MEN SAY the pinnacles of the churches point to heaven; so does every tree that buds, and every bird that rises and sings. —They say their aisles are good for worship; so is every rough seashore and mountain glen. —But this they have of distinct and indisputable glory, that their mighty walls were never raised, and never shall be, but by men who love each other in their weakness, and on the way to heaven. —RUSKIN
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST glories in her history, in her brotherhood, in her conquering march over the world, as being the custodian of great ideas, as having furnished a complete account of the moral economy —explaining sin, interpreting conscience, manifesting God, and paving the way for man's return to the Almighty. —F. L. PATTON
THE CLEAREST WINDOWeven fashioned, if it is barred by spider's webs, and hung over with carcasses of dead insects, so that the sunlight cannot find its way through, is of little use. Now the church is God's window, and if it is so obscured by errors that its light becomes darkness, how great is that darkness! —H. W. BEECHER
O gracious Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic Church; that thou wouldest be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to made intercession forus, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
We dedicate this Centennial Booklet to the living memory
of the pioneers who established the Episcopal
Church in this community, and to all those who since that time,
have, under the guiding hand of God and to the
glory of his Name, proclaimed the faith "once delivered
to the saints". As we face the future, may we
all be found worthy of the great heritage which is ours, and
dedicate ourselves anew to the tasks which lie
before us "looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
REV. FRANK BUTLER
May 1st, 1952 — December 1st, 1956
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3 (13-14).
We as a Church people have so much to be thankful for at all times, for our blessings are manifold, but this is especially true as we render our thanks to AlmightyGod at this time, for his guidance through the past century of Christian progress in this community.
Strictly speaking, a Church is a spiritual value, and as such is not measured in terms of a yardstick. Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned. And spiritual values are timeless because they belong to eternity.
Viewed from the standpoint of mortality we have had a glorious past. Our hearts are filled with praise to God for a hundred years of divine guidance. At the altar, many of you, like those who have gone before, have come for the blessings of God which form part of your priceless heritage. Here, tender souls have been consecrated to God, and loved ones have had their last rites spoken over them. Many men and women during the past century, have entered this House of God and found a new lease on life. Here our forefathers joined their hearts and hands in a battle against unrighteousness and sin. Today we honor and bless their memory. And so for a hundred years, this Church of ours, has stood for love of God and fellow men - a love that conquers all the soul's unrest and gives men glimpses of the Heavenly Home beyond. We thereforeraise our voices in an anthem of praise to God for his divine leading.
We cannot think of our Church merely in mortal years, because we are lifted above time and must view our Church as God sees it in the eternity of life and faith and service! How clearly the words of Paul in our text, focus our minds upon our eternity as a Church in the midstof things temporal.
In Paul's words I find suggested three truths for us to bear in mind.
1st — The first truth is suggested by the phrase, (changing the word "I" to "We"), "We count not ourselves to have apprehended." It is:Keeping an eternal freshness as a Church of the living God. We dare not claim that after one hundred years, we have arrived at the goal God has for us. Such a Church would have no more hope and faith, for it would be a corpse awaiting its funeral rites. But look at the Church saying: "We count not ourselves to have apprehended. We stand on the edge of new hope and faith and service." There, is a Church with all the springtime of eternity in its hands. For such a Church, itspast is the glorious highway for marching forward, onward and upward.
2nd — The second truth is suggested by the words, "Forgetting the things which are behind." "What kind of a Centennial Observance would we have if we forgot the past one hundred years of the life of our Church?" says someone. To be sure there are some things which must not be forgotten. A wise appreciation of the present demands reverence for the past. Rich hope finds its fountain spring in noble memory. Our eternal freshness will depend upon remembering the sacri ficial labours of our fathers.
Yet there are things that should be forgotten about the past years of our Church life, if we are to keep an eternal freshness in the years to come. We must forget past failures. We must forget past personality conflicts and troubles. There can be no stepping out into the future for a Church if it loses itself in its petty animosities, jealousies and grudges which ought not to exist among God's people. Either those pettypersonality matters must go or God must go.
3rd — The third truth is suggested by the phrase, "Reaching forth unto those things which are before we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." A Church, like an individual, keeps alive by stretching forward. The past one hundred years mark but a milestone in our journey toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus for our Church. The next milestone must be the adapting our Church to this high calling to serve men by methods which our fathers never dreamed of. Religious education, science and knowledge make new demands upon us as a Church if we are to serve men and God with the same old Gospel which is just as true today as it was inthe days of our pioneer fathers.
It is for us to press forward into the second century with one heart, one mind and one spirit in order that we may attain the "high callingof God in Christ Jesus."
Your Friend and Rector,
When it was learned that the Rt. Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill would be in Minneapolis on June 25th, 1956, for the 25th Anniversary of the Consecration of Bishop Keeler, your Rector wrote to him asking whether he could find it convenient to preach in St. John's Church on the occasion of our Centennial. The following letter is Bishop Sherrill's reply, andwe appreciate his words of congratulation.)
BISHOPS OF THE DIOCESE
In 1856 when the first Episcopal Service was held in St. Cloud, all the territory North and West of the Ohio River was under the jurisdiction of the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper who was consecrated in 1835 and died in 1870. In 1895 the Northern part of the State of Minnesota was set apart as the Missionary District of Duluth and in 1907 it became a Diocese, but was reunited to the Diocese of Minnesotain 1944.
Previous Bishops of Duluth
1897 - 1922 — James Dow Morrison
1922 - 1933 — Granville Gaylord Bennett. Consecrated Coadjutor in 1920
1933 - 1943 — Benjamin Tibbetts Kemerer. Consecrated Coadjutor in 1930
Previous Bishops of Minnesota
1859 - 1901 — Henry Benjamin Whipple
(1886 - 1900)— Mahlon Norris Gilbert, Coadjutor.
1901 - 1917 — Samuel Cook Edsall
1917 - 1943 — Frank Arthur McElwain. Consecrated Suffragan in 1912
1944 - 1956 — Stephen Edwards Keeler. Consecrated Coadjutor in 1931
(1944 - 1948)— Benjamin Tibbetts Kemerer (Suffragan)
Present Bishop — Hamilton H. Kellogg. Consecrated Coadjutor in 1952. Became Diocesan on December 4th, 1956.
Rt. Rev. Benjamin T. Kemerer
We regret to say that, because of ill health, Bishop Kemerer was unable to send a message for our Centennial Booket. He is well known particularly to the "older members" of St. John's Parish, and resided in St. Cloud part of the time when he served as Bishop of Duluth. At the present time helives with his daughter in Mpls.
At the 75th Anniversary dinner of the Church in 1931, Bishop Kemerer said, "the church is like a banyan tree which from its original stem throws down shoots, which become stems which throw down more shoots, and so on until the tree covers three or four acres. In this way the mother church sent down a shoot in St. Cloud which in turn has become a stem which has thrown out tendrils whichin turn have developed as the banyan tree. No one realizes the extent of the influence not only of the corporate church but of the individual members. It is fatal to be satisfied with accomplishments of the past; that `holding one's own' A a confession of retreat; that there is infinitely more joy in conflict, in attack, in covering new ground. The church today is conscious of opportunities neglected in the past. There is a long, long way to go, before our church does its share in evangelizing the world.The church is strong only in proportion as its members stand together, realizing the dignity of each individual. Our war cry for 1931 should be - 'every member a worshipper; every worshipper a worker; every worker a giver and every giver a spiritual force'."
Again we quote from his sermon on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, "the object of worship makes the greatest difference in one's life. People act as they do because of the gods they worship. If God makes a vital difference in life, then the individual is truly worshipping God, but if life is colored by something else, then that something is his god. Fundamentally, the idea of worship is the purpose of the church. Intelligent and reverent worship is manifest in the architecture of the building, and in the furnishings which center in the altar surmounted by the cross, as well as in the service which speaks a language of inspiration. Worship of God takes the individual out of himself, out of the turmoil of life and its responsibilities, and allows him to lose himself in something infinitely higher and better. Prayer lifts the worshipper out of the monotony of his daily existence, and charges him with new powers, raises new visions and new purposes within him. It is a trait of human nature, to take on the character of the object worshipped. By worshipping God, one becomes co-operative with him in creating anew heaven. Love is creative. Indifference does mediocre work."
(Above quotations are taken from the St. Cloud Daily Times of October 13th and 14th, 1931.)
Rt. Rev. Hamilton H. Kellogg
Affectionate congratulations and greetings from the Bishop-Coadjutor of the Diocese of Minnesota, who has your Parish within his jurisdiction. You are now celebrating your Centennial year! The first church service in St. Cloud according to the rites and usages of the Episcopal Church, was held on February 17th, 1856, in the home of John H. Taylor, who later was elected one of the first wardens and also clerk and treasurer.
You present members of St. John's can, and should take great and justifiable pride in the fact that your church was the first church edifice in the present Cityof St. Cloud. Yours is a noble and rich heritage and no one can take that away. The beginnings of human endeavors, such as the founding of churches, are always important and interesting. But subsequent growth and vitality are even more so!
As the progressive steps in the observance of the 100th Anniversary of St.John's have drawn aside the curtain of the past, I am sure that you all haveappreciated, as never before, the nobility and richness of your heritage andhistory. To you, it has been revealed how deep down are the roots of yourparish, both in the life of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, and in the lifeof the city of St. Cloud. I am sure that all of you have been stirred andstimulated by the glamour and glory of your past, and also by its highlights ofhistoric, human and spiritual implications. Yet, my dear people of St.John's, the deeper significance of the Centennnial resides not in the past, butin the present and the future. Your observance is important and worthwhile inexact proportion to the extent to which it provides you with an opportunity notsimply to know your parish's past and present, but challenges you to go forwardwith it in its goals and hopes for a fruitful future. The past belongs to thoseofthe past, but the future belongs to you, and to your children.
This 100th Anniversary will be a tragic failure unless it challenges you of the present "to lay a corner-stone for the future of St. John's", and to give and labor to guarantee the future. Into the foundations of your historic parish, you must build not only a knowledge of, and respect for, its past accomplishments and personalities, but adequate facilities and support for its activities of the today now here, and for the tomorrow to come. Your Centennial will be a mockery unless it shall strengthen you - one and all - in the will to give, to serve and to worship Him! Every Sunday, you recite the Creed in St. John's. The challenge of your Centennial Observance is to implement that Creed with Christian Action.I now give you the word for your Centennial. It is just this: FORWARD!
Your Devoted Friend, Hamilton H. Kellogg
A beloved bishop and great chief shepherd of the Lord's sheep has been called to his eternal reward.... The Diocese of Minnesota has been fortunate, indeed, for a little over twenty-five years to have had such an able, mighty and untiring leader as Stephen Edwards Keeler. Bishop Keeler possessed great sources of strength! Among them were the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, which he constantly and continuously sought. He possessed the family of his home, which, through the years, cherished and consoled him. And - he also had a family of almost twenty-seven thousand Minnesota Episcopalians - Clergy and Laity -who loved and trusted him tremendously; never denied his vision norfailed to follow where he would lead.
.... A great career has ended on earth, but its ending will only serve to mark the beginning of an even greater career. Our Lord said: "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Only by self-forgetfulness in the work of the Master can anyone find true self-fulfilment. In the minds of those who knew Stephen Edwards Keeler at all well, there can beno doubt about his having found such glorious self-fulfilment.
Hamilton H. Kellogg, Bishop
(In the Minnesota Missionary)
ST. JOHN'S VESTRY — 1956
Before I was born MY CHURCH gave to my parents ideals oflife and love that made my home a place of strength and beauty.
MY CHURCH enriched my childhood with the Romance and Religion and the lessons of life that have been woven into the very texture of my soul. Sometimes I seem to have forgotten and then, when else I might surrender to foolish and futile ideals of life, the truths MYCHURCH taught become radiant, insistent, and inescapable.
In the stress and storm of adolescence MY CHURCH heard the surge of my soul and She guided my footsteps by lifting my eyes towardsthe stars.
When first my heart knew the strange awakenings of love MY CHURCH taught me to chasten and spiritualize my affections; Shesanctified my marriage and blessed my home.
When my heart was seamed with sorrow, and I thought the sun could never shine again, MY CHURCH drew me to the Friend of all the weary and whispered to me the hope of another morning, eternaland tearless.
When my steps have slipped and I have known the bitterness of sin, MY CHURCH has believed in me and wooingly She has called meback to live within the heights of myself.
Now have come the children dearer to me than life itself and MY CHURCH is helping me to train them for all joyous and cleanand Christlike living.
MY CHURCH calls me to her heart. She asks my service and my loyalty. She has a right to ask it! I will help her to do for others what She has done for me. In this place in which I live, I will help Her keep aflame and aloft the torch of a living faith. —William HenryRoddy, D. D.
On April 12th, 1856, ten persons met in St. Cloud and, with the help of the Rev. J. S. Chamberlain - a pioneer Minnesota Missionary -drew up and signed the necessary articles of conformity and agreement to "the order, liturgy, constitution and canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church." These ten citizens were: - L. B. Johnson, John H. Taylor, W. B. Crane, E. C. Johnson, A. F. Judd, William S. Judd, James C. Shepley, Mary F. B. Shepley, B. R. Palmer and James Mowatt. The name of John H. Taylor means a great deal to St. John's congregation. He was twenty-five years old when he offered his home for the first Episcopal Service on February 17th, 1856; and this was even before the incorporation of the town itself. Services were held in Mr. Taylor's home forthe next two years.
At that first meeting on April 12th, L. B. Johnson, and John H. Taylor were elected Wardens; J. C. Shepley, William S. Judd and H. B. Crane were chosen as Vestrymen. After Mr. Chamberlain had prepared the constitution, the vestry was immediately organized by electing JohnH. Taylor as clerk and treasurer.
At a civic election held on April 2nd, 1856, the population of St. Cloud was so small that only thirty-five votes were cast, and ten of these by the founders of St. John's Church, nearly all of whom weredestined to play important roles in civic life as well.
CONSECRATION OF FIRST CHURCH EDIFICE
The cornerstone of the first church, a frame structure on Fourth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets, was laid on August 20th, 1856, by the Rev. D. B. Knickerbacker, later Bishop of Indiana. The cost of the building was seventeen hundred dollars, of which the sum of one thousand dollars was contributed by H. T. Wells of Minneapolis, two hundred dollars subscribed by the parishioners, and the remainingfive hundred dollars promised by the Mission Board.
These donations together with the untiring efforts of John H. Taylor enabled the congregation to make the building ready for worship, and the Service of Consecration was conducted on May Ilth, 1858 by the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, Bishop of the Diocese of Wisconsin and Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. (Grace Church, Sauk Rapids, was consecrated on the same day and by the same Bishop). The sermon at the consecration of St. John's was preached by the Rev. Dudley Chase, who on April 1st, 1858, has been called to the joint Rectorship of both churches. Mr. Chase resigned on October 1st, 1859 and for the next two years the congregation was without a resident clergyman, although services were conducted by various Missionaries, and some by the Rt. Rev. Henry Benjamin Whipple, who had been consecrated the firstBishop of Minnesota in 1859.
Among the historical records we find the following tribute to John H. Taylor, written apparently by the Rev. Dudley Chase on an ordinary sheet of notepaper - "The encouraging prospect as presented to me at first, consisted in what Mr. Taylor was, and would do for the church; and when I became acquainted with him, I believed all the good that had been said of him. How cordially he received me! Howsanguine he was that the little church would grow; how ready he wasto assure me that he himself would supplement the inadequate salary from the Missionary Society; and by word and deed he proved more than he had promised through his influence and aid. How assiduous were his attentions to make my family comfortable, and to attend to all things concerning the church services and its welfare, spiritual and temporal. But alas! how soon was that noble Christian Churchman taken away! The community mourned the loss of Mr. Taylor as one of its bestcitizens and the church one of her most loyal sons."
In the Autumn of 1861, the Rev. George Stewart came as Rector of the parish. The following Spring he was instrumental in having the church moved to the present site, the seating capacity increased, and the building "heated from below instead of by stoves in the nave of the church." The spire was built in 1864 and a stained glass window placed in the chancel in 1865, at which time also the entire debt on the building was wiped out. During his Rectorship of four years he baptized sixty souls and resigned on October 1st, 1865.
