.
The Yates Family
The Yates family (Harvie, Mary Jo, Denise, and Daniel)
moved to Seward in September, 1976, after Harvie retired
from the Navy after serving 22lh years. We moved to
Seward from Norfolk, Nebraska, where Harvie was a Navy
recruiter. We transferred our membership from the UCC
Church in Norfolk. Denise started at Doane College and
four years later graduated from there. Daniel entered the
7th grade at Middle School and later graduated from
Seward High School. Harvie enrolled at SCC in Milford
and upon graduation, he was employed by Lee's Refrigera-
tion. Mary Jo was assistant manager at Ashley's Outlet and
when that dosed she was employed at JC Penneys. Daniel
was confirmed and baptized at the Presbyterian Church
when Friedens and the Presbyterian Church were yoked.
He was active in the Youth Group through high school.
Mary Jo has been active in the work of the Church and
has been Church Board Secretary for the past several years.
She also sang in the choir till it was discontinued.
In 1988 Harvie died at age 53 of bone cancer. Mary Jo
continued running the Sears Catalog Store that she and
Harvie started in 1978. In 1992 Sears catalog was dis-
continued so she and Daniel formed a partnership and sold
appliances for one year, then they became owners of an
independent dollar store. They have had the Dollar
Emporium since 1993. They also had a store in York which
they closed in 1995. Daniel and his wife Janet live on an
acreage by Dwight. Janet works at 96KX in Lincoln.
Denise and her husband Tom Wooten live in Lincoln
where Denise is Director at the YWCA in the pre-school
program. Tom is a Hilti tool salesman. They have four
children; Zakk, almost 19 and will be a sophomore at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kellyn, 14 who will be a
freshman at Southeast High School and is active in plays at
the Lincoln Playhouse and sings, Brad will be a 7th grader
at Pound Jr. High and is 12, and Alex will be in the 3rd
grade at Rousseau Elementary School and is eight years old.
The Meyer Family
Submitted by Joyce (Meyer) Zillig
William and Emma Meyer were members of Friedens
both being confirmed in their youth. Emma brought Joyce
to Sunday School when she was three years of age and
became the teacher of the nursery class later for 20-some
years. So no doubt many of you will remember her as your
12
first Sunday School teacher. She was also active m the
Women's organizations.
In 1942, I was confirmed by Rev. R. 0. Walkenhorst
with a class of nine members namely, Robert Bluhm, Joyce
Brose, Jean Fuehing, Margaret Fosler, Donald Miller,
Aloha Mae Reber, Dean Rocker, Ruth Suellwold, and
myself. Margaret Fosler and Ruth Suellwold are deceased.
I was active in Youth Fellowship, attended Leadership
Training School at Dana College in Blair and led devo-
tionals in Sunday School. Later I became active in Women's
Fellowship, Sunday School and Gleaners.
Leo and his parents joined Friedens in 1945 when he was
in the service. He became active in the Sunday School,
Men's Brotherhood and filled the pulpit at various
churches.
Leo and I were married in Friedens on June 25, 1950,
and were farmers for 12 years. All three of our families were
baptized in Friedens. Leo's parents, William and Nellie and
Bill and Emma were sponsors for our daughter Linda's
baptism.
Linda and Paul had their grandma as their first Sunday
School teacher. Marcia was 19 months old when we moved
from the farm to St. Louis where Leo entered Eden Semi-
nary at Webster Grove, Missouri. All of our children
attended Sunday School there. In fact, all four of us walked
to the Evangelical U.C.C., just a few blocks west of Eden
on Lockwood Avenue. Rev. Thomas Marshall, a former
pastor of Friedens in Seward, served this church after he left
Seward. Leo had assignments at Caroline Mission in
downtown St. Louis at that time.
Linda and Paul were confirmed by Leo at his first
pastorate in Arlington. Marcia was confirmed at St. Paul's
U.C.C. near Tecumseh.
Marcia was married by her Dad in the Plainview Church
in 1985. Marcia, husband Henry, and their family live near
Crofton now.
Paul was married at First Plymouth U.C.C. in Lincoln in
1986 where he, Janet and family are living.
Linda, our first offspring has taught TAG in Mason City,
Iowa, for 17 years and the second grade in Sutton for the
first 10 years.
We have five grandchildren; twin boys, two girls and a
boy.
Completing 28 years in the ministry, Leo retired in 1993
after serving in Franklin and Riverton churches. We moved
to Seward and bought our home on 1265 N. 7th and trans-
ferred our membership back to Friedens. Within a year we
commuted to Western weekly to serve St. Johns and also to
West Blue for seven years. Now Leo serves New Hope
U.C.C. in Lincoln when called upon.
