As religion continues to grow and evolve, different churches and ways of practicing religion have come and gone throughout the history.
But one church nestled in Chippewa Falls is celebrating the anniversary of the fact that they’ve endured through it all.
Zion Lutheran Church in Chippewa Falls planted its roots in Chippewa Falls on July 2, 1868, and the next day trustees Christopher Buchholz, Louis Brusselmann and Fred Moeri purchased the site that would become Zion Lutheran Church for $750.
From there the church would endure through changing culture, views on religion and even a fire in 1932 to continue preaching and serving the community for what is now 150 years.
Zion Lutheran Pastor Timothy Jones said the fact Zion Lutheran has endured for over a century is a blessing.
“It’s a wonderful example of our lord’s love,” Jones said. “He allows us to be here serving quietly, but doing it for the last century-and-a-half. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it, it’s a long time.”
To celebrate their 150th anniversary, the church will have a special celebration on Sunday Oct. 28.
During their normally scheduled 2 p.m. service Rev. D. Carl Fickenscher II will be their guest preacher. Traveling all the way from Indiana to help celebrate the church’s history, Zion Lutheran congregation member Kathy Michels said she hopes non-congregation members in the community will attend and experience Fickenscher’s sermon.
In addition to the planned celebration service, Zion’s congregation have been celebrating the anniversary throughout the year in various ways. Members crafted a quilt, Pastor Jones posted 150 biblical verses throughout the church and the outside of Zion Lutheran is adorned with a banner commemorating their anniversary and advertising the event on Oct. 28.
Michels said a unique aspect of their practice is their adherence to tradition.
“We still adhere to the biblical teachings,” Michels said. “The world changes around us, but we still believe the same things.”
Pastor Jones added the congregation is extremely supportive of one another and have a dynamic that is hard to find between individuals who aren’t bound by blood.
“We’re definitely a family of Christ,” Jones said. “We are all brothers and sisters, take care of one another and act like any other household would. We have our issues, but we work through them just like any other family would and we grow from there.”
Jones has been absent from the church recently due to a fight with cancer, and in his absence Jones said the congregation has stepped up to ensure their 150th anniversary celebration is an event the church, its congregation and the Chippewa Falls community will be proud of.
“I’m very proud of the congregation and how they are pulling together to do all of the work,” Jones said. “As the Pastor I’ve been sitting back and throwing them ideas and they’re grabbing them, it’s great. They’re a hard working group.”