Zion Lutheran Church (Golden Spike, Alberta)

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Zion Lutheran Church (Golden Spike, Alberta)

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The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's members of St Paul's Lutheran Church in Golden Spike wished, in the pre-First World War days, to expand their church to accommodate the larger number of people coming in from the surrounding areas. They built an addition to the church in 1914 but it still proved too small so they decided to relocate about a mile west of the town. That, however, would have left their cemetery without a church so instead the congregation decided to split. The group which met at the Grovenor School House called themselves Zion Lutheran Church. Under the direction of Pastor Eberhardt from Stony Plain they organized and began construction of a church which they dedicated in October 1920. Between 1920 and 1923 they shared a pastor with Peace Lutheran Church in Spruce Grove. Pastor Shippanowski (later Shepherd) was not supplied with a parsonage due to the inability of the two congregations to support him and he moved into an empty farmhouse in 1922. Between 1926 and 1931 the congregation was served by Rev. Waack who roomed with one of the members of the church. A further rift developed in the St. Paul Church which then dissolved. The members of Zion purchased the church building of St. Paul in 1931. Student Hennig started the Vacation Bible School in the area that same summer. The Rev. P. Fry was pastor of the congregation between 1931 and 1943 during which time they built a parsonage beside the church and sold the St. Paul property. The Depression affected the congregation deeply and they lost their subsidy from the ABC District which forced them to amalgamate with the Spruce Grove and Inga congregations. A Ladies Aid was formed in 1940. Between 1943 and 1953 Pastor Alvin Raduenz served Golden Spike and Inga as a vacancy pastor while he continued to serve his old congregation at Tomahawk, and the congregation managed to pay off their debts. He introduced services in English at that time. Another vacancy was filled by Rev. Derwig from Stony Plain and Pastor Appelt. In 1956 Pastor Avotins - who also served a number of Latvian Lutherans in Golden Spike, Edmonton and Calgary -- came to provide services for the Zion congregation until 1968. In 1988 the congregation joined the newly formed Lutheran Church-Canada.

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