Chicago Lutheran History: Zion Lutheran Church in Roseland- 1882
In 1896, the Lutheran churches of Chicago published Geschichte der Gründung und Ausbreitung der zur Synode von Missouri, Ohio und Andern Staaten gehörenden Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden U. A. C. zu Chicago, Illinois, a history of their growth in the city beginning with First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, now located on LaSalle and Goethe streets in Chicago.
This is the 16th chapter of the book, Zion Lutheran congregation in Roseland. Zion is the daughter church of another Zion Lutheran Church in Washington Heights. Zion 109th, as the local Lutherans call it, is one of the many Chicago churches that transitioned from white to black during the great migration. Unfortunately, Zion 109th closed only a short time ago, and most of their few remaining members went to The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection on 95th and Wentworth. Fortunately, the pastor unlocked the doors so I could take photographs of their sanctuary and school building.
Evangelical Lutheran Zion Congregation (Roseland)
In the year, 1882, Pastor H. Felton of Washington Heights began a Lutheran mission in Roseland. At the divine services, which he held in a private home, they also found a number of Lutherans from Kensington and Pullman. The organization of the congregation happened on the 20th of August 1882. The constitution, which was read out loud by Pastor Felton, was signed by six men.
They quickly decided in the first meeting to build a church, in God’s name, which could also serve as a school. The small congregation was supported by a subsidy for this building, and so a small church (20 by 30 feet in size) could already be dedicated to the service of the Triune God on the 16th Sunday after Trinity (24th of September), a month after the founding of the congregation. At this time, the school also was opened immediately by the Seminarian S. Röhm. In the following year, Teacher H. Charle was called to the school; But he only worked there for a short time. His successor was Teacher H. C. A. Winterstein, who served the congregation with greater faithfulness for a year and a half in the school.
Until the year 1888, the congregation was served as a dual parish, in the beginning by Pastor H. Felton, then by Pastor C. Roack from Riverdale. From year to year, the congregation and school grew and so, in the spring of 1888, they could call a preaching candidate from St. Louis. The candidate of theology, G. Sievers, to whom the call had been delivered, took it, and he was ordained and installed into his office on the 5th of August of the following year by Pastor C. Roack.
Even before that, the congregation had sold their small church and bought a larger, more suitable church building on 113th st. and Curtis ave. for the sum of $1,400. In the year 1890, the congregation built a two-classroom school, and in the year 1893 they built a spacious, fine-looking parsonage.
The year 1894 was a difficult time of affliction for the congregation. Because of the large strikes in Pullman that year, almost every member of the congregation lost their wages for a month. But in their great plight, the congregation thirsted to richly receive the loving support of the nearby sister congregations.
In addition to Pastor Seivers, who faithfully presided over the school for years and frequently helped out in the same, the following persons were teachers in the congregation since 1890: W. Hacker, H. Maschoff, L. Himmler, and P. Jüngel.
The congregation now numbers 45 voters and 230 communicant members. The school is attended by an average of 80 children.