Don and Cathy Pracheil
Submitted by Cathy (Boden) Pracheil
I grew up as a member of the Plymouth Congregational
Church in Crete. The church had a small membership and
the members were almost all related to each other. My
father's extended family made up a large portion of the
Church. My grandmother lived a block and a half from the
Church and always made it to Church, arriving early to visit
with the minister and tell him stories of her early life. I
remember one of her stories was about her family helping to
protect a German minister during World War I by hiding
him in their home. Our minister was Rev. Robert Conner,
an ordained Methodist Minister who taught at Doane
College.
My two younger sisters and I were baptized in 1959 after
my youngest sister was born. I attended Sunday School and
remember enjoying songs such as "The B-1-B-L-E," "Jesus
Loves the Little Children," "Jesus Loves Me," and "Faith of
Our Fathers." I loved the pictures of Jesus with the little
children and Jesus holding a lamb that we had in the youth
worship area. My favorite story was the Good Samaritan.
One of our assignments when I was in sixth grade was to
memorize the 23 rd Psalm. I also remember learning parts
for the Christmas Eve service and for the Mother's Day
program. We attended summer picnics and Mother-
Daughter banquets. In 1968 I was confirmed and in 1970 I
started teaching Sunday School. I taught the next five years
until I graduated from Doane College and moved to
Lincoln.
Don and I were married in 1975 at the First Congre-
gational Church in Crete (our church building was too
small to seat the guests invited to the wedding). We joined
First Plymouth United Church of Christ and both our
children, Jeremy and Amanda, were baptized and confirmed
there. I taught Sunday School for four years and served as a
deaconess for two years. Don headed up an ushering group
and was also Scoutmaster for the Boy Scout troop spon-
sored by First Plymouth. Jeremy received his Eagle Scout
award while Don was the Scoutmaster.
In August of 2002, we moved to Seward to get away
from the big city life. Don, Jeremy's daughter Serena, and I
started attending Friedens in December and I felt like I was
back home. The members were friendly and there were the
same pictures of Jesus on the walls that I grew up with. As
we got to know members, we realized many of them were
related to each other. Several months later I learned that
Rev. Smith was an ordained Methodist minister. I feel like
I'm back home in the little church were I grew up.
The Zillig Family
By Myna and Mervin Zillig
We first attended what was the Friedens Evangelical and
Reformed Church over 60 years ago shortly after our mar-
riage. Rev. Raymond Walkenhorst was the Pastor. John
Gabel and Ed Brinkmeyer greeted as at the door and the
welcome and invitation to return made a lasting impression.
We were pleased with it all and joined the Church shortly
after. - Myrna and Mervin Zillig.
Among my memories of the early years - there was the
digging out of the basement (we carried the ground out
from under the church in buckets). And the ball games the
men's brotherhood sponsored. I felt this helped keep our
young men interested in our Congregation - Mervin Zillig.
The Keller Family
By vama and john Y ~ l d e n
Five generations of the Keller family have been contin-
uous members of Friedens United Church of Christ in
Seward since 1885 when Anna Barbara Meissnest married
Christian Keller in the newly organized Friedens Evan-
gelical Church located on the site of the present church
building.
Edward Keller married Matilda Riekee at Eustis, Nebras-
ka, in 1932 and settled on a farm southwest of Seward.
They were members of Friedens until their deaths in 1991
and 1994. Their three children, Velma, Dwayne and Ray-
mond, were confirmed at Friedens.
John Yelden married Velma Keller in 1957 and their
children, Vern, Gayle and Lynn, were all married at
Friedens in 1986, 1990 and 1987 respectively.
Gayle and David Leising and their children, Ashley and
Allison are members attending; as weli as Lynn and Marsha
Y elden and their children, Hayley and Jack.
Don anJ Delores Miller
Don has memories of the first church building, which
was the place of worship and fellowship for 10 years ... 1878-
1888 ... which includes that the church was made a garage
for Rev. Thomas Marshall's car. When the annual mission
festival was held the garage became a place for the youth to
eat their dinner.
The Marshall boys had a great playhouse ... where Don
and his brother played. They lived down the alley about a
half block east of the church.
The basement of the old church housed the Sunday
School classes. Must have been 30-40 in the entire Sunday
School. Don remembers his mother as a Sunday School
teacher. And it was Della Meinberg who served as Dan's
teacher.
