Grace Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Grace Lutheran Church was established in 1947 as a joint congregation with Zion Lutheran of Binford, rural.  The first pastor was Reverend Willard C. Laatz of Chicago.  The church was officially incorporated in August 1948.  The first church building was an unused schoolhouse from southeast of Cooperstown, which was moved into town on lots located west of the old Oie house in the southwest part of town.  This building served the congregation until April 28, 1957 when a new building was dedicated.  In 1963 Grace and Zion joined with Trinity of Hope to form a three-point parish.

Charter members of the congregation were: 

Mrs. and Mr. Glenn Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Pittenger, Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Retzlaff, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Winning, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Winning, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Stalvik.

Building committee members were: 

Alfred Retzlaff, Norwin Hanson, Walter Rothert, Lester Winning and Reynold Retzlaff.

Pastors serving Grace Congregation: 

Reverend Willard C. Laatz, 1947-1955, Reverend George Schubarth, 1956-1958, Reverend Vernon Knight, 1959-1962, Reverend John A. Krueger, 1963-1972, Reverend Ronald Nichols 1972-present.

Ladies Aid - organized in April 1948.  The first officers were: 

President Mrs. Glenn Johnson, Vice-President Mrs. Clifford Pittenger, Treasurer Mrs. Lester Winning, Secretary Mrs. Harry Weitenhagen.  They and the following ladies were charter members: 

Mrs. Henry Winning, Mrs. Oscar Stalvik, Mrs. Carroll Retzlaff and Mrs. Willard Laatz.

The Aid assisted in decorating and furnishing the new church.  Special projects were the organ fund, kitchen and chancel and the baptismal font.

In January 1949 they joined the Synod-wide Lutheran Women Missionary League.  During the years of the church's existence, the Ladies Aid has distinguished itself as an enthusiastic group, whose members have done a great deal to see to it that the congregation has flourished and prospered.

In September 1949 Mrs. Henry Winning began the first Sunday School at Grace Lutheran, serving as Sunday School Superintendent.  She was the only teacher at first, with sixteen children enrolled.  The Sunday School enrollment increased rapidly and two new teachers were added - Mrs. James Rich and Mrs. Glenn Johnson.  The Sunday School has continued to flourish, the members fluctuating with the population growth and decrease.  It has been primarily a self-supporting organization.  Succeeding superintendents have been Mr. Norwin Hanson, Edgar Krenz, Reuben Weber, Marvin Retzlaff and Mrs. Evelyn Dahl.

In 1953 Mr. Reynold Retzlaff organized a joint league with Zion of Binford for the young people of the congregations.  This Organization is now called TAC (Teen-Age- Christians.)

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 49

 
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