The next Rector was the Rev. George L. Chase of New York. He accepted the charge immediately folowing the departure of Mr. Stewart, but resigned in September, 1866 because of the fatal illness of his wife with whom he returned to New York. After her death, he returned again to the parish in November. The following month a cabinet organ was procured and on January 1st, 1867, the parish became self-supporting. Mr. Chase resigned as Rector on September 14th, 1867.
It was during the ministry of the Rev. John Scott who came in September, 1867 and resigned in September 1868, that a stained glass window was placed in the church by E. B. Strong, Senior Warden of the parish, in memory of his eldest daughter, Mary B. Strong, wife of Dr. M. U. Rose. Apparently this window together with the two placed in the Church in 1865 and 1870, became broken, as there is no informa tion in later records as to what happened to them, and they are not in the present church.
On December 7th, 1868, the Rev. Samuel K. Stewart of Maryland accepted a call to become Rector of the parish. In the same year, a cut stone baptismal font was presented to the church by Mrs. C. B. Robinson of Westmoreland, a former communicant of the parish. Early in the year 1869 it was ascertained that the organization of the parish was imperfect, the records of the organization not having been recorded as required by law. Accordingly, action was taken on October 4th, and the following document filed in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Stearns County, Minnesota, on October 9th, 1869 A.D. at 1:00 o'clockp.m. and duly recorded in Book A of Church Organizations, page 11—We the undersigned Do Hereby Certify, that on the fourth day of October, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, the male persons of full age, worshipping in the building known as "Saint John's Church", in the City of Saint Cloud, in the County of Stearns and State of Minnesota, in which Congregation divine worship is celebrated according to the rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Minnesota, and which is not already incorporated, said persons having belonged to said Congregation for the last three months, preceding the said meeting and have been baptised in the Episcopal Church and received therein the rite of Confirmation, met at their place of worship aforesaid for the purpose of incorporating themselves as a religious Society under Title IV of Chapter XXXIV of the General Statutes of Minnesota, and in pursuance of notice of such election and meeting duly given to the said Congregation by the Rector in the time of morning service, on two Sundays previous to such meeting, in accordance with the provisions of said Title Four of said Chapter thirty four
Be it Known, that on this 8th day of October A.D. 1869 personally appeared before the Undersigned, the above named Samuel K. Stewart, Edward O. Hamlin and Peter L. Gregory to me known to be the same persons described in and who signed the above Certificate and they each in due form of law acknowledged the same to be their free act anddeed to the end that the same might be recorded as such.
(Notarial Seal) J. P. Wilson
(Stearns County) Notary Public
In 1870, a window was placed in the church by E. O. Hamlin in memory of his wife, Mary A. Hamlin. In December of the same year,Mr. Stewart resigned as Rector of the parish.
Next to appear on the scene was the Rev. J. Taylor Chamberlain who assumed charge of the parish June 1st, 1872. The records indicate the following gifts made to the church during his ministry: - in 1873, a Bible for the lectern and a chandelier for the chancel; in 1874, an Altar Service Book; and in 1875, a priest's surplice. On March 12th, 1876, the Rector announced his resignation to take effect on June 1stof that same year.
The next Rector was the Rev. George H. Davis of Faribault who came to St. Cloud on July 2nd, 1876. During that summer, the church edifice was improved at the cost of five hundred dollars, a chandelier was procured and also a prayer desk. As an offering of Christian love, Mrs. E. I. Tuttle, a communicant of the parish, donated two large sanctuary chairs which were dedicated on Christmas Day. In 1877, a new altar cloth was procured by the Sunday School; in 1878, a new cabinet organ was purchased; and in 1879, the rectory was enlarged and improved at the cost of three hundred dollars. Mr. Davis tenderedhis resignation in the Spring of 1881.
October 15th, 1881 was the date upon which the Rev. Philip McKim took charge of the parish. During his Rectorship the records state that, "in 1883, St. John's Church, St. Cloud had a beautiful white altar cloth, and pendant for the lectern presented to it by Mrs. James Marks, a faithful daughter of the church, all the work being done by her own hands, as her Lenten self-denial, but still a work of love. In 1884 the purple altar cloth which had been in use for some time was nicely ornamented with a pretty fringe; Mrs. Manney and Miss S. Rees of Minneapolisfurnishing the material, with Miss Clara Strong doing the work."
The exact date of Mr. McKim's resignation is not recorded but we do know that he was succeeded by the Rev. Charles A. Cummings onDecember 24th, 1884.
Unfortunately, the only information we have concerning the church and its history during the Rectorship of Mr. Cummings is that he conducted fifty-four baptism services, presented forty-one persons for confirmation, performed sixteen marriages and conducted twenty-five burial services. However, it is worthy of note that he served longer than any other previous Rector, and therefore one might assume that the church was progressing very favourably under his leadership. He resigned onSeptember 1st, 1890.page 18
During the interim between the departure of Mr. Cummings andthe beginning of the ministry of Rev. C. H. Plummer on November Ilth, 1891, some of the services were conducted by the Rev. T. C. Hudsonand the others by Mr. Barton, a divinity student.
The year 1892 was a very noteworthy one in the life of the parish. During that year the church was moved to the back of the lot, and fitted up for a Guild Hall and Sunday School. A new granite block veneer church was erected. This building, the present edifice, was consecrated on November 17th, 1892, by the Rt. Rev. Mahlon N. Gilbert, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Minnesota from 1886 to 1900. The new church cost approximately six thousand two hundred dollars. Included in that cost was some chancel furniture amounting to two hundred dollars, and presented by the Coterie, and also some new carpet given by the Ladies' Aid Society, costing approximately one hundred seventy-five dollars. The indebtedness on the parish at that time was eight hundred and fifty dollars. A second mark of progress in 1892 was the building of a new rectory on the property North of the church itself at a cost of two thousand six hundred fifty dollars - all borrowed funds. On December 3rd, 1893, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Powell presented the church with a beautiful carved altar in memory of their daughters (See under list of Memorials). At about the same time as the present church was built, a Sunday School was started for the children "below the hill." (Further history concerning the School is recorded in another section of this booklet.) During the Easter season of 1894,Mr. Plummer resigned as Rector of the parish.
After the resignation of the Rev. Charles H. Plummer, a call was extended to the Rev. Herman F. Parshall of Gunnison, Colorado. Mr. Parshall had been educated in Faribault, was graduated from Seabury Divinity School, made Deacon in 1893, and ordained Priest in 1894. His institution as Rector of St. John's Church took place on January 6th, 1895, and for the next twelve years he guided the Episcopal flock in St. Cloud. He also conducted regular services in Grace Church, Sauk Rapids, and down at Cable. It was during his Rectorship that the afternoon Sunday School in "Lower Town" was discontinued and the children had regular classes with the others on Fourth Ave., and Fourth St. Transportation methods for parish visiting included a bicycle and horse and buggy, and one sometimes wonders how so much parish work could be accomplished, and yet it was done. The rectory was heated by means of stoves in the individual rooms which was always somewhat of a hazardous arrangement. On two occasions during Mr. Parshall's ministry, fires broke out in the rectory, and there was barely time to rescue the Church Registers from the study on one occasion, before they were burned. In the later years of his ministry however, in St. Cloud, central heating was installed which proved to be muchless hazardous and a great deal more satisfactory.
One method of raising funds for the church was the establishment of a Kindergarten School under the direction of Mrs. Eleanor Mitchell with the proceeds going towards Church Funds. Evening services were also held in those days with a good average attendance with many of the parishioners worshipping both morning and evening. The Wardens during one period of the Rector's ministry included both the father and grandfather of Mrs. W. L. Cary - and such an unusual situationdoes not often exist at the same time in the same parish. Neverthelessit shows evidence of considerable loyalty and devotion to the church onthe part of the particular family to be given such high honors.
Another part of Mr. Parshall's work included the Chaplaincy at the State Reformatory and much spiritual help was given to the inmates through his ministry. Three organizations were formed between 1895 and 1906 namely the Improvement in 1895, the Woman's Auxiliary in 1896 with Mrs. Parshall as the President, and the St. Agnes Guild in 1900. In December of 1906, the Rector tendered his resignation to become Archdeacon of Indian Work with headquarters at Cass Lake. On May 18th, 1916, after serving in the Indian Field for ten years, the Rev. Heman F. Parshall died at the rectory in Cass Lake from septic poisoning, after an illness of three weeks. His widow resides in St. Cloud and will celebrate her 91st birthday (God willing) in March of 1957. The Rector's two daughters have been very active in the church throughout the years, both in Faribault, Iowa, and Class Lake as well as in St. Cloud. At the present time, Mrs. Schumacher is the Deanery United Thank Offering Chairman and a member of the Memorial Committee. Her sister, Mrs. Margaret Grant is one of the Sunday School Teachers anda very efficient and capable one indeed.
The Cass Lake Times dated Thursday May 18th, 1916, devoted one entire page of the paper to articles and tributes to the Rev. Heman F. Parshall. From it we quote the following: "His followers, members of the church in whose services he has devoted his life have tenderly spoken of his virtues and his ability, but of his love and tenderness towards all mankind from the lowest forms of humanity to the higher positions of life there can never be too much said. The 'untutored Indians' for whose welfare he has spent more than ten years of the best period of his life, not only in religious instruction but in the common affairs of civilization his work and devotion to them, bear the unmistakable impress of unselfishness. With a broad and catholic conception of the duties of manhood he labored, not alone as a clergyman but as a helper to all who were in need. In his missionary work he knew no sects or creeds; his sole aim was to minister to the needy and to allay suffering. We loved him for his breadth of mind and uprightness of character, his truthfulness and integrity; he was our ideal of superlative manhood; we deeply mourn his loss, with his thousands of earnest followers." — Frank Ives, Cass Lake.
"Archdeacon Parshall was one of the foremost men of our ministry in the whole Northwest. He was devoted and tireless and utterly unselfish in the pursuit of his duty. His career was marked by absolute devotion to duty and he commanded the respect and love of all the people to whom he ministered. In the Diocese of Duluth he held a commanding position. He was President of the Standing Committee, one of the Examining Chaplains to the Bishop and a delegate to theGeneral Convention." —Rt. Rev. J. D. Morrison, Bishop of Duluth.
"The death of Archdeacon Parshall has caused the deepest grief among all creeds and classes in Northern Minnesota, where he was well known and deeply loved. His home at Cass Lake was a centre fromwhich radiated goodness and energy." —Pauline Colby, Onigum.
"I learned with sorrow that Archdeacon Parshall died this morning.He was a power of good among his people. Others of all denominationswho knew him will also greatly regret his loss to our community. I offermy sincere condolence to his bereaved family and people." —Rev. Fr.John J. T. Philippe of St. Philip's Roman Catholic Church.
"As the representative of local Congregationalism, I desire to make mention of the brotherly regard and largehearted interest so frequently and fully manifested by the late Archdeacon Parshall. His neverfailing courtesy and cheerfulness will long be remembered by all who came into close contact with him. He was tolerant of other systems of belief and other forms of church government, and appreciative of their peculiar value. All worthy enterprises found in him enthusiastic and intelligent support, and it may be truly said that he died at his post as a high-placed servant of our common Master." —Rev. G. M. Peacock, Pastor Congrega tional Church.
The Rev. J. R. Atwill assumed Rectorship of the parish in 1907 and remained until 1910. It was during his ministry that the first church was torn down and the lumber netted the parish the sum of forty dollars. This took place in 1908 during which year the basement under the present church was built and equipped for Guild meetings, Sunday School classes and a gymnasium. A tennis court was built on the site of the original church and thus the new facilities provided a very live social center not only for the youth of the parish but for the entire neighborhood. The project called for the expenditure of much energy and funds on the part of all concerned, and the Improvement League together with the St. Agnes Guild were untiring in their efforts to help. During his Rectorship, Mr. Atwill asked the St. Agnes Guild to take care of the Altar, and this was the first indication of an Altar Guild in the parish. In 1910, the Birthday Plan was adopted to raise funds for the United Thank Offering. (Rt. Rev. Douglas H. Atwill, retiredBishop of North Dakota is a brother of John R. Atwill.)
In the Autumn of 1910, Rev. Arthur W. Farnum, grandson of Bishop Whipple, was called to the Rectorship of the Church. He is the only one of the twenty Rectors, who have served the congregation, whose picture we were unable to secure. In a letter received from him in February 1956, Mr. Farnum says, "thank you for the opportunity to greet the people of St. John's. I regret that I cannot furnish a 'mat' as I gave the last picture of myself that I possessed, to another parish of which I had been Rector. It was indeed a privilege to have been Rector of a parish that had its inception before Minnesota had a Bishop of its own. May God's blessing descend richly upon St. John's as it enters its secondcentury.
I should like to send warm greetings especially to two groups of people and their descendents, who gladdened my heart while at St. Cloud. One was a Guild of young women who made possible the only material accomplishment while I was Rector - the installation of a pipe organ. The other, were the inhabitants of what was known as 'Lower Town'. Seeing that intensive pastoral work was needed there, I did what 1 could and was rewarded with warm friendships. May God bless your anni versary and your own work in the parish."
Mr. Farnum died on Oct. 15th, 1956 in Ashville, North Carolinaat the age of seventy-seven.
Early in 1913 the Rev. Lewis R. Levering came to St. Cloud as the next Rector of St. John's. The earliest minutes of vestry meetings which have been preserved, are dated June 7th, 1915, just a few months before Mr. Levering's resignation. The vestry at that time included, John Bensen, J. C. Munro, G. H. Miner, D. S. Rathbun, Dr. C. F. Brigham,A. W. Corwin, Paul Delay, C. S. Bunnell and H. R. Neide.
During the Rectorship of Mr. Levering a fence was erected around the church property to prevent trespassing which was quite a common practice in those days, for people had little regard for church grounds. The records show that during Mr. Levering's ministry here there were twenty-two baptisms, eleven marriages, thirty confirmations and sixteen burials. He resigned on September 1st, 1915 to become the Headmasterof the Cathedral School for boys in Washington, D.C.
The next call was extended to the Rev. George E. Renison of Juneau, Alaska, to assume charge of the parish beginning Oct. 1st, 1915 at a salary of one thousand dollars per year with rectory provided. He was also to be the assistant Chaplain at the Minnesota State Reformatory. It was during his Rectorship that the Christian Endeavour Society was particularly active and the St. Agnes Guild had a membership of thirty seven. This was during the war years and many of the men were away at the Front. It is recorded that a "Mission" was held in the church in 1916, which did much to revitalize the life of the parish. Lockers were built in the parish house for choir vestments and the church appeared to be in good shape both financially and spiritually. On May 10th, 1920 Mr. Renison tendered his resignation as Rector of the parish.
The Rev. John M. Nelson succeeded Mr. Renison and remained until March 1st, 1924. The use of a Sunday Bulletin came about in 1921 for the first time. In 1923, Fourth Ave., and Fourth Street were paved, at a cost to the Church of eighteen hundred dollars. A new furnace was installed in the rectory during Mr. Nelson's ministry at a cost of two hundred sixty five dollars. Minutes of a vestry meeting dated December 1921, indicate that the budget for the following year was set at three thousand two hundred dollars. Mr. Nelson tendered hisresignation effective as of March 1st, 1924.
On the first day of June, 1924, Rev. E. C. and Mrs. Biller took up residence in the rectory, having arrived from the State of New Jersey. For the next twenty-one years Mr. Biller guided the spiritual life of St. John's congregation. Many and varied were the changes in the membership of the church and in the different organizations, during his Rectorship. In 1925, the church was remodelled and redecorated at which time a number of gifts and memorials were made, as listed elsewhere in this booklet. In addition to St. John's Church, Mr. Biller also held services in Trinity Church, Becker, and was part time Chaplain at the StateReformatory.
A noteworthy event occurred in 1931 when the new, and present rectory was built on the site of the old one. Most of the funds for the building came from a bequest in the 'will' of Mrs. H. R. Neide, a faithful and active member of the parish who departed this life onJanuary 13th, 1931, and left the sum of $5,000 to St. John's Church.
In his annual report dated January 6th, 1935 the Rector said, "whenI look back over the twelve years it has been my privilege to serve you as Rector, I am mindful of the change of personnel in the parish. We are not doing all that we could do or should do, but a working church is a growing church. Together we face the year 1936. Let us face it in the spirit of optimism, with a firm determination to make it a banner year in loyalty and love for God and his church. It is well at times to look back to the great cloud of witnesses with which both the universal church and our own parish are surrounded. Traditions and memories are helpful, but the church and its membership has a definite commission given by Christ himself to make his gospel known among men. That isyour task and mind we are bidden to press forward in carrying it out."