There is also memories of Rev. Walkenhorst coming to
be the new pastor and the Confirmation class beginning. At
the end of this instruction there was an examination of the
confirmands. There was a potluck supper and the parents
were present.
Later, Don was to usher with Dale Flowerday. Don
served on the Church Council as Trustee, and he helped
wherever he could in the life of the church.
Prior to Don's involvement with Friedens, his family was
part of the Presbyterian Church. The family lefr the Presby-
terians and joined with Friedens. Sherry and Linda were
confirmed in Friedens Church.
Don moved to Lincoln, living there from 1943-1962. It
was during this period of time that Don became involved in
St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
Delores moved with her family to Lincoln in 1939. She
also attended St. Paul's United Church of Christ. Both
13
Don and Delores attended Lincoln High School. Don and
Delores were married at St. Paul's Jan. 3, 1954. Daughters
Sherry and Linda were born to them.
In 1962 Don and Delores moved to Seward, becoming
an active part of Friedens Church. Delores joined Women's
Fellowship and the Gleaners. Delores recalls these as good
years in their lives.
Don has a couple of very interesting memories to share
with any who read ...
Joyce Meyer and Joyce Zillig were confirmed with Don
at the same time. Don' s mother took him out to the
furnace room in the basement where she proceeded to
punish him for misbehaving in worship. Because of the
open floor grate, all the activity sound came up through the
floor and people could hear the punishment and crying take
place. His mother was quite embarrassed when all the
sound came up to the Sanctuary.
Don remembers passing the Klingerboital (sp.) or offer-
ing plates. These receptacles were on the end of wooden
rods and had a fringe on the bottom. Don . remembers
passing these receptacles over the heads of the people, and
occasionally men's hair was messed up, or ladies' hats were
knocked loose.
People had their usual pews ... and some families had their
special seating ... the Rockers, the Hentzens, the Flowerdays
and the Zilligs to name a few.
For all the years of being in relationship with Friedens
and sharing in the happy and sad, the joyful and the tough
times, the Millers are grateful to God.
Helen Anderson
144 Bemis Dr., Seward, NE 68434
643-3172
Don and Sue Baack
936 N. 8th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6197 .
Louise Bauer
433 S. lOth St., Seward, NE 68434
643-2123
Robert and Beryl Bauer
1550 350th Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-2216
R. J. Brandenburg
540 B St., Box 26
Staplehurst, NE 68439
535-2268
Fred and Vera Bruns
420 N. 5th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-4129
Robert and Peggy Davis
1224 21 Oth, Seward, NE 68434
761-3653
Sharron Dean
11457 - CR 270, Hico, TX 76457
Erma Flowerday
755 N. 8th St. , Seward, NE 68434
643-3512
14
Membership Roster
Mitch Gabel
2226 252nd, Bee, NE 68314
643-6166
lone Gabel
150 E. Jackson, Seward, NE 68434
643-3416
Boyd and Molly Gabel
347 Grand Ave., Seward, NE 68434
643-4665
Lila Garner
211 N. 4th St., Milford, NE 68405
761-3162 -
Mildred Hentzen
1515 Rainbow, Seward, NE 68434
643-2296
Julie Heyen
2201 S. lOth, Apt. 105
Lincoln, NE 68502
476-4760
Tammy Howery
1315 Fairlane #6, Seward, NE 68434
643-3425
Ellen Ilgenfritz
3001 S. 51st St., Lincoln, NE 68506
Mary Jacobsen
Sunderman West, Seward, NE 68434
EdnaJausi
500 Heartland Park Dr.
Seward, NE 68434
643-3313
Gladys Johnson
1060 N. 2nd St., Seward, NE 68434
643-4719
William and LaVoneJohnson
1123 South St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6259
Irene Keller
651 Manor Dr., Apt. 112
Seward, NE 68434
643-4719
Lloyd and Shirley Keller
3239 Adams Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-3124
David and Gayle Leising
126 S. 2nd St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6388
Della Meinberg
500 Heartland Park Dr. , #147
Seward, NE 68434
643-2163
L. J. Meinberg
247 N. 4th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-4121
Marie Meinberg
500 Heartland Park Dr., #28
Seward, NE 68434
643-6500
Katie Meinberg
1651 Kolterman, Seward, NE 68434
643-3454
Mildred Meinberg
540 N. 4th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-2092
Barbara Meyer
233 Pearl, Seward, NE 68434
Joyce Meyer
33 South St., Seward, NE 68434
643-3435
Don and Delores Miller
1224 Fairlane, Seward, NE 68434
643-4232
Charlotte Murphy
339 S. 1st St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6939
David and Jodie Niebrugge
1330 3rd, Bee, NE 68314
643-3349
Donald and Cathy Pracheil
630 Circle Dr., Seward, NE 68434
643-6555
Beverly Preston
2000 S. Eads St., Apt. 614
Arlington, VA 22202
703-979-7210
Duane and Janice Preston
418 N. 8th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-4428
Joan Propst
1492 322nd Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-2254
Beverly Rocker
808 Hardee, Seward, NE 68434
643-6057
Paul Schmidt
324 N. ind St., Seward, NE 68434
643-4387
Blanche Schulz
520 N. 4th, #8, Seward, NE 68434
643-4329
Carol Schulz
207 Seward St., Seward, NE 68434
643-3745
Norman and Jean Schulz
P.O. Box 1, 267 Church St.
