Historic homecoming set for church


VERSAILLES —As the summer begins to fade and thoughts turn toward autumn, area residents also begin to look forward to the annual St. Peter’s Homecoming Celebration. This service marks a tradition which began more than 100 years ago.

When St. Peter closed its doors to weekly worship, it was decided then to hold a “Homecoming Service” each year. Most of the congregation that remained, moved their membership to Friedens Lutheran at Bloomer, St. Paul’s at Willowdell, Trinity, at Versailles, or St. John, near Greenville.

Why is St. Peter Evangelical Church unique? It has celebrated more “Homecoming Services” than years of regular worship, this being the 110th service!

The church, founded by immigrants from Kammerforst, Langensalza, Providence Larheim, Kingdom of Prussia, (Germany) whom settled in what was known then as “Dutch Roost” offered regular German Lutheran worship services in this log structure from 1850 till 1905. When they closed the doors in 1905, all was left in place. It looks today much as it did when they worshiped here.

On Sept. 20, the historic church will host a pre-service concert given by the Jason Lance Family Singers in the sanctuary at 1:30 p.m. The annual worship and hymn sing will begin at 2 p.m. The Rev. Robert Akins, of Trinity Lutheran Church Versailles and Friedens Lutheran Church, Bloomer, will lead the worship service reminiscent of the late 1800s. Karen Lawrence will play the original pump organ and many hymns of a bygone era will be song.

Prior to the service at 12:30 p.m. there will be a pulled pork dinner. Complete with a pulled pork sandwich, au gratin potatoes, baked beans, and apple crisp all for a $10 donation. Dinners will be prepared by Trinity and must be reserved prior to Sept. 8. Reservations may be made to J. R. Kelch at 105 Greenhaven Drive Greenville, Ohio 45331.

“Why not make a day of it and make plans now and join us on Sept. 20 as we invite your Congregation join us and ‘come home to St Peters’,” asked organizers.

St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church is located one mile south of Versailles just east off of State Route 185 south of Versailles, on the St. Peter’s Road.

“Come and enjoy an autumn afternoon in the country where our ancestors walked and prayed,” organizers concluded.

Staff report

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