The property was improved in 1940 when a retaining wall was built along both 4th Avenue and 4th Street at a cost of some $425.00; and again in 1942 when a new roof costing the sum of $700.00 was put on the church.
Mr. Biller experienced two very difficult periods during his Rectorship. He served here during the depression years which seriously handicapped the work of the church from a financial aspect, the income in 1934 amounting to $3,036.76 as against $4,052.16 ten years earlier. However, in 1944 the income had again risen to $4,156.52. World War 11 reduced the membership of the church as the records indicate to the extent that in 1943, thirty one parishioners were on active service of whom the following made the supreme sacrifice: John L. Cary, William Gorman, Charles D. Nelson, Dennis Booker and Robert Halverson. Many of the parishioners also were engaged in war work at home: Mrs. William Rumpf was city chairman of a victory books' campaign for service men; Judge Wendell Henning was chairman of home service; the Rector's wife, Mrs. E. C. Biller, served on the ration board; Mrs. George Lehrke was chairman of the Victory Aides; Mrs. Charles H. Richter was city chairman for War Bonds; Mrs. V. E. Larsen taught classes on Nursing Aides; Grace McConnell was in charge of First Aid Classes. In 1942, the women of the church sewed for the American Red Cross in place of their own traditional bazaar; Mrs. John Gale served as Famine Emergency Committee Woman and Mrs. Paul Delay was in charge of Home Con servation.
In addition to his parish duties, the Rector served as a member of the Executive Council of the Diocese, Chairman of the Board of Missions and Church Extension, a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, and a delegate to the General Convention of the Church in Denver in 1931. His many accomplishments in church and civic life can best be summed up in the following statement which appeared in the Church Sunday bulletin dated January, 1946, "as a member of this community, Ernest Cecil Biller exerted a powerful influence for good, marked by a militant promotion of the highest principles and ideals of his church. His attitude was always frank and forthright and never left doubt as to his stand on any question. He was a constant patron of cultural and educational endeavours in his home city and aided actively their promotion. He has reaped in full measure the reward of a social leader who gives himself unstintingly to the service of his fellows, andacknowledged as an honored and respected citizen of his community.
He was a kind husband and father whose family life exemplifiedhis deep interest in the youth of his church. His kindly humor, his active participation in their enterprises and his wholesome tactful guid- ance made him a favorite among young people.
As a churchman and Rector of St. John's his record of more than twenty-one years of faithful ministry speak more eloquently than any memorial that could be composed or designed. He was a leader in his parish and in the Diocese, one in whom his parishioners and the higher officers of the church reposed the highest trust and confidence. He was an eloquent speaker and his well rounded, soundly composed sermons were thought provoking and inspiring. Perhaps because of his deep interest in the problems of youth, he served for more than ten years in a particularly difficult field - that of Chaplain at the State Reformatory, and many letters and communications from the men among whom he worked, received after his death, are an eloquent tribute to his ministry and his kindly interest in their welfare. His long years of service in St. John's with its baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials, his comforting presence in times of trouble, and his enthusiastic participation in our happier times, his careful and painstaking administration of the affairs of his church, combined to make him an outstanding Rector whoserecord may be emulated with profit.
We, of this parish, take comfort in the sure and certain belief that his heavenly reward will be infinitely ample. His good works have richly entitled him to a high place among the souls of those, both of the living and the dead, whose lives of devotion have given perpetual existence to our church and its finest traditions. We share with his wife and children the benediction of a life of higher service in the way of the Master. Of Ernest Cecil Biller, it might well be said: 'I have applied my heart to fulfil thy statues always; even unto the end.' Psalm119:112."
Mr. Biller died on Christmas Eve, 1945, after a brief illness. Hiswife is still among the parishioners of St. John's Church.
In recent months an anonymous donation of $1,000.00 was given to the Church to be used for a Memorial to Mr. Biller. This money has been used to purchase two sets of double doors - something which the church has needed for many years. An appropriate bronze plaque on the wall of the church presented by the same donor, honors the memoryof this devoted servant of God.
After the death of the Rev. E. C. Biller, the parish was without a Rector until the following May when the Rev. W. R. F. Thomas arrived from Springfield, Illinois. In the meantime regular services wereconducted by various clergymen and lay readers.
The rectory was redecorated in 1946, when new steps were added and an oil burner installed. Three years later, the Church was redecorated and repainted both inside and out, as was also the basement, which was somewhat enlarged by moving the furnace from the main body of the building to its present location. The building was strengthened by installing new supports in the basement. The chancel rail was readjusted and rebuilt, the font moved near the sacristy door, and the pulpit and lectern exchanged places. New kitchen equipment was purchased including a hot water heater. To promote religious education, a movie machine, projector and screen were bought, and these prove valuablenot only to the children and young people but to the entire congregation who find them very useful for the presentation of various programs. Other property improvements included a cap on the retaining wall, new steps on the South side of the church and area ways for the basement windows.
In 1950 the garage was built, the work being done by the parishionersthemselves.
In the Autumn of 1951, the Rector tendered his resignation in order to do Missionary Work in the Hawaiin Islands under the Rt. Rev. Harry S. Kennedy. At the present time he is the Rector of St. John's Church,Larchmont, New York.
For the next few months the services continued under the direction of different clergymen and lay readers, including Douglass Colbert, amember of the parish and a candidate for the ministry.
In April of 1952 a call was extended to the Rev. Frank Butler, Associate Rector of St. Luke's Church, Minneapolis, to become Rector of St. John's. Mr. Butler had come from Vancouver, British Columbia to St. Luke's Church, Mpls., in August of 1951. He accepted the call and together with his wife, and daughter, Rosalie, took up residence in the rectory on May 1st, 1952, even before the job of redecorating was completed. His Induction Service took place on October 7th when Rt. Rev. Hamilton Kellogg formally instituted him as Rector of the parish. During the year the furnace in the rectory was remodelled and the following items purchased for church use: a typewriter, mimeograph machine, thirty Prayer Books and thirty Hymn Books. At the annual meeting a suggestion was made which had far reaching effects, the suggestion being that the parish should embark on some major venture which would be significant for the observance of the Church's Centennial in 1956. The Sunday School was growing, many new families were moving into the parish and there was a real need for larger and adequate facilities especially necessary to take care of the children and young people of the parish. By the beginning of 1953, the Rector was getting well established in the parish, having become acquainted with most of the parishioners during the first eight months of his ministry. All organizations were functioning very effectively and the condition of the church both financially and spiritually (we hope) was very fine indeed. One major improvement took place in 1953 namely that of a new sidewalk from the front steps of the church leading down to Fourth Ave., and also to Fourth St., the total cost amounting to $1,475.00; five basement windows were also remodelled in the parish house, two steel cabinets were purchased for choir vestments and one for church records, a new vacuum cleaner was also bought and the Fortnighters donated eightbanquet tables.
In November of 1953 a special meeting was called to discuss the possibility of making some major improvements to the parish house as was suggested at the annual meeting the year previous. This proved to be a very lengthy meeting and by the time arrived to take a vote, many of the parishioners had gone home. However, a motion was passed "that we do make an addition to the parish house leaving it to the discretion of the vestry as to the method of raising funds and planning the details." The vote was twenty-five in favour and eight against, plusa few who did not vote at all.
In September, of 1953, Dr. W. S. Stoney (son of Bishop Stoney of the Missionary District of Mexico and Southwest Texas), was appointed a faculty member of the State Teachers' College in the Music Department. He offered his services as Choir Director and did a magnificant job inbuilding up the membership of the choir.
In January of 1954, after considering many ways and means of securing funds for the parish house addition, the vestry decided to engage the Wells Fund Raising Organization to direct the campaign. A series of meetings followed and the campaign was conducted in late January. The sum of $31,008.00 was pledged over a three year period. The cost of the campaign was $2,272.75 of which $1,800.00 was the director's fee. The remaining amount included literature, secretarial help anddinners.
An additional improvement was made during the year when a new roof was put on the rectory. It had been badly damaged by a hail storm but the insurance was sufficient to take care of the cost. Paul Delay did some remodelling in the parish house in the way of building cupboards and shelves for the Library and Sunday School supplies. An Altar Guild was also organized. Eighteen new families moved into theparish, and our organist, Miss Ruth Lofstrom moved to Minneapolis.
In the Spring of 1955, Dr. M. E. Van Nostrand, of the State Teachers' College offered his services as Choir Director, replacing Dr. W. S. Stoney who had moved to Italy. Miss Jeanette Mesenburg was appointed church organist, and both of these people are at the present time carrying on in their respective capacities. The Rectory received a coat of paint on the outside and some redecorating was done on the inside. The garage was also painted and all windows repaired in both buildings. Hail Insurance money covered the cost of the job. Charles W. Rathe and Dr. M. E. Van Nostrand received lay readers licenses from Bishop Keeler and we are proud indeed to have such well qualified men who are capable oftaking services when the Rector is on vacation or during any emergency.
On the 15th of June, Meyer Construction Company was engaged to begin work on the new addition to the parish house. The architect was Frank W. Jackson and his associates, the electrical work was done by Neil Electric Company and the plumbing by Weidner Company. The job took six months to complete, during which time the activities of the Sunday School were seriously handicapped, as was the general operations of the parish. We were obliged to cancel the Annual Turkey Dinner which set the budget back some $600.00 as it was included in the budget at the beginning of the year as anticipated income. Bethlehem Lutheran Church kindly allowed the women of our parish to hold the annual bazaar in their parish house for which we were very grateful. While the new addition was in the process of construction a special meeting was called to decide whether the old parish house should be remodelled or not. It was voted by an overwhelming majority to includethat additional work at a cost of some $1,500.00.
Due to the fact that people were pledging both to the church and to the building fund, it was felt by some that the income for 1955 would drop somewhat compared with that of 1954, since the building fund drive was conducted after the pledges for 1954 had been made. This wasnot the case however, since the income for 1954 was $6,636.00 fromPledges and in 1955 it was $7,123.00.
The first annual meeting in the new parish house was held in January, 1956, and all were delighted and thankful that the work had been completed, and things were back to normal once again. On June 17th, Rt. Rev. Hamilton H. Kellogg, dedicated the new building inthe presence of a large congregation.
Many gifts and memorials have been given to the church and parish house in the last four years, all of which are listed elsewhere in thisbooklet with the respective dates.
On October 3rd, the Rector announced his resignation to the vestry, to accept a call to work in the Missionary District of Spokane under the Rt. Rev. Russell H. Hubbard, his resignation to become effectiveas of Dec. 1st, 1956.
During his Rectorship in St. Cloud, Mr. Butler was a member of the Bishop and Council for three years, Youth adviser for the St. Cloud Deanery and treasurer of the St. Cloud Ministerial Association. He also conducted services at the Veterans' Hospital, took Morning Radio Devotions, and conducted Communion Services at the State Reformatorywhere he also baptized one inmate and prepared two for Confirmation.
PARISH ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR WORK
It has frequently been said that "the women are the backbone of the church." While such a statement may not be 100% correct, nevertheless, they do play a very vital role in every parish and mission, including St. John's Church, St. Cloud. As early as 1863, the local press carried this item: "The Aid Society of the Episcopal Church held a fair and festival at Broker's Hall Tuesday evening, the proceeds amounting to two hundred forty-nine dollars." This is sufficient in itself to indicate that even at that early date the ladies were becoming very active as an organization. For the first ten years of the church's history, the ladies' meetings were somewhat informal and no records, to our knowledge, have been preserved. The first minutes that were kept show that on August 25th, 1869, the Church Aid Society met at the home of Mrs. H. C. Waite and the following officers were elected: president, Mrs. S. E. Tolman; vice-president, Mrs. T. C. Alden; secretary, Mrs. I. W. Tuttle; treasurer, Mrs. H. C. Waite. It is recorded that they held a supper in Schwartz and Zies' new hall and raised the sum of one hundred twenty five dollars and sixty five cents. With this, and some cash donations, they were able to contribute twenty-five dollars to the Sunday School and pay one hundred twenty-five dollars towards the Rector's salary. Their splendid help continued for many years and very often in the face of hardships. We read in those old records such notations as: "the meeting was held at Mrs. Parson's home but few were present in consequence of cloudy weather and the anticipation of a storm:" "the Society met with Mrs. Powell, but owing to the coldness of the night, few attended;" "the Society met with Mrs. Alsops but owing to unfavorable weather none attended;" "the walking being bad the 'bus' was hired to take the ladies to the meeting at Mrs. Alden's. The collection was three dollars and fifty five cents which was used to pay for the team."There were many good days, also, for the yearly reports show an average attendance of twenty and thirty, about as many as attend at the present time with all the present conveniences. We ought to add, however, that in the 1870's, St. Cloud was not so over-organized as it is today, and there were not nearly so many demands upon people's time. The church, nevertheless, should always stand at the centre of every community, because it alone represents the things which are eternal as against those that are temporal and pass with the years.
The ladies organizations were frequently reorganized to stimulate new enthusiasm but nearly always the same good women doing all they could to help. Successor to the Aid Society in 1863, and the Church Aid Society in 1869, was the Church Ladies' Aid in 1875. It was during that year that another organization known as the St. John's Society, came into existence, starting with twenty-six members and a great deal of enthusiasm. Its first efforts were directed towards raising funds for repairs on the rectory (the old school building), and on the church. Ice cream socials, oyster suppers, Christmas sales, etc., were held. Minute books of that time indicate that Mrs. Tolman and Mrs. Frendenreich were appointed a committee to purchase materials' for work. Mrs. Helen Moores and Mrs. J. V. Brower were appointed a committee to superintend the work such as cutting, planning and distributing, etc. Dues were five cents each meeting, payable three months in advance. Much was accomplished by this organization in spite of such reverses as the weather and the times put upon them. In the minutes of 1887 it is recorded that "An ice cream social was planned for July 3rd and 4th. On the evening of the 3rd, the sum of fourteen dollars was taken in. Owing to the extremely hot weather the ice cream spoiled and there wasno social on the 4th."
ORGANIZATION OF THE IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE IN 1895
In 1895 the church property was sadly in need of repair and the Rector, Mr. Parshall, got a group of the younger ladies in the parish to organize for that purpose. He appointed Mrs. Robert Harrison as the first president and after that, offices were filled by election. This group called themselves the St. John's Improvement League, and from the first, they assumed the expense of property upkeep, the cleaning of the church, the care of the lawn, etc. The League soon became the most active group in the parish and their energy seemed almost inexhaustible. In 1925, when the church was again remodelled and redecorated, the League pledged a continuation of their work. Funds were raised by means of dues, rummage sales, Christmas sales, Easter sales, Lenten teas, dinners, suppers, sales of mince meat, plum puddings, fruit cakes, etc., and the members soon gained the reputation of being excellent cooks. The various teas, suppers, dinners, became annual affairs and were looked forward to as very happy social gatherings as well as profit able enterprises.
ST. AGNES GUILD
In June of 1900, Mrs. Belle Carruth Beaty invited the members of her Sunday School class to come to her home one Saturday afternoon. She had purchased some materials for a working project and suggested that the girls sew for the next church sale. The girls became very en thusiastic about it and before the afternoon was over they had decidedto meet regularly once a month, on the 3rd Saturday, and called themselves the St. Agnes Guild. Their dues were to be five cents a meeting and they were to make various articles such as aprons, sewing bags, slipper bags, hot dish holders, face cloths and numerous other articlesof a similiar nature.
Some years later, about 1908, the idea of a pipe organ was conceived for the church. St. Agnes Guild decided that this should be their goal and set about immediately to sponsor a number of events to raise funds for that purpose. With the kindly help and advice of both Dr. and Mrs. Beaty, their funds soon grew, and when the vestry finally asked for the organ money, the Guild had three hundred dollars to donate. It had previously purchased a number of small items for the church but continued to have their own stall at the church sales, to sponsor other events and helped to pay for the basement which replacedthe old Guild Hall.