Seward, NE 68434
643-2814
Alvin H. Smith
12 Davisson Dr., Seward, NE 68434
646-2104
Evelyn Tipton
600 Church St., Seward, NE 68434
643-3393
Ralph T oovey
2287 Waverly Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-2187
Dorothy Viets
243 N. 1st St., Seward, NE 68434
Dan Yates
1519 314th Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-2400
John and Velma Yelden
221 S. Columbia Ave.
Seward, NE 68434
643-6055
Lynn and Marsha Y elden
405 S. 1st St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6240
Mervin and Myrna Zillig
2212 Waverly Rd, Seward, NE 68434
643-6279
Leo and Joyce Zillig
1265 N. 7th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-2660
Friends of Friedens
Ruth Anderson
518 N. 5th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-2841
Roger and Dawn Anderson
Box 6, Staplehurst, NE 68439
535-2895
Margaret and Ken Brock
1463 154th, Pleasant Dale, NE 68423
588-2631
Marlin and Jean Bender
1935 252nd, Seward, NE 68434
643-3569
Harold and Doris Coonrod
322 Pinewood Ave.
Seward, NE 68434
643-3919
Nick and Kathy Eberspacher
Andrew and Angela
1723 - 280th, Seward, NE 68434
643-3856
Kathy Hans
130 Seward St., Seward, NE 68434
Audrey Janak
118 South St., Seward, NE 68434
643-6584
Donna McMillan
648 N. 9th St., Seward, NE 68434
643-3270
Robert Matzke
2755 Holdrege Rd
Seward, NE 68434
643-2358
Sharon Neihardt
540 N. 4th, Apt. #3
Seward, NE 68434
643-2099
Betty Smith
500 Heartland Dr., #119
Seward, NE 68434
643-3599
Ron Winchester
437 S. 6th St., Seward, NE 68434
Phil Wurst
2065 North Columbia
Seward, NE 68434
643-4772
15

16
Our Commitment to be in Ministry
God has an important work for us to do in the future. He has called us to
be a light to the community of Seward, and to the world; that people
might be drawn to Him in faith through Jesus Christ ....
It is appropriate that we sing:
"Lift high the Cross
The love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore
His sacred name."
In this 125th Anniversary Celebration we have looked to the past and
present and found God to be active with us and through us. Our
forebearers stepped forward trusting in the grace of God. The name
"Friedens" is a German word meaning "Peace." It is our purpose to make
that "peace" a reality in our living and in our sharing.
"Praise the Lord!"
Love built this shrine"
Within these sacred walls
A blessing and a rest await.
Struggle and tumult, greed and strife
All these are left without.
Hast thou sinned?
Receive anew forgiving grace.
Hast thou foiled?
Look up and try again
And take to thine own heart
Thy Father's preferred strength.
Hast thou feared?
Then trust, and walk with Him
In confidence and love,
For I am with thee to the end. "
And as you go without these walls
Leave here your sorrows and your cares,
And in their stead
Take Faith and Hope and Love
These three, for they are Thine,
And then within thy breast
Great, living altars raise
And meet Him there
In silent hours of prayer
That you may know Him here
And live at last with Him forevermore.
- Chas. L. DeBow
Logo of the Denomination
The logo or symbol of the United Church of Christ has these characteristics: A
crown, a cross, and orb, enclosed within a double oval which depicts the
name of the church, and the prayer of jesus... "That they may all be one. "
john 17:21. This is an ancient Christian symbol called the "Cross
Triumphant. " The crown lifts up the sovereignty of Christ. The cross lifts up
the suffering of Christ. The orb lifts up the command of Christ to be his
witness to all the earth.