Salem Church, 1895
By Fred Schumacher
The Evangelical Salem Church, West Pine Street, Albion, was organized by Rev. Otto Schettler. He and his wife came here from Chillicothe, Ohio, where he had a pastorate for a number of years. The move to Michigan was influenced by several members of his Ohio Church, who had come to Michigan, and also