MERGER OF THE GUILD AND IMPROVEMENT LEAGUE
Since the Guild and Improvement League included many of the same people, in 1928 the Guild invited the League to unite with them and join forces for a common purpose. The invitation was accepted and the two societies merged under the name of St. John's Guild and carried on the work of both of the original groups. The 75th Anniversary Booklet states that in the 1930's their annual budget was fifteen hundred dollars, all of which was used for church expenses except the sum of three hundred dollars which was their annual pledge to the vestry, which body they stood ready to assist in additional ways in so far as they wereable to do so.THE WOMAN'S AUXILIARY
With the help of Mrs. J. D. Morrison of Duluth, the Woman's Auxiliary was organized in 1896, for Missionary Work. There were thirteen members, and the officers were: President, Mrs. H. F. Parshall (wife of the Rector of St. John's); Vice-president, Mrs. J. H. Beaty; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. E. P. Barnum. Their first funds were raised by means of mite boxes, and their programs were taken from "the Spirit of Missions." Meetings were held on the first Wednesday of each month, but later changed to the first Friday, which was the regular meeting date for all Woman's Auxiliaries of the National Church. The average attendance was ten. Dues were twenty-five cents per year, and the disbursements were in the form of contributions to Foreign andDiocesan Missions.
The usual means of earning money such as by food sales, silver teas, bazaars, etc., were employed by the Auxiliary at various times, in the early days, and very substantial help was given them by the Improvement League and the St. Agnes Guild but by 1930 the Auxiliary had become independent and able to pay its own way through dues and open offerings, and received a total income from all sources of three hundred twenty dollars and fifty five cents. During the first twenty years of its existence, it was able to send delegates to the Annual Diocesan Convention, and to be host to the Convention itself in St. Cloud in 1926 and again in 1931. (This was during the period when St. Cloud was in the Missionary District of Duluth). One of its members, Mrs.E. C. Biller, Sr., wife of a former Rector and still a member of the parish,represented the District of Duluth at two National Conventions, one in New Orleans and the other in Washington, D.C. The Auxiliary was also represented for several years at the Mississippi Valley Deanery picnic, and was host to the same in 1930. In former years, meetings were heldevery Friday during the Lenten season and in addition to the prayer service, a period of time was devoted to the study or discussion of somemissionary project or field of work.
WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS SINCE 1932
1932-1944—During these years the women of the church were active in two main organizations and several smaller Circles affiliated with them. One group was the Woman's Auxiliary in which every baptized woman of the church was automatically a member, whether active or inactive. This was the Missionary group of the church and it endeavoured to carry out the five point, program of the National Woman's Auxiliary: Serviceto the Church, the Community, the Diocese, the Nation and the World.
Meetings were held on the first Friday of each month and on eachFriday during Lent. The average attendance was thirty-five to forty.Programs and activities consisted of devotions, study, contributions tomissions both financially and in clothing of various types. All monieswere received from dues, by voluntary contributions, and by plate offerings at regular meetings. The other group was the St. John's Guild whose purpose it was to render financial aid to the church, tosupport the choir, assist in improvements and upkeep of church propertyand act as a social centre. Meetings were held on the second Friday of each month with an average attendance of twenty-five. There were four Circles working within the Guild and most of the members were also active in the Woman's Auxiliary. Money was raised by dues, plate offerings, dinners, luncheons, rummage sales, bazaars and numerous other kindred projects.
MERGER OF AUXILIARY AND GUILD
On December 1st, 1944 the Woman's Auxiliary and the Guild voted to merge the two organizations and become one under the name of the Auxiliary-Guild, electing one slate of officers under the Constitution of the Auxiliary. Work formerly carried on under the Guild was continued under a Guild Chairman appointed by the Auxiliary. St. Anne's Altar Guild was also affiliated with the group and represented on the Executive Board. Shortly after the merger, the name "Guild" was dropped from the title and the organization became known as the Woman's Auxiliary and carries on a very comprehensive program as set forth by the National Body. Different groups functioning at the present time under the Auxiliary as a parent body are: the St. Catherine's Guild, the St. John's Study Group, the Bishop Kemerer Mission Guild and the Bishop Morrison Guild. Activities of these groups are recorded in thisbooklet under their respective names.
ST. CATHERINE'S GUILD — 1956-1957
The St. Catherine's Sewing Guild was organized on January 24th,1949 with a membership of fourteen. Mrs. L. W. Dinnie was elected as the first President and Mrs. Younger Dyson as Secretary-Treasurer. At the end of the first year, which proved to be a very successful one, the Guild reported that the sum of $347.75 had been raised. Although the membership has not increased, the Guild has continued its good work through the years realizing four or five hundred dollars each year. Many purchases have been made for items to be used in the parish house kitchen and dining room, and the Guild recently contributed the sum of fifty dollars for a table to be used in the Primary Department of the Sunday School. A yearly pledge is also made to the Church through the Woman's Auxiliary, and the Guild has made several contributions from time to time for various Church needs. Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month in the parish house together with, regular breakfast gatherings at the homes of the various members.
ST. JOHN'S STUDY GROUP — 1956-1957
Drawn together by a mutual desire for study, a group of St. John's women met informally in January 1948. The result of the meeting was the gathering together of many subjects concerning church life which those present wished to pursue as systematized study, and it was decided to organize for that purpose. "St. John's Episcopal Study Group" was the name chosen and Mrs. W. B. Richards was elected Chairman with Mrs. T. A. Barnhart as co-chairman. At the April meeting, Mrs. J. J.Stewart was elected Secretary-Treasurer.
At the two following meetings, the Rev. W. R. F. Thomas presented papers on the "Lambeth Conference" - its history, purpose and organization; and "The Marriage Canon of the Episcopal Church." The Group then began a study of the Book of Common Prayer - a timelytopic, since the 400th Anniversay of the Prayer Book was being observed at that time. The Rector dealt with the Biblical and Historical origins of the Book together with its beauty and its use. Mrs. C. F. Brigham (Sr.) followed with a number of addresses on the altar, church linens and vessels used in the Communion Service.
In 1951, the Group began a study of the books of the Bible using as a text the first volume in the Church's Teaching Series, "The Holy Scriptures". Since the meetings are held only once a month, this particular subject has been the topic for the fifth consecutive year.At the present time the Epistles of St. Paul are being studied.
The members, thirteen in number, are faithful in their attendance, each taking a turn in presenting a paper on the particular book to be studied. The Rector, Rev. Frank Butler usually meets with the Group and submits a written summary of each book studied, which summaryis then placed on file for future reference.
A further purpose of the Group is the acquiring of a Church Library containing carefully selected books and periodicals. This is accomplished by means of membership dues and by promoting or assisting in money making projects. At the present time the library contains one hundred and seventy-five catalogued books for the benefit of the parishioners. A contribution is also made each year through the Woman's Auxiliary toward the financial benefit of the church as a whole. Nine meetings are held each year on the third Tuesday of the month at 2:00 p.m. in thehomes of the various members of the Group.
THE BISHOP MORRISON GUILD — 1956-1957
The Bishop Morrison Guild was organized in 1948. It is a missionary Guild with aid to the Indians of the Diocese its special project. The original group consisted of Mrs. Paul Delay, Mrs. Carl Schumacher, Mrs. Margaret Grant, Miss Anna Bensen, Mrs. Anna Wadhams, Mrs. Lucile Strachan, Miss Dorothea Donohue, Miss Marion Henke, Miss Monica Hayes, Mrs. Tufting, Mrs. William Thomas, Mrs. Audrey Crawford, and Miss Ruth Moscrip. At present there are about thirty membersin the group.
The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Delay. At that meeting the group planned to send needed clothing to the Indians. The result was two huge boxes of clothing on the way within a week to Archdeacon Goodreid. Two checks of fifty dollars and twelve dollarswere also sent that year.
In order to raise money for missionary purposes, the group put .on several card parties to which the general public was invited. Because of repeated disastrous "cold spells" this means was abandoned, and instead, the Guild substituted very successful bake sales. Each year this group makes the fruit cakes which are so much in demand at the bazaar. Other articles have been made by the group and donated to the bazaar,such as Christmas ornaments, toys for children, etc.
Bishop Morrison Guild meets the fourth Monday of each month at the homes of the members. Each member pays yearly dues, and in addition, at each meeting contributes thirty-five cents. At first the group spent the evening socially, but in the past four years programs have been arranged which concern the history and activities of the church. Devotions are also observed each time. Refreshments are served by the hostesses.
Each year the Guild pledges a given amount for missionary work and for the activities of the Woman's Auxiliary, varying from $50 in the beginning to $100 - $150 at the present time. However, the Guild is ever mindful of its original purpose, - that of helping the Indians of the Diocese.
THE BISHOP KEMERER MISSION GUILD — 1956-1957
The Bishop Kemerer Mission Guild (formerly known as the Wednesday Mission Guild) was organized by Mrs. Susanne Clepper in 1949. The records previous to 1951 are missing. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. After the business meeting, members play bridge, and a prize of fifty cents is given bythe hostess.
The object of the Guild is to raise funds for Missionary Projects.
The records for 1951 show the following members: Mrs. Susanne Clepper - Chairman; Mrs. W. R. F. Thomas - Sec'y-Treasurer; Mrs. R. B. Colbert, Mrs. Malcolm Wright, Mrs. Harry Schultz, Miss Emily Mos ford, Mrs. Warren Sands, Mrs. Timblin and Mrs. E. K. Beeman.
The first project for raising money was the sale of baskets which were purchased in a wholesale lot and retailed to customers. Ham and spaghetti dinners have been served at different times; two Valentine Luncheons have been given and it is hoped to make this an annual event.
On July 8th, 1954, the Rector suggested that the name of the Guild be changed to "The Bishop Kemerer Mission Guild", honoring the formerBishop of the Diocese of Duluth. This suggestion was adopted.
Other funds have been raised by the compiling of a Cook Book withrecipes donated by the women of the parish.
At the present time the dues are one dollar per year in addition to a set sum to be contributed at each regular meeting. Since its inception the Guild has raised the sum of $1,463.00 for the following projects:—Diocesan Assessment for Missions, Theological Seminaries, Cass Lake Summer Camp, The Anglican Congress, Builders for Christ Campaign, Red Cross Drives, Cancer Fund, Crippled Children's Fund, and the Council of Church Women.
ST. ANNE'S ALTAR GUILD — 1956-1957
The first idea of an Altar Guild in St. John's Church was during the Rectorship of the Rev. John R. Atwill when he asked the St. Agnes Guild to take care of the altar. As the girls grew up and went away to school and college, a younger group carried on thework and became a more distinct Altar Guild. Some of the original girls returned to the Guild later and began active work again as St. Agnes Guild. Mrs. D. H. Knickerbacker acted as their directress for a time and was then succeeded by Mrs. J. H. Beaty. "The Talk of the Town," "Charlie's Aunt," benefit movies, dances, card parties, sales, luncheons etc., were some of the means used to raise funds. As the Guild grew in numbers they were able to assume more responsibility,and in 1919, by which time the membership had grown to thirty seven, they took over the work of the Altar Guild which had disbanded. For the next ten years Miss Marguerite Bunnell acted as chairman, assisted by other members and the young girls from the Sunday School.
Following Miss Bunnell was Mrs. C. F. Brigham (Sr.) who took charge of the Altar work alone for the next ten years, until another Altar Guild was formed in 1938, with Mrs. James Welsh as directress and thefollowing charter members: mesdames Lynwood Beaver, Clair Berlin,Harry Cater, R. B. Colbert, Wendell Henning, Coe Kiebert and W. B. Larson. A Junior Altar Guild was also organized under the direction of Mrs. D. H. Knickerbacker to assist the adult group; this Junior Guild is not functioning at the present time. Members of this latter group were Betty Bensen, Mildred Brandenberger, Grace Brandenberger, NancyGale, Jane Gale and Margaret Sticles. Early in 1949, the Guild became inactive and Mrs. C. F. Brigham again assumed all responsibility forthe Altar work until the beginning of 1954, when the next Altar Guild was organized by the Rev. Frank Butler.
Since its organization, St. Anne's Altar Guild has held monthly meetings from September through May. The Guild assumes full care of the Altar. This includes preparing the Altar for each church service, making and caring for the linens, polishing the brass fixtures, cleaning, etc. The Flower Calendars for each Altar are maintained by the Guildand the members order and arrange the flowers for each service.
Throughout the years the membership in the Guild has changed asfamilies have moved away and new families have joined our Parish, but the functions of the group have remained the same essentially. Being a service organization, efforts have not been directed to fund-raising projects. However, projects have been sponsored by the group and the money raised has been used to purchase linens and various items for the Altar. Since the church reconstruction project started, each member of the Guild has taken one dollar each year and has "made it grow" by her own talent. Once a year this money is turned in to the group treasury and the proceeds of this project are being used to furnish andequip the Sacristy.
The Altar Guild functions under the direction and supervision of the Rector. During the past two years Mr. Butler has conducted a class for the Guild members on "The Duties and Purpose of an Altar Guild",and this has proved invaluable to everyone.
ST. MARTHA'S GUILD
When the Sewing Circle, an active group in the Church for many years, met on January 15th, 1947, they passed a resolution to the effect that henceforth they would be known as St. Martha's Guild. The same kind of work and activity continued as in previous years, such as sewing for missions, for the choir and for the annual bazaar. They also gatheredused clothing for the United Council of Church Women.
At the end of each year, a substantial sum of money was given to the Woman's Auxiliary. The average attendance at the meetings through the years was eighteen. The Guild became inactive in November, 1948 and four years later, it was decided that since the organization would not be functioning again under the same name, their funds amounting to two hundred dollars, were given over to the vestry of St. John's Church. Most of the women later joined one or other of the various existingwomen's organizations.
THE FORTNIGHTERS CLUB — 1956-1957
The Fortnighters Club of St. John's Episcopal Church was organized on October Ilth, 1946 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George T. Odenbreit, near Clear Lake, Minnesota, during the Rectorship of the Rev. W. R. F. Thomas. The Odenbreit's were also the winners of a contest to selecta name for the newly formed organization.
The purpose of the Club is to promote fellowship under church sponsorship, of a group comprised jointly of men and women, and to develop their interest in church life.
Elected as the first officers were: Mr. and Mrs. Harlan Erickson, jointly as President; Mr. and Mrs. George T. Odenbreit, Vice-president; Dr. C. H. and Mrs. Hildebrand, Secretary; and Mr. and Mrs. HarryHolland, Treasurer.
The programs have been varied and interesting, and numerous projects have brought about the fulfilment of many contributions to our church. They have consisted of movies, slides, the reading of plays and stories, square dances, games, cards, basket socials, progressive dinners, weiner roasts, picnics, community singing, quiz and panel shows, a disiplay of rock jewelry, discussions on our hymn book, religion, psychology and hypnotism, juvenile delinquency and family life, anda brief history of St. John's Church during the past one hundred years.
Some of our projects to raise funds have been dances, pancake suppers, luncheons, dinners, a reception, a tea, a concert, paper collec tion, turkey dinners, and a sale of drawing books.
The Fortnighters, during the ten years of their existence, have made the following church contributions: gilt lettering of church sign, upholstering of kneeling benches in the church, a light outside the church door, kitchen electric outlets, money for movie projector, tuning of piano, contribution to the Anglican Congress, to the purchasing of carpet for the church, to basement window draperies, installation of phone, velvet drapery for movie screen, Sunday School prayer desks, and purchased eight banquet tables for the parish house. They have also paid bills toward the rectory garage, the mimeograph machine, choir surplices and to the building fund. They have sponsored a Christmas pagaent, served refreshments to the Youth Fellowship, trimmed the Sunday School tree, helped with the all-parish picnics, and scrubbed, painted and varnished in the parish house and church.
Regular meetings are held on the 3rd Friday of each month either in the parish house or in the home of one of the members.
THE SENIOR CHOIR — 1956-1957
The choir is always a very important organization in any parish, and worship services would indeed be very flat without its presence. The personnel changes with the passing years, and sometimes St. John's Choir has been very large, while at other times it has been very small indeed. In addition to leading at hymn-singing, musical services and programs have been sponsored by the choir at various time through the years. The records show that in 1937 the "Holy City" was presented with Mrs. G. Oliver Riggs as organist and Mr. Harvey Waugh as Director. Anthems and solos are sung at times by the present choir and in recent years a Carol Service is held during the Christmas season, the carols and hymns being interspersed with short Scripture passages read by the Rector. From October of 1953 until May of 1955, Dr. W. S. Stoney faculty member at the State Teachers' College offered his services as Choir Director but unfortunately he resigned in May of 1955, having accepted a position as music director with the Armed Forces in Italy. After a number of years of faithful service as organist, Miss Ruth Lofstrom moved to Minneapolis in 1954. We are most grateful however, to Dr. M. E. Van Nostrand who took Dr. Stoney's place as director,and to Miss Jeanette Mesenburg, our present organist.
CHILDREN'S CHOIR — 1956-1957
Children's Choirs have also had their day and played their part in the worship of the church during the past one hundred years. Juniors eventually become Seniors and others in time take their places. Pictured here are the members of the present choir organized in thespring of 1956.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
THE CANTERBURY CLUB — 1956-1957
The National Canterbury Club is an Association of student organizations of the Episcopal Church located in a large number of colleges and universities throughout the country. The first Canterbury Club was established in 1918 at the New York State Teachers' College by the Rev. F. W. Creighton then Rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and later, Bishop of Michigan. By the year 1941, 175 Canterbury groups had been organized forming the Association of Canterbury Clubs and together, they formed part of another Organization known as the Church Society for College Work (a private organization whose purpose it is to promote college work within the Episcopal Church.) This was merely a fellowship of already existing Episcopal Student Groups, but with no national officers or programs. It was not until December of 1950 that a conference at which delegates representing 250,000 members of Episcopal College Students, met together and formed the National Canterbury Association as we know it today. Our Canterbury Club here at the State Teachers' College is a member of that National Association. There are similiar Clubs at the University of Minnesota and at the other four Teachers' College in Minnesota - Winona, Mankato, Moorhead and Bemidji.
For many years there has been a Club here in St. Cloud with the membership large or small depending upon the number of Episcopal students in attendance. This year we have the largest membership on record numbering twenty-six students. Meetings are held twice a month in the parish house or in the homes of the parishioners of St. John's Church. The Canterbury Program is one of worship, study, service, giving, evangelism and unity. A number of the members here are active in the choir, serve as Sunday School teachers or acolytes and participate in various other church activities. They are a great asset to our congregation.
THE ACOLYTE GUILD — 1956-1957
It was during the Rectorship of the Rev. E. C. Biller that an acolyte guild was founded in St. John's Church and became affiliated with the National Organization known as the Order of St. Vincent. The Charter members were C. F. Brigham. Robert Slattery, Frank Brownell (President), R. P. Sorlein (Vice-president), Robert Halverson (Secretary),V. L. S. Jones (Warden) and Rev. E. C. Biller (Chaplain).
This was an opportunity for boys and young men to make a contribution to the services of the church by active participation, and also an organization with aims and ideals which would enable the members to develop the "Christ like life." In the early days of the guild here in St. John's, regular meetings were conducted, with membership dues and programs for the edification of the members. Corporate Communions were held and breakfasts served afterwards generally inthe home of one of the members.
Minutes of the meetings during the first three years have been preserved among other church records, but the duties of the members have remained essentially the same throughout the years. A regular schedule is drawn up by the Rector and members have been very faithful in their duties. In 1953 when the number of young men in the parish was very small, boys of ten and eleven were admitted to the guild and were distinguished from the ones who were Confirmed by wearing green cassocks instead of red ones. After their Confirmation they were known as the Senior acolytes and wore red cassocks. In 1954 the vestry presented four crosses to the guild which are worn by members when on duty. While the guild, at the present time is not affiliated with the National Order of St. Vincent, the members do meet periodically and have a dinner once a year. The inspiration to enter the ministry started with many a boy when he served as an acolyte in his church.
Youth Fellowship Groups have functioned at various times in the parish throughout the years, and the records indicate that one of the most active groups was during the Rectorship of the Rev. George E. Renison 1918-1922. At that time it was known as the Christian Endeavour Society and among the members were: E. M. Lehrke, Mazie Brownell Richter, Loretta Neide, Edward Westrom, Margaretha Freise, Marguerite MacNamara, Gladys Fish, Gladys McCadden, Charlotte Harris, Harold Hudson, Henry Waite, Marguerite Watson, Marion Cross, Bessie Adams, Percy Turner and Ruth Allen. The sponsors included Mrs. George H. Miner, Mrs. H. R. Neide and Mrs. Clark Waite. The members all belonged to the choir, and meetings were held on Sunday evening before the church service, in which they often took part. Hymn books for the choir stalls, and the bronze plaque, referred to elsewhere in this booklet,are among the gifts left to remind us of those enthusiastic young people.
Later on, this age group became known as the Youth Fellowship and among the original members were: Marion Neide Cater, Freeman Lewis,Helen Adams, Henry Adams, Nellie McCadden and Nellie Harris.
Sometimes the Youth Fellowship included high school and college students, but in most cases the interests of the two groups of students were too widely different and the meetings were not very successful. In recent years, the high school students have functioned independent of the College group, and meetings are held twice a month in the parish house. Funds have been raised by means of candy sales, bake sales, rummage sales, together with the offering received each year from the "Feast of Lights" Service during the Epiphany season. The basic principles of the organization are: worship, work, fellowship and edification. The Group's Lenten offering goes to some Missionary project designated by the National Church. In addition, each group has a quota to raise annually which is known as the "Bishop's Challenge". This money is used as the Bishop directs toward some specific work in the Diocese of Minnesota. An allocation is made each year in the Church's budget for the needs of the Youth Fellowship to supplement the funds they are able to raise themselves. There is also a Protestant Youth Fellowship in the city of St. Cloud of which our Episcopal Youth form a part. Meetings are held once a month and the President of the Group this year is one of our own young people in the person of Miss EmilyHenning, who is also one of our own Sunday School Teachers.
A Memorial Committee was organized in 1955 and the membership is made up as follows: The Senior Warden Dr. R. E. Erkel, Charles W. Rathe, Miss Mary Stewart, Mrs. A. J. Mesenburg, Mrs. Carl Schumacher, Mrs. N. B. Nelson and the Rector. Parishioners who may be considering gifts or Memorials to the Church should get in touch with Mr. C. W. Rathe the Sec'y-Treasurer, who will bring the matter before the Committee.
St. John's Church School had its beginning back in 1867 during the Rectorship of the Rev. George L. Chase. In February of that year, the parish opened a day school in a district school building. The first teacher was F. C. Coolbaugh, who later entered the ministry. In a recent letter to your Rector, Rev. John C. Larson says of Mr. Coolbaugh, "I knew the old doctor well, and he was one of the most beloved men in both Church and State." In April of 1867, an unused church at Neenah (now St. Augusta) was, by permission of the Bishop, moved to St. Cloud and placed on the corner of Third Avenue South and Fourth St. and fitted up for a Parish School with sessions beginning in May. Mr. Coolbaugh resigned in 1868 and the School was closed until May of the following year when it was re-opened with encouraging prospects. The parish, however, was unfortunate in its selection of a teacher and the School continued only three months. In view of the educational advantages presented by the Normal School together with the prospective remodelling of the Public Schools, it was deemed in expedient to continue as a day school.
In December, 1872, the School Building was enlarged, improved, and occupied as a rectory. Twenty years later, the property on which it stood, was sold, and the Building itself moved one half block South. In the same year (1892) a rectory was built on the 'lots' North of the church, a new church erected, and the original one moved to where the new addition to the parish house now stands, and used for a Guild Hall and Sunday School classes. In 1908, the basement under the present church was built, and since that time all church activities have been carried on under the same roof. About this time, the old School Building was moved to Second Avenue South and occupied as a private residence bearing the number 825. It is interesting to note that after a long and checkered history, it was dismantled in September, 1956,to make room for the State Teachers' Development Program.
In 1892, a Sunday School was also conducted for the children "below the hill" as it was then known, in the home of Mrs. John Payden on the corner of Fifth Avenue South and Twelfth St. Three classes were held on Sunday afternoons, and the staff consisted of Mrs. Payden, Miss Grace McConnell, Miss Nellie Vandersluis (Mrs. M. J. Rand), Miss Alice Vandersluis (Mrs. Wm. Friese), and P. M. Larson. About two years later, the old coopershop near by, was rented and used for a Sunday School, but when that building was sold in 1900 the pupils met with the others in the original church building.
The Sunday School has continued through the years having its 'ups and downs', with large enrollments and small enrollments, but always playing an important part in the spiritual life of the parish. During the past four years the membership has grown from sixty-two to ninety-four. This gradual growth necessitated the construction of the new addition to the parish house in 1955 with facilities and equipment for ten classes and a stage for the production of plays and pageants. The classes are organized according to age groups, Junior Acolytes have been trained, a Cradle Roll has been reactivated, and two worship services are conducted every Sunday morning:—one upstairs for the senior pupils and one downstairs for the younger ones. A Bible Class also meets with its own opening and closing devotions. Space does not permit to name the many consecrated men and women who have served St. John's Sunday School through the years. Their names are legion and we of the present are most grateful for the heritage they have given us..
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So also a church is only as strong as its Sunday School because the School of today is the church of tomorrow. It is here that the eternal truths that alone can open the door to eternal life, are taught. The lessons learned in youth are not easily forgotten. It is the heartfelt hope of all who are interested in the education of the young, that St. John's Sunday School may continue to grow strong and steady lighting the way of Christ and his church in the years to come.
"The Last Days" of the first School building owned by the Parish
JUNIOR SUNDAY SCHOOL PUPILS
SENIOR SUNDAY SCHOOL PUPILS
"LITTLE HELPERS", and later the "CRADLE ROLL"
An organization known as the "Little Helpers" was started by Mrs. George H. Miner and included all children who were to young to attend the regular sessions of the Sunday School. In 1931 the membership numbered twenty-eight and was included in the Diocesan Organization of the same name. Through the years, the membership has, of course changed and sometimes the group has been large, while at other times it has been very small. Since 1952 the name has been changed to the "Cradle Roll" and the last Secretary of the group was Mrs. C. E. Tolkien who moved to Minneapolis in June of 1956. The Secretary' job was to remember each child on his or her birthday, secure the names of all newly baptized children and add them to the list, to send out a magazine four times a year, "The Mother's Magazine", to all mothers, and to see that they all received a present at Christmas time, along with the Sunday School children. The membership at the present time numbers about thirty, and their names are removed from the roll after they have reached their fourth birthday, by which time they are usually attending Sunday School. A new Secretary will be appointed in the near future. Closely afflicted with this group is the nursery class, which meets each Sunday morning in the parish house while their parents are attending the service. A special room has been designated in the New Addition for that purpose, and includes, among other items, a veryfine sand box, made and donated by Mr. C. E. Tolkien.
At the present time the following ladies each take a turn in looking after the nursery on Sunday mornings: Mrs. Kenneth Inselman, Mrs. George Daly, Mrs. Bernard Bergaus, Mrs. Harlan Fredericksen, Mrs. Loyd Haxby, Mrs. Vincent J. Hagen, Mrs. Janice Wilson, Mrs. R. L. Erkel, Mrs. L. C. Smith and Mrs. Glenn Schwanberg.
THE 75th ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE
Asking that every member be a worshipper, every worshipper a worker, every worker a giver, and every giver a spiritual force, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin T. Kemerer, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, gave the closing address on Tuesday, April 13th, 1931 ending a two day celebration of the 75th Anniversary of St. John's Church. One hundred and seventy five members of the parish and their friends, gathered in the Breen hotel dining room, many dressed in the finery of a century ago.
Seated at the speaker's table were: the Rt. Rev. Benjamin T. Kemerer, Rev. E. C. and Mrs. Biller, Mrs. William Friese, C. S. Bunnell, (Senior Warden), Mrs. Bunnell, Henry Tolman, (Junior Warden), Miss Isabel Lawrence, supervisor of the Sunday School and oldest member ofthe parish; Miss Grace McConnell and Mr. and Mrs. Alvah Eastman.
A quartet composed of Isabel Lewis, Jean Stewart, Frank Brownell and Parker Sorlien, the girls in finery of days gone by, the boys with top hats and canes, provided musical selections.
The committee making arrangements for the occasion consisted of Mrs. C. B. Lewis, Mrs. William Friese, Miss Grace McConnell, Mr. C. S. Bunnell, Dr. C. F. Brigham, Sr. and Dr. Clayton Miner, capably assisted by Mr. H. A. Halverson and Mrs. A. M. Gorman, a charter member of St. Agnes Guild, who also helped with the preparation of the history of the church and its organizations, which was distributed in booklet form as a souvenir of the occasion.
An old fashioned church bazaar reproducing events which actually occurred in 1873 in Schwartz and Zeis's hall, was enacted. The playlet was written by Miss Helen Hill, and taking part were: Frances Fish as Jennie Owen; Evelyn Wadhams as Inez Moore; Margaret Booker as Mrs. John Vandersluis; Mary Stewart as Mrs. Helen Moore; Warren Delay as Sam Gilman; George Delay as Henry Tolman; Franklin Brigham as Henry Frank Tolman; Robert Halverson as William Powell; Ernest Biller as Rev. J. S. Chamberlain; Merlin Fetch as Gertrude Powell, andMona Belknap as Anna Alden.
One of the speakers on the occasion, Mr. Alvah Eastman, called attention to the fact that the Episcopal Church has given eight presidents to the United States and stated that the Presidential range of the White Mountains near where he grew up, might just as well be called the Episcopal Range with its peaks, Washington, Madison and Monroe. Another speaker, Miss Isabel Lawrence told of the predictions of her friends in the east as to what she would find when she came west -sudden death at the hands of the Indians, weather so cold that you could throw boiling water up in the air and it would come down as ice. She spoke of the physical appearance of the town in those days when one could walk by a straight path from almost any point to the Normal School, and referred in particular to the first rectory, concluding her remarks with these words, "when my ship comes in, I shall buy that old rectory, restore it to its former appearance, place it in a grove of trees, and fill it with historic records, pictures and treasures, belonging to St. John's Episcopal Church, St. Cloud."
"How the ladies do it" was the title of a clever act in which women prominent in the work of the Ladies Aid were impersonated. Mrs. W. B. Richards announced the characters with events of seventy five years condensed into one meeting.
(This article taken from the Daily Times of Oct. 14th, 1931)
THE 85th ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE
Moving silhouettes representing important scenes in the history of St. John's Episcopal Church constituted the entertainment at a dinner served by St. John's Guild Monday evening October 20th, 1941. Mrs. Paul Delay was dinner chairman and Charles H. Richter, senior warden, planned the Anniversary Program. One hundred and fifty people attended. A special service was held on the Sunday previous, at which Dr. Donald Henning, rector of Shattuck Military Academy at Faribault, wasthe guest preacher.
Many pictures, the property of Mrs. C. B. Lewis and Miss Josephine Brower were displayed. These included portraits of former parishioners, churches, former clergy, church groups and scenes of general interest. Costumed in attire of a century ago to portray some of the pioneers of the Church were: Mr. and Mrs. Lynwood Beaver, Joan Rumpf, Jane Gale, Dr. W. H. Rumpf, Charles Richter, George Richter and J. D. Wiggins. Narrators for the various parts included: Miss Grace McConnell, Mrs. J. D. Wiggins, Mrs. W. H. Rumpf, William Rumpf, jr., and JudgeWendall Y. Henning.
Rt. Rev. Benjamin and Mrs. Kemerer were the honored guests, on the occasion, together with Mrs. H. F. Parshall, (widow of a former Rector of the church) who was the guest of her daughters, Mrs. Carl Schumacher and Mrs. Margaret Grant. The Young Peoples' Fellowship acted as waiters and ushers.
At the close of the evening's program, Thomas Browne, treasurer of the church, presented Henry Tolman of Paynesville, oldest living member of the parish with a gift in honor of his eighty fifth birthday, which occurred about two weeks before the Anniversary Celebration.
(This article taken from the Daily Times dated Oct. 3rd, 1941)
LEGACIES AND BEQUESTS
During the past twenty years, five Bonds valued at $1,000.00 each have been left to St. John's Church by the late Mrs. W. W. Phipps of Los Angeles, California. No specific purpose was indicated as to how these should be used. Four have already been received and cashed, one in 1949 for repairs and improvements, and the other three have gone towards the cost of the new addition to the parish house. The fifth one is expected in the near future, as soon as the estate of Mrs. Phipps iscompletely settled.
A United States Treasury Bond valued at $500.00 was contributed by Miss Grace McConnell for a building fund. This was cashed in 1949and used for the purpose designated.
Two Bonds valued at $25.00 each, one contributed by the women of the parish and the other by Mrs. Mabel Knickerbacker, both for a Memorial to Mrs. Charlotte Welsh. These have been used to purchasea cabinet for the Sacristy.
Lucy M. Warner left the sum of $500.00 "To the endownment fund of St. John's Episcopal Church", payable upon the expiration of a trust created in 1938. The bequest came to the church and was invested in stock of American Telephone and Telegraph Company shortly after it was received, as the church never had an endowment fund, and the proceeds of the sale of the stock were invested in the construction ofthe new addition.
A Bond valued at $500.00 from the Marks estate was cashed in1949 for building improvements.
A gift of $1,000.00 from Elizabeth I. C. Tuttle and Alicia C. Marks during their life time was restricted to use of the income for the rector's salary. This is now invested in two $500 bonds bearing 3% per centinterest.
At the time the present rectory was built, the American Building Fund Commission made a gift of $1,000 towards the cost of the building on the condition that each year an offering would be taken for the Organization to aid them in assisting other parishes. This gift together with the $5,000 from the Will of Mrs. Neide was sufficient for the building of the rectory with a small balance left over.
A sum of money to be used for a Memorial to Dr. C. F. Brigham is in possession of his widow and will eventually be used for the purpose designated.
A Memorial for L. L. Pellet' in the form of a Magazine Rack and Visitors' Book desk also be purchased from funds which Mrs. Pellet' has in her possession at the present time.
The Rector, Wardens and Vestry of St. John's Church desire to express their sincere thanks and appreciation to the following people and organizations whose contributions have made possible, the New Addition to our Parish House. Since our campaign began in April, 1954, the following members have passed to "higher service"—
Dr. C. F. Brigham (Sr.) George W. Friedrich V. E. Larsen
Lloyd Pelley W. W. Tirrell
Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Archer*|
Mrs. F. V. Artig
Mr. and Mrs. John Bartlett
Mr. and Mrs. F. X. Beaver
Mrs. E. K. Beeman
Miss Anna Bensen
Mr. C. O. Bensen
Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Bensen
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Bensen
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Bergaus
Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Boman
Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Bowatz
Dr. C. F. and Mrs. Brigham (Sr.)
Dr. C. F. and Mrs. Brigham (Jr.)
Mr. J. Brower
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brownell
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Burry
Rev. Frank and Mrs. Butler
Miss Rosalie Butler
Mr. and Mrs. T. Canfield
Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Cary
Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Cater
Miss Neide Cater
>Mr. Ward Cater
Mrs. Susanne Clepper
Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Clough
Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Colbert
Mr. L. C. Cole
Mrs. Audrey Crawford
Mr. and Mrs. George Daly
Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Davis*
Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Dietrich
Miss Dorothea Donohue*
Miss Florence Donohue*
Mr. and Mrs. Younger Dyson
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Ellsworth
Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Erickson
Dr. R. L. and Mrs. Erkel
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Fish
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Fish
Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Fleming
Mr. and Mrs. William Fox
Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Friedrich*
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Gaples
Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Gersemehl
Mrs. Dorothy Gibson
Mr. and Mrs. F. O. Gilbert
Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Gordon
Mr. and Mrs. D. L. Gordon
Mrs. Margaret Grant
Mr. Harvey Grimmer
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Guernon
Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Hadden*
Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J. Harrison
Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Haxby
Miss Moselle Hendry
Mrs. T. L. Hendry
Miss Emily Henning
Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Henning
Miss Madeline Henning
Mr. and Mrs. W. Y. Henning
Mrs. Elsie Hoff
Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Holmgren
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Inselman
Mr. F. W. Jackson (architect)
Miss Audrey Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Johnson
Mrs. F. M. Johnson|
Mrs. D. H. Knickerbacker
Miss Etta Knickerbacker
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Lacher
Mr. and Mrs. V. E. Larsen*
Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Larson
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Lauring*
Mrs. Merle Lennartson
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Lehrke
Miss Ruth Lofstrom*
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Merchant
Mr. Stephen Merchant
Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Mesenburg
Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Metzroth
Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Meyer
Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Milne*
Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Miner*
Miss Ruth Moscrip
Miss Emily Mosford
Mr. George McCadden
Mrs. Hazel McConnell(Australia)
Mr. and Mrs. E. G. McTaggart
Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Nelson*
Mr. and Mrs. James Nelson
Dr. N. B. and Mrs. Nelson
Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Olson
Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Otto
Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Pelley
Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Perry
Dr. J. M. and Mrs. Pike
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Rathe
Mr. and Mrs. George Record
Dr. G. D. and Mrs. Rice
Dr. W. B. and Mrs. Richards
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Richter
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Schultz*
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Schack
Miss Freda Schowalter
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Schwanberg
Mr. and Mrs. Carl Schumacher
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Slattery
Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Smith*
Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Smith
Mr. and Mrs. George Stein
Miss Mary Stewart
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Stewart
Mr. and Mrs. William Stoney*
Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Tirrell
Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Tolkien*
Mrs. Herbert Wadhams
Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Waters
Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Warren*
Mr. Harvey Waugh
Mr. James B. Welsh
Mrs. Janice Wilson
Mrs. Rae Wilson
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wright
Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Wright
Mr. E. Vandersluis
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Mohr (Wayzata)
Mrs. William Sartell (Oregon)
The Bishop Morrison Guild
The Fortnighters Club
The St. Catherine's Guild
Names marked thus * indicate that
they have since moved out of the
GIFTS AND MEMORIALS TO ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
The affection that the members of the parish have always felt for their Church is evidenced in the many gifts and memorials which adorn the present edifice. These are listed as follows to the best ofour knowledge from the sources available:
WINDOWS BEAR THE FOLLOWING INSCRIPTIONS
"To the Memory of Henry O. Bingham, Boston, Mass. Aged 26 years.Died October 8th, 1862."
"Suffer the little children to come unto me." "To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Adelia Howe Miner. 1874-1925."
"To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Clayton LivingstonMiner. 1897-1952."
"To the Glory of God in Loving Memory of Mrs. Lydia Jane Warner. 1834-1904."
A bronze plaque on the same window sill bears the following words--
"In Memory of Lucyedna Thomas." (No date inscribed)
"In Loving Memory of Kate and Nellie, wife and daughter of HarryDyer. July 9th, 1858—July 3rd, 1912; Feb. 24th, 1881—July 5th, 1912"
"Mary M. Wife of P. Gregory. Died Feb. 21st, 1865. Aged 40 years."
OTHER GIFTS WITH AND WITHOUT INSCRIPTIONS
"Do this in Remembrance of Me." "In Memory of Jane Marvin Powell." (The 75th Anniversary Booklet states that the altar is a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Powell in memory of their daughters, Jane MarvinPowell and Gertrude Powell Wakeman)
SILVER COMMUNION SERVICE
(two chalices and a paten)
"In Memory of John Hale Taylor, Senior Warden, who entered into rest Aug. 30th, 1858. Presented by his wife in 1894."
SILVER WAFER BOX
"In Loving Memory of Ruth E. Neide, 1912-1927."
This Cross bears no inscription but the 75th Anniversary Booklet states that it was given by the members of Mrs. Cumming's Sunday School Class.
"In Memory of Anne Mary Westrom, 1883-1898."
FLOWER VASES ON ALTAR
"In Memoriam, Mary Grant Bunker, beloved wife of Charles H.Jones, Albany, New York. 1884-1935."
LARGE ALMS BASIN
"To the glory of God and in Loving Memory of Lillian PearceRichards. 1879-1931."
PRAYER BOOK IN SANCTUARY
"September Ilth, 1945. Presented to St. John's Church by Dr. and Mrs. Claude B. Lewis, in Memory of their son Philip Bernard, bornMay 30th, 1911. Departed this life October 26th, 1912."
ALTAR SERVICE BOOK
"In Loving Memory of Naomi Butler. 1877-1956." "Given by the members of St. John's parish in memory of their Rector's mother."
"In Loving Memory of Joan Helen Bensen, 1929-1934. Presented by Parents, Helen and E. Louis Bensen, 1956."
"To the glory of God and in Loving Memory of the Rev. HemanF. Parshall."
BIBLE IN PULPIT
In Loving Memory of Rev. Heman F. Parshall."
COVER ON FONT
"In Memory of Ernest. Safe in the arms of Jesus. Easter, 1900."
EUCHARISTIC CANDLE STICKS
"In Memory of Matilda Jane Andrews."
(on wall in vestibule of South side of Church)
"In Memory of Mother."
"In Loving Memory of Charlotte E. Welsh. 1894-1944. St. Anne'sAltar Guild"
"To the glory of God and in Loving Memory of Anna Grim Bunker. 1854-1923." Given by her daughter Mrs. E. C. Biller.
"Presented by the St. Agnes Guild in 1899."
(Used for worship in Primary Dept. of Sunday School in Parish House)
"Given in Loving Memory of Mary A. Anderson by her grand daughters, Marion Tirrell and Gladys T. Nelson. 1955."
(On altar in Parish House)
"In Loving Memory of Winfield Willey Tirrell, by his daughters, Marion and Gladys, and his wife, Esther Leota Tirrell. 1955"
PRIVATE COMMUNION SERVICE
"Given in Memory of Robert Halverson, by friends, in 1954."
"Presented to St. John's Church by Mr. & Mrs. J. Slattery. 1952."
The Children's Altar, Candlesticks, Cross, Offertory plates, Credence Table, Candlelighters, Dossal, Altar Frontal and Cloth were given by Dr. W. B. and Mrs. Richards in memory of Mrs. Richards' father. The brass plate on the retable bears the following inscription — "To the gloryof God and in Loving Memory of Levi Marion Davis. 1858-1927."
SIX CANDLE STICKS
Given by Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Colbert in Memory of Dr. George S.and Emily Burr Brigham.
CANDELABRA — By the Rev. Vernon L. S. Jones, in 1927, in memoryof his mother.
THE BELL — A Memorial to the Vandersluis family who for five generations have been active workers in the various departments of the Church. This bell has called the congregation to worship for over sixty years and replaced the smaller bell which had been agift to the first church in 1864.
BRONZE PLAQUE — Presented by the Christian Endeavour Society which was very active for several years prior to 1922. It bears the names of St. John's twenty-two sons who served in World War 1. (This Plaque has the corner broken but steps are beingtaken to have it repaired and placed in the Church.)
CHANCEL RAIL — Gift from Drs. C. B. Lewis, C. F. Brigham, C. L. Miner, G. D. Rice, and J. H. Beaty all of whom were membersof the vestry at that time.
LIGHT FIXTURES — Mr. Henry Tolman installed the light fixtures in memory of his mother, Mrs. S. E. Tolman, a pioneer workerin the church.
HAND MAKE LACE ALTAR CLOTH — Made and presented by Mrs.Johnson Rathbun.
PIPE ORGAN — Installed in 1910, at the instigation of the St. Agnes Guild.
SACRISTY CABINET — Given in memory of Charlotte E. Welsh, in 1955. Purchased from two Bonds given some years ago, one by members of the Woman's Auxiliary, and the other by Mrs. D. H. Knickerbacker and designated to be used for a Memorialto Mrs. Welsh.
OFFICE DESK & CHAIR — Presented in 1955 by the members of the Woman's Auxiliary.
ADDITIONAL OFFICE CHAIR Given in 1955 by Mr. A. J. Mesen burg.
PRAYER AND HYMN BOOKS These have been given at various times and in various quantities through the years. Historical records indicate the following donors:— Mrs. S. I. Medhus - in memory of her mother; Mr. and Mrs. Lynwood Beaver; some in memory of Mr. H. Pavey; in memory of Mrs. G. Oliver Riggs - by her Sunday School pupils; in memory of Miss Dora Arnold; andsome given by Mrs. Neide.
COPY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS — Presented to St. John'sChurch by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, in 1952.
CHILDREN'S CLASS ROOM TABLE — Presented by the St. Catherine'sGuild in 1955.
CANDLELIGHTERS ANR EXTINGUISHERS — Given in Loving Mem ory of Henry W. and C. O. Bensen (Sr.) in 1952.
TWO ACOLYTE CHAIRS — In memory of Rev. E. C. Biller (former Rector of the parish). Purchased from bonds through the St. Anne's Altar Guild and members of the congregation, and designated tobe used for a Memorial to Mr. Biller.
LARGE STORAGE VAULT. — Presented to the church by Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Smith, in 1955.
WHITE HANGINGS — Presented to St. John's Church by Mrs. D. H. Knickerbacker.
FLOWER VASES — Given in memory of Mrs. Cummings by her SundaySchool Pupils. In use on children's altar in church.
Gifts and Memorials, though not in use, but which in
most cases have been preserved
SILVER WAFER BOX — Presented in 1862 by Ladies of an EpiscopalChurch in New York.
BRASS FLOWER BOWL ON CREDENCE TABLE — Presented by the Woman's Auxiliary and Improvement Circle in memory of Mrs.H. R. Neide. 1872-1931 (Preserved)
ALTAR SERVICE BOOK — In Loving Memory of James H. Beaty, M.D. 1870-1926. For many years Warden and Vestryman. Given by his colleagues:— Drs. C. F. Brigham, C. L. Miner, G. O. Rice, C. B. Lewis, W. B. Richards and W. H. Rumpf - all members ofSt. John's parish. (Book preserved)
LECTERN BIBLE — Given by Mr. H. R. Neide. This Bible had been the family Bible for many years, in the home of Mr. Ncide'sfather - Rev. George Little Neide (Preserved)
KINDERGARTEN CHAIRS_— Given by Mrs. Neide.
OIL BURNER — Given by Mr. H. Tolman. Replaced in recent yearsby a new burner.
HYMN BOARDS — Given by St. Agnes Guild about 1900. Replaced in recent years by new ones.
BAPTISMAL OFFICE BOOKS — Four in number and presented to St. John's Church by the members of the St. Agnes Guild. 1899(Preserved)
ALTAR SERVICE BOOKS — Three in number but bearing no inscription. (Preserved)
LARGE LECTERN BIBLE — No inscription. (Preserved)
ALTAR SERVICE BOOK — Inscription "Presented to St. John's Guild by the 'Gleaners'. Easter - 1902 Julia Gallup, Helen T. Gallup, Mary E. Hamlin, Elma Bensen, Annie Huntoon, Helen Hill, Nellie Dyer, Margaret E. Stevenson, Anna Bensen, Clara A.Thomas." ( Preserved )
PRIEST'S PRAYER BOOK — Given in 1929 by Dr. C. B. and Mrs. Lewis in memory of their son Philip Bernard. Replaced by a similiarBook by the same people in 1945 (Preserved)
FLORESCENT LIGHTS — Presented by Dr. C. B. Lewis, who also paid for their installation. (These have been replaced in recentyears)
MOTOR — Motor for the ventilating system was donated by E. L. Bensen. (This has since been replaced)
No doubt there were many other gifts made to the church through the years, some perhaps not so lasting as others, but were just as much appreciated at the time they were given and brought joy to all who had a share in them.
BELOVED TRADITIONS OF THE CHURCH
The great Feasts of the Church have been observed uninterruptedly for these 100 years. Certain services and activities have been loved and repeated so that they are known as traditions of the city. Easter morning and Christmas Eve Services are among the favorites. For many years, the children had their own Service on Easter Sunday afternoon, when plants were given to them, symbolizing the new life. In 1930 the custom of filling a cross with Lenten Boxes was instituted. These were taken from the cross on Quinquagesima Sunday, and returned with offering in them during the Easter Season. The money was then sent in to the Diocesan headquarters to be used for some Missionary project about which the children had studied during the Lenten season.
Christmas Eve service with Holy Communion and special music has been beloved by members of the congregation, and many from other Protestant Churches would often attend, although in very recent years,most of the other churches have a service of their own.
The Christmas service and program for children has been an annual event, sometimes held on Christmas Eve but in recent years, usually onthe Sunday afternoon before Christmas.
For many years, the Church participated in United Services during the Lenten season, but since 1953, midweek services have been held in St. John's and regarded as a time when parishioners might develop their own spiritual lives as well as been an opportunity to inform the congregation of the life and work of the Episcopal Church throughout the Diocese, nation and world.
The Epiphany Dinner is always a noteworthy event in the life of the church. In the early days, few people apart from the officials of the church attended, and there were occasions when formal attire was worn. In recent years, the attendance has increased considerably, and it affords all members of the parish an opportunity to hear the Annual Reports of the previous year from the Rector and various church organizations. An old custom still observed, is the hiding of a ring in the Epiphany Cake. The person locating the ring has the honor of makingthe cake for the next Epiphany Dinner.
The Valentine luncheons sponsored by the various guilds of the church were started in 1926 and are looked forward to annually bypeople of the community as well as by St. John's own members.
The Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers, under the auspices of the Fortnighters are also well patronized by the community.
The largest money making project for some years past has been the Annual turkey Dinner. Originally sponsored by the Fortnighters, it has become so large that the entire parish is involved in making it a grand success. Because the New Addition to the Parish House was under construction in 1955, the dinner had to be cancelled, and this seriously affected the church budget since it was included at the be ginning of the year as anticipated income.
The women of the parish have always been very active in the life and work of the church and a great deal of credit is due to them for all their labours. The Annual Bazaar is indicative of the many hours spent in order to help the work of the church financially. The income from the bazaar in 1955 was approximately twelve hundred dollars,of which about fifty percent was profit.
SPECIAL EVENTS, SERVICES, STATISTICS, MEETINGS, ETC.
October 1953 — A two day Conference of Christian Living was held in the Parish House for Episcopalians of the St. Cloud Deanery and con ducted by two members of the National Council.
October 1954 — The Annual Youth Convention for the Sixth Province was held in St. John's when delegates from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota attended.
Members of Job's Daughters have made two annual parades to the church during the years when Aileen Tofting and Jeanette Mesenburgwere Queens respectively. Both girls are members of the parish.
Annual Men's Deanery Meetings have been held in St. John's through the years, the last one being in 1954 with Rt. Rev. Richard Emery, Bishop of North Dakota as guest speaker.
Since 1856 there have been 1272 Baptisms, 959 Confirmations,314 Marriages and 589 Burials in the parish.
In 1955 the total income for Parish Support was $7,819.76; income for work outside the Parish was $1,338.10; income for Building Fund was $9,033.22 making a grand total of $18,246.08. For the sake of comparing the financial contributions of the parishioners over a periodof years we note the following statistics.
1924 — $4,052.16; 1934 — $3,036.76; 1944 — $4,156.52; 1954 — $9,002.841955 (stated above)
The people of the parish may indeed be congratulated upon their increased giving for their parish church, outside work and the building project.
Clergy and Bishops who have preached in St. John's Church during the past four years are: Rev. William Key, Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Minnesota; Rev. Louis Johnson, Rector of St. Thomas' Church, Minneapolis; Rev. S. Tanabe, Associate Pastor of First Methodist Church, St. Cloud; Rev. Dr. Dickens-Lewis, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud; Rev. Daisuke Kitagawa, Director of the Department of Christian Social Relations for Diocese; Rev. John Knoble, Chaplain at the University of Minnesota; Rev. J. S. Twining, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Ocean Falls, British Columbia, Canada; Rev. Neal Kuyper, Chaplain at the State Reformatory; Rev. Sharman Miller, Perpetual Deacon and a Minneapolis Dentist; Rev. V. L. S. Jones, Rector of St. Luke's Church, Dixon, Illinois; Rev. Cyril Hanney, Rector of Trinity Church, Anoka; Rev. Selwyn Evans, Rector of St. Andrew's Church, South St. Paul; Rev. Denzil Carty, Rector of St. Philip's Church, St. Paul; Rev. J. B. Midworth, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Burlington, Vermont; Rev. E. J. Seeker, Rector of Trinity Church, Norfolk, Nebraska; Rev. Albert Schnake, Chaplain at the Veterans' Hospital, St. Cloud; Rev. Andrew Otani, Director of the Japansese - American Centre, Minneapolis; Rev. Leonard Adams, Rector of St. Matthew's Church, North Minneapolis; Rt. Rev. Stephen E. Keeler, Bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota; Rt. Rev. Hamilton H. Kellogg, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota; Rt. Rev. Douglas H. Atwill, retired Bishop of North Dakota; Rt. Rev. Ambrose Reeves, Bishop of the Diocese of Johannesburg, South Africa.
The first double wedding in St. Cloud was in the year 1858, when the Rev. W. C. Phillips united in marriage, Wm. Powell and L. Annette Marvin, at the home of the bride's father. Wm. H. Bradley and Emma A. Donnell, were also married at the same time and place and by the same clergyman. St. John's owes much to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Powell. The first forty years of its history are marked with loyal supportand service, both material and spiritual, of these two people.
THE PARISH ROLL — 1956
A few words of explanation is necessary in regard to the following list of people. It includes:
The names of all those who filled in the Statistical Form sent out a few months age indicating that they desired to be classi fied as members of St. John's Parish.
The names of all those who in a Religious Census conducted by the Ministerial Association in 1954, inserted the "Episcopal Church" as the one they attended (or) preferred.
It does NOT include sons or daughters of Episcopalians, whoare not residents of St. Cloud at the present time.
Mr. and Mrs. H. W.
9 Woodhill Road
Adams, Mrs. W. J.
212 4th Ave. South Anderson, Miss Florence
1004 12th Ave. South Artig, Mrs. F. V.
301 2nd Ave. So., Sauk Rapids Barnhart, Mr. and Mrs. T. A.
2nd Ave. South
Bartlett, Mr. and Mrs. John
1053 26th Ave. North Beaver, Mr. and Mrs. F. X.
4th Ave. South
Beaver, Mr. and Mrs. L. L.
1100 Minnesota Blvd. Beeman, Mrs. E. K.
310 4th Ave. South Bensen, Miss Anna
520 6th Ave. South Bensen, Mr. C. O.
117 5th Ave. South Bensen, Mr. & Mrs. E. L.
312 4th Ave. N.E. Bensen, Mr. J. A.
Riverside Dr. N.E.
Bergaus, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard
West River Road North Biller, Mrs. E. C.
210 4th Ave. South Blangy, Mrs. Earl
1401% St. Germain St. Boman, Mr. and Mrs. R. A.316 Riverside Dr. N.E.
Borresch, Mrs. Donald
8th Ave. South
Bowatz, Mr. and Mrs. A. F.
1821 9th Ave. S.E. Brigham, Mrs. C. F. (Sr.)
426 3rd Ave. South Brigham, Dr. C. F.
1259 7th Ave. North Browne, Mr. and Mrs. T. H.
235 30th Ave. North Burry, Mr. and Mrs. H. H.
11 2nd Ave. So., Sauk Rapids Butler, Rev. Frank and Mrs.
386 4th Ave. South Canfield, Mrs. Ted
513 13th St. SouthCary, Mr. and Mrs. W. L.
208 4th Ave. South Cater, Mr. and Mrs. H. W.
Clough, Mr. and Mrs. D. C.
628 Riverside Dr. N.E. Clayton, Mr. and Mrs. Wm.
1922 9th Ave. S.E. Clepper, Mrs. Susanne
2nd Ave. South
Colbert, Mr. and Mrs. R. B.
424 3rd Ave. SouthCole, Mr. L. T.
1215 Kilian Blvd. Colomy, Mrs. Mary
902 5th Ave. S.E. Crawford, Mrs. Audrey 922 4th Ave. South
Cross, Mr. Robert
43 4th St. South, Sauk Rapids
Dahl, Miss J.
528 8th Ave. South Dahl, Mr. Sidney
7th Ave. South
Dalhaug, Mr. and Mrs. John
Daly, Mr. and Mrs. George
1235 7th Ave. North Davis, Mrs. Charles
Delay, Mr. and Mrs. Paul
7th Ave. South
Dietrich, Mr. and Mrs. J. E.
1610 9th Ave. South Dinnie, Mrs. L. W.
502 3rd St. N.E.
Dyson, Mr. and Mrs. Younger
9th Ave. South
Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. M. W.
Highway 52, Waite Park Ellsworth, Mr. and Mrs. E. C.
11th Ave. North
Erickson, Mr. and Mrs. H. M.
379 5th Ave. South Erkel, Dr. R. L. and Mrs.
221 6th Ave. SouthField, Mr. Harold
10th Ave. S.E.
Fish, Mr. and Mrs. C. W.
1602 9th Ave. South Fish, Mr. D. L.
9th Ave. South
Fleming, Mr. and Mrs. C. L.
3023 8th St. NorthFox, Mr. and Mrs. Wm.
619 7th St. S.E.
Frederickson, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. 419 10th St. SouthFrenzel, Mr. L. D.
5th Ave. South
Gaples, Mr. and Mrs. Harry
5th Ave. South
Gersemehl, Mr. and Mrs. W. E.
395 2nd Ave. South Gibson, Mrs. Dorothy
1101 36th Ave. NorthGilbert, Mr. C. D.
401 5th Ave. South Gilbert, Mr. and Mrs. F. O. 1612 Kilian Blvd.
Goode, Mr. and Mrs. A. H.
7th Ave. South
Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. B. H.
36th Ave. North
Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. D. L.
1108 36th Ave. North Grant, Mrs. Margaret
827 1st Ave. South Grimmer, Mr. Harvey
9th Ave. North
Guernon, Mr. and Mrs. E. C.
1002 Minnesota Blvd. Hagen, Mr. and Mrs. V. J.
745 South McKinley Place Hargis, Mr. and Mrs. L. R.
TC Housing Unit No. 16 Harris, Mr. R. E.
2nd St. North
Harrison, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J.
6th Ave. South
Haxby, Mr. and Mrs. Loyd
232 2nd Ave. N.E. Hendry, Miss Moselle
917 3rd Ave. South Hendry, Mrs. T. L.
3rd Ave. South
Henning, Mr. and Mrs. E. N.
7th Ave. South
Henning, Mr. and Mrs. W. Y.
520 2nd Ave. SouthHill, Miss Helen
395 1st Ave. South Hoff, Mrs. E. H.
2305 Michigan Ave. S.E. Hoge, Mr. and Mrs. F. V.
9th Ave. South
Holmgren, Mr. and Mrs. D. W.
502 5th Ave. N.E. Hudson, Miss Fern
C/O Veterans' Hospital Hutchison, Mrs. E. W.
803 3rd Ave. SouthInselman, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth
38 24th Ave. North
Schwarzenback, Mr. & Mrs. A. C.
826 13th Ave. South Seeley, Mr. and Mrs. J. D.
2002 10th Ave. South Slattery, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse
517 13th St. South Slattery, Mr. Robert
13th St. South
Smith, Mr. and Mrs. L. C.
403 6th Ave. South Smith, Miss O.
420 10th Ave. North Smith, Miss V.
395 1st Ave. South Stalberger, Mrs. J. J.
Stein, Mr. and Mrs. G. H.
1616 Clearwater Road Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Enock
2531/2 13th Ave. South Stewart, Miss Mary
4th Ave. South
Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. W. H.
1404 So. Broadway, Sauk Rapids Stillman, Mr. Earl
226 3rd Ave. N.E.
Mr. and Mrs. L. D.
428 6th Ave. South
Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. D. M.
1215 7th Ave. North Johnson, Mrs. W. G.
1108 12th Ave. North Johnston, Mrs. F. M.
9th Ave. South
Kestin, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph
904 10th Ave. South Knickerbacker, Miss Etta
1st Ave. South
Knickerbacker, Mrs. D. H.
310 4th Ave. South Lacher, Mrs. J. H.
1675 Hillside Parkway Larson, Mr. and Mrs. E. M.
316 12th St., South Laughlin, Mrs. J. C.
913 3rd Ave. South Lease, Mr. Alfred
516 Wilson Ave. N.E. Lehmann, Mr. E. E.
1121 River Ave., Sauk Rapids Lehrke, Mr. and Mrs. G. W.
709 Washington Memorial Dr. Lehrke, Mr. and Mrs. J. H.
318 9th Ave. South Lennartson, Mrs. Merle
815 1st Ave. South Long, Mr. George
402 5th Ave. South Medhus, Mrs. S. I.
524 5th Ave. S.E. Merchant, Mr. and Mrs. C. H.
6th Ave. North
Mesenburg, Mr. and Mrs. A. J.
Metzroth, Mr. and Mrs. F. W.
604 Riverside Dr. S.E. Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. M. H.
Moscrip, Miss Ruth
511 3rd Ave. South Mosford, Misses E. and M. Clear Lake
Mosford, Mr. Wm.
McCadden, Mrs. Mae316 6th Ave. North
McConnell, Mrs. Hazel Route #1
McGarry, Mr. and Mrs. G. T.
13th Ave. South
McTaggart, Mr. and Mrs. E. C.
1324 9th Ave. South Nelson, Mr. and Mrs. James
Nelson, Dr. N. B. and Mrs.1711 9th Ave. South Oelschlager, Mrs. A. C.
409 Wilson Ave. S.E. Olson, Mr. and Mrs. G. P. 110 1st St. S.E.
Olson, Mr. and Mrs. R. G.
1289 11th Ave. North Otto, Mr. and Mrs. C. L.
820 Riverside Dr. S.E. Otto, Mr. and Mrs. H. C.
324 3rd Ave. South Otto, Mr. Roswell D.
324 3rd Ave. South Parshall, Mrs. H. F.
827 1st Ave. South Patterson, Mrs. Nora
1922 9th Ave. S.E. Pellet', Mrs. L. L.
Perkins, Mr. F. E.
408 11 St. South Perry, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. RFD 2
Dr. J. M. and Mrs.
1316 Kilian Blvd.
Pollock, Mr. and Mrs. Donald
510 Wilson Ave. N.E. Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. W. J.
1602 3rd St. North Puhlman, Mr. W. A.
8th Ave. North
Ransdell, Mr. and Mrs. N. R.
1027 8th Ave. North Rathe, Mr. and Mrs. C. W.
5th Ave. South
Record, Mr. and Mrs. G. H.
Log Cabin Court, RFD 4 Rice, Dr. C. D. and Mrs.
2nd Ave. SouthRichards, Dr. W. B. and Mrs.
605 2nd Ave. South
Richter, Mr. and Mrs. C. H.33 Highbanks
Schack, Mr. and Mrs. E. C.630 3rd Ave. South Schowalter, Miss Freda
11th Ave. North
Schraefel, Mr. and Mrs. Albert
14051/2 St. Germain St. Schumacher, Mrs. Carl
827 1st Ave. South Schwanberg, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn 411 3rd Ave. South
Thiessen, Mr. and Mrs. Wm.
RFD 2, Sauk Rapids Tinglov, Mrs. Berger 916 Kilian Blvd.
Tirrell, Mrs. W. W.
23 17th Ave. South Tolman, Mr. T. W.
715 13th Ave. South
Van Nostrand, Mr. and Mrs. M. E.
707 6th Ave. South Wadhams, Mrs. Herbert
3rd Ave. South
Waters, Mr. and Mrs. W. G.
1626 Kilian Blvd. Waugh, Mr. Harvey
503 6th Ave. South Weiss, Mr. J. A.
1028 So. Broadway, Sauk Rapids Welsh, Mr. J. B.
4th Ave. South
Wenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon
503 6th Ave. South Westrom, Mr. G. J.
712 South McKinley Place Wheeler, Mr. Fred
Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd
1025 2nd Ave. South Willenbring, Mrs. R. M.
Wilson, Mrs. J. C.
845 South McKinley Place Wilson, Mrs. R. R.
14321/2 Breckenridge Worthington, Mrs. M.
5th St. South
Wright, Mr. and Mrs. Harry
202 24th Ave. North Wright, Mr. and Mrs. M. J.
1826 8th Ave. S.E. Zelinski, Mr. and Mrs. E.
1261/2 14th Ave. North
REV. HANS WOLNER
REV. E. B. JEWELL
VERY REV. V. L. S. JONES
The Rev. John G. Larson was the first native son of St. Cloud to enter the ministry. He was ordained to the priesthood in St. John's Church in 1904. His entire ministry (except for a year in Michigan) has been spent west of the Mississippi. Now retired, he lives in Danville, California. Einart M. Larson, a brother, is still among the parishionersof St. John's.
A contemporary classmate of the Rev. John G. Larson was a man by the name of Thomas Alleeson. After a year or two in Seminary, he came to St. Cloud, enrolled as a student at the Normal School (now the Teachers' College) and studied Greek and Hebrew under the Rev. Heman F. Parshall, who was Rector of St. John's at that time. Later, he married a Miss Wing of St. Cloud, and entered the ministry, although he never served as Rector of St. John's parish. Mr. Alleeson died some years ago, but it is interesting to note that his widow visited St. Cloud on Sunday morning September 23rd, 1956 and attended the Service. She had comefrom Seattle to visit her brother in Minneapolis.
The Rev. Hans Wolner worked for four years at the St. Cloud State Reformatory during which time he was an active member of the parish of St. John's. He was greatly devoted to the Rector - the Rev. Heman F. Parshall who often referred to Hans as "one of my boys". After graduating from Seminary in 1908, he served many missions and parishes in the Diocese of Minnesota. He was also one of the Examining Chaplains, a member of the Bishop and Council and a member of the Standing Committee, as well as being very prominent in the Masonic Order. Nowretired, he and Mrs. Wolner reside at Cloquet, Minnesota.The Rev. Otis Wright was a former Baptist clergyman who came into the Episcopal Church during the Rectorship of the Rev. Heman F. Parshall. After a short time in Staples, Minnesota, he moved to SouthDakota, but soon turned up on the non-parochial list.
The Rev. E. B. Jewell, formerly of Red Wing, Minnesota, was ordained by Bishop Bennett in St. John's Church, in 1928. Dr. Jewell is now the Rector of St. Andrew's Church, Kansas City in the Dioceseof West Missouri.
Rev. V. L. S. Jones was baptized and confirmed in St. John's Church. He was also the Sunday School Superintendent, started the .Acolyte Guild and the first boys' choir. His ordination to the Diaconate took place also in St. John's in 1937. At the present time he is the Rector of St. Luke's Church, Dixon, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago,and Dean of the Chicago - North Deanery.Rev. Reno W. Kuehnel was confirmed by Bishop Kemerer in St. John's Church in 1936. Ten years later he was appointed to take charge of St. James Church, Fergus Falls, while studying for the ministry. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1949 and is now the Rector ofGrace Church, Ishpeming, Diocese of Northern Michigan.
Rev. E. C. Biller (Jr.) is a son of a former Rector of the parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1941, having previously served as Lay Vicar at Appleton, Benson and Montevideo from 1938 until 1940, and Deacon in charge of St. Thomas' Church, Morris, Illinois the year following. He then moved to the Pipestone area, including churches at Laverne, Slayton and Lake Benton as well. From 1942 - 1946, he served as Chaplain in the U.S. Army and returned to become Rector of St. Luke's Church, Willmar, and Grace Church, Olivia. From 1949-1954 he was Rector at Lead and Sturgis, South Dakota, and then appointed Chaplain and Teacher at St. Mary's School for Indian girls, and priest-incharge of the church at Springfield, South Dakota. Early in 1956, heaccepted a call to St. Paul's Church, Durant, Iowa.
MISSIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ST. JOHN'S
GRACE CHURCH, SAUK RAPIDS
As far as can be ascertained from the Records available, the first Episcopal Service held in the area north of St. Anthony Falls, was on October 13th, 1850, when the Rev. James Breck together with a number of laymen on their way to Gull Lake on an Indian Mission tour, stopped at Sauk Rapids and celebrated the Holy Communion. Six years later the congregation was organized and the first church erected. Money for the building was subscribed by the citizens of Sauk Rapids, and the site for the church given by Messrs Sweet, Russell and Judge E. O. Hamlin. The Ladies' Aid, by various means, raised sufficient funds to procure the bell for the new structure. In the year 1858 the building was consecrated, and together with St. John's Church, St. Cloud, had the distinction of being the only Churches north of St. Paul which were consecrated by Bishop Kemper - the Missionary Bishop whose diocese was perhaps larger than that of any other bishop in the history of the church, including all the territory west and north of the Ohio River. Tht little congregation continued to grow and in the year 1869, it becamea parish under the Rev. S. K. Stewart.
A severe blow came upon the Episcopalians on April 14th, 1886 when Grace Church was completely destroyed by a cyclone. This tragic event took the lives of a large number of the citizens of Sauk Rapids. Some time after the cyclone was over, a silver alms plate, dented and bent, was picked up in a swamp near Royalton, and passed into the hands of a Minneapolis man. It was later restored to the Sauk Rapids congregation largely through the influence of the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Whipple together with a delegation from Grace Church who journeyed to Minneapolis to recover it. One member of that delegation was Mrs. J. McMahon, whose son-in-law, Mr. Robert Cross, still resides in Sauk Rapids and who is in his ninty-first year. In his travels through the State of Minnesota, Bishop Whipple carried the alms plate with him and, after telling the fate of Grace Church, would pass the battered plate for contributions for the rebuilding of the Church, by which means the sum of $2,000 was raised. This amount, together with other monies collected from various sources, enabled the congregation to erect a new building which was consecrated on November 23rd, 1899, by the Rt. Rev. James Dow Morrison, Bishop of the Missionary District of Duluth. The sermon on that occasion was preached by the Rt. Rev. Mahlon N.Gilbert, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Minnesota.
Regular Services were conducted for a number of years, but the congregation never fully recovered from the loss it experienced in 1886. Many of the people moved away from the town, and with few others moving in, the membership gradually dwindled until in 1928, it was decided to close the Church and sell the property. The small remaining congregation affiliated themselves with the parishioners of St. John's Church, St. Cloud, both churches having being, for the most part, served by the same Rectors since 1869. Part of the first Communion service used in Grace Church, came from an Episcopal Church in New York State. This consisted of a large tankard, chalice and paten. These are now in the possession of St. John's Church, St. Cloud, as is also the battered alms plate, together with a Book containing the records of Baptisms, Confirmations and Marriages from 1869 - 1915, and the Service Books used by the various clergymen who conducted the Services through the years. After Services were discontinued in 1928, a smaller paten and chalice used in Grace Church by the Rev. Heman Parshall during his Rectorship, were sent to Emmanual Church, Eagle Bend in January 1931 to replace the Communion Vessels in that Church which was destroyed by fire a short time before. The bell from Grace Church became the property of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in St. Cloud, and in recent years it was moved to the EUB Church in Graham, Minnesota. No other statistical records previous to 1869 nor later than 1915, can be located.
TRINITY CHURCH - BECKER
On Wednesday evening September 5th, 1883, Rev. A. D. Stowe, Missionary at Anoka, Elk River and Princeton, conducted the first Episcopal service in Becker, in the Baptist Meeting House. Music was provided by Miss M. M. Price, Mrs. Frank Fridley, Miss Larson and Messrs. S. S. Thorn and Fred Dyson. At that time the only Confirmed members of the Episcopal Church in Becker, were S. S. Thorn, Mrs. Thorn (nee Price) and her sister Miss M. M. Price, all of whom hadmoved from Buffalo, New York, some years before.
Two months later, Rev. A. D. Stowe held the first Baptismal service, receiving into membership, Mrs. Ella Fridley and her two children, Edna Clara and Frank LeRoy. On Tuesday, December 3rd of the same year, Rt. Rev. H. B. Whipple, Bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota, paid his first visit to the new Mission, and Confirmed Mrs. Frank Fridley. After the first few months, services were held in a hall owned by FrankFridley, using boxes and planks for furniture.
It was not long before the little congregation began making plans to erect a building of their own in the village. They were greatly inspired in their efforts by a visit from Mrs. Price of Buffalo, New York, who had come out to visit her children and grandchildren, bringing with her a donation from her parish Church, St. Mary's on the Hill, where a mite box had been started to raise funds towards a church in Becker. Frank Fridley gave a deed to a plot of ground; money offerings lumber, paint etc., were contributed, and on December 3rd, 1884, Trinity Chapel was opened with a Harvest Home Service. On Tuesday, February 26th, 1885, the first service was held after the building was completed. The Mission was duly organized and incorporated, according to the Laws of the State of Minnesota, and the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Minnesota. The meeting of Organization took place on July 16th, 1884; the Bishop's Certificate granted on May 21st, 1885; and the Certificate of Organization put on record and filed in the Register of Deeds' Office in and for the County of Sherburne, on June 23rd, 1885, when incorporation became complete. On Sunday, May 15th, 1887, the Chapel was consecrated by Rt. Rev. Mahlon N. Gilbert, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Minnesota. Rev. A. D. Stowe resigned on April 1st, 1888 to become Rector of the Church of the Ascension at Stillwater. During the next few years, services were con ducted as follows:
December, 1888 - May, 1891 - Rev. John W. Prosser of Minneapolis.
June 1st, 1891 - June 1st, 1892 - Rev. Mark Jukes of Anoka andElk River.
June 1st, 1892 - September 25th, 1892 - Lay Readers took services.
September 25th, 1892 - May 14th, 1893 - Rev. John W. Prosser.
July 21st, 1893 - September 17th, 1893 - Rev. H. C. Bossier of Anoka.
September 17th, 1893 - May 27th, 1894 - E. E. Lofstrom, Lay Reader
In 1895, Rev. C. E. Hixon began his ministry in Becker, but a tragic blow came upon the congregation on Sunday morning, December 5th, 1897 when a fire started in the furnace room, and the church was burned to the ground. This was a great loss indeed; the bell, library, carpets and the adjoining 'drive sheds' were completely destroyed. Only a few pieces of furniture were saved. Through the kindness of the Methodists, who offered their building, regular services were continued until the following year when a new church was erected. Rev. C. E. Hixon continued his ministry until 1910 and was succeeded by Rev. N. F. Douglass until 1913 when Rev. A. D. Stowe returned for a second time to take charge of the church. Historical records indicate that in 1914 the officers of the church were: Senior Warden, S. S. Thorn; Junior Warden, Fred Dyson; Secretary, I. L. Johnson; Treasurer, Younger Dyson; Vestrymen, Messrs. John C. Reed, John P. Nelson, Nels C.Nelson and Otto Anderson.
In 1914 there was a very active Sunday School with Fred Dyson as Superintendent and S. S. Thorn assisting. A Ladies Guild was also functioning with an average attendance of thirty at each meeting. The officers were: President - Mrs. S. S. Thorn; Vice-President - Mrs. Younger Dyson; Secretary - Miss Minnie Johnson; Treasurer - Miss Ida Johnson. Mrs. Younger Dyson (now of St. Cloud) later served two terms asPresident.
In the early days of the church's history, a very fine choir under the leadership of Mrs. Frank Fridley, made a real contribution to the Sunday worship. The records indicate that in 1908 the membership was about twenty with Miss Florence Lee as organist and YoungerDyson as director.
The Rev. A. D. Stowe resigned in 1925 and was succeeded by the Rev. E. W. Couper who conducted services for the next five years. Following Mr. Couper was the Rev. Arland Blodge and then the Rev. John L. Knapp. In 1937, Trinity Church became attached to St. John's Church, St. Cloud and was served by the same Rector, the Rev. E. C. Biller, until 1941. For the next few years the church was closed but the Rev. W. R. F. Thomas who became Rector of St. John's in 1946, began conducting services once again and they have been continuedsince that time.
Because of an insufficient number of children to operate a Sunday School, for many years the children attended other church schools in the village, but in January of 1955, regular sessions began again with Mrs. Philip Knutson as superintendent and the average attendance has been fifteen. During the years when there was no Sunday School, services were conducted twice a month on Sunday afternoons. However, since 1955, services have been conducted at 10:00 a.m. followed by regular Sunday School classes at 11:00 a.m. Since the Rector of St. John's also has a service at 11:00 a.m. it has been impossible for him to hold morning services in Becker, and therefore, Charles W. Rathe, lay reader at St. John's, have been conducted services in Trinity Church for the past two years, with celebrations of the Holy Communion conducted bythe Rector of St. John's periodically, on Sunday afternoon.
The present Officers of the church are: Warden, Otto Anderson; Treasurer, Carl Barth; Secretary, Mrs. Charles Lundquist; Vestrymen, Charles Lundquist, Richard Leverton, Herman Theiltz, Ben Major and Walter Thompson. The church organist is Mrs. Philip Knutson and Miss Gertrude Dyson is in charge of making arrangements for Holy Communion Services.
During the past four years, the following improvements have been made to the church: the building has been completely redecorated inside —walls, ceiling, floor with kneelers made and installed by W. H. Thompson, who donated the covering for the kneelers as well as the new lights now in the church. The cost of the wiring was donated by Carl Barth. A new roof was put on the church in 1954 and a sign announcingthe time of the services erected on the outside wall of the building.
Officers of the Ladies Guild at the present time are: President - Mrs. W. Bowles; Secretary - Mrs. Charles Lundquist; Treasurer - Mrs. Philip Knutson. Mrs. Otto Anderson, church treasurer and organist formany years, passed away in October of 1956.
GIFTS AND MEMORIALS
Given in 1886 in memory of Fred Slitter of Buffalo, New Yorkthrough the kind solicitation of Mrs. Price and her daughter.
Donated in 1886 and bore the following inscription, "My voice at proper times I'll raise, and sound to my subscribers' praise." This was a gift from friends and members of St. Mary's on the Hill, New York.
COMMUNION VESSELS (not in use but preserved)
Given by the congregation of St. Mary's on the Hill in 1886.
CROSS AND VASES
Inscription - "In memory of A. M. Fridley born May 1st, 1817 and died March 26th, 1888"
CHANDELIERS (not in use)
Presented by Miss H. Russell of Buffalo, New York in 1891.
Made and donated by Mr. W. H. Thompson in 1955.
Given by Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Thompson in memory of Ted andMae Shurson in 1955.
Given by members of the congregation in 1955 in memory of Monroe,Eva, and Lucy Wells.
Presented 'to the church by Ward Gongel.
"In Memory of Mrs. K. G. Knutson."
BECKER PARISH LIST — 1956
(This list includes all those who have an affiliation with TrinityChurch whether they are active or inactive at the present time)
Mr. & Mrs. Allan Anderson Becker Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Anderson Becker Mr. Otto Anderson BeckerMr. & Mrs. Theo. Anderson Becker
Mrs. Thomas Anderson Becker
Mr. & Mrs. Earl Bailey Becker
Wrs. Wilson Bailey BeckerMr. & Mrs. Wesley Bowles Becker
Mrs. Joseph Clitty Becker
Mrs. E. L. Danielson Becker
Miss Gertrude Dyson Becker
Mr. & Mrs. Lester Dyson BeckerMr. & Mrs. Philip Knutson Becker
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Leverton Becker
Mr. & Mrs. Carl Barth Big Lake
Miss Craig Big Lake
Mr. & Mrs. Libby Groustra
Mr. George Henry .... Clear Lake
Mr. & Mrs. Herman Theiltz
Mr. & Mrs. Chas. Lundquist Monticello
Mrs. John McElvain Hasty
Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Thompson
5233 - 43rd Ave. So., Mpls.
Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Major
It would be impossible to include the name of all those who supplied information for the publishing of this Centennial Booklet, however thefollowing are indeed worthy of mention:
The Committee who compiled the 75th Anniversary Booklet, a great deal of which is included in this one: Rev. E. C. Biller, Mrs. C. B. Lewis, C. S. Bunell, Mrs. Wm. Friese, Miss Grace McConnell, Dr. C. F. Brigham(Sr.) and Dr. C. L. Miner.
Miss Ruth Moscrip for the article on the Bishop Morrison Guild. Miss A. Mosford for the article on the St. John's Study Group. Mrs. Younger Dyson for the article on the St. Catherine's Guild. Mrs. J. H. Lehrke for the article on the Bishop Kemerer Mission Guild. Mrs. W. B. Richards for the article on the Sunday School.Mrs. H. M. Erickson for the article on the Fortnighters
Mrs. J. H. Lehrke and Mrs. L. L. Beaver for the article on the Auxiliary since 1932.
Miss Mary Stewart for the article on the Altar Guild.
Mrs. Loyd Haxby for perusing all the scrap books and many of the historical records to accumulate items of historical significance.
Mr. J. H. Lacher who made all the 'cuts', designed the front cover and devoted a great deal of time with your Rector in planningthe arrangement of the pictures and material.
The Sentinel Publishing Company for their work in printing the Booklet.
Mr. Bob Molitor for making such a good job on all the pictures of the various organizations, and buildings.
Charles H. Richter for his legal advice concerning Bequests, Wills, Bonds, Securities and information regarding the incorporating of the Parish.
Bishops, Clergy, Former Rectors and Lay people from many places in the United States (over fifty in all) to whom your Rector wrotefor information regarding various items included in the Booklet.
With the help of all these and many others your Rector regarded it as a pleasure and a privilege to secure the pictures of all but one of the former Rectors and other clergy and write the material in the form in which it appears in this Centennial Booklet. With humble apologiesfor errors and omissions —
Frank Butler (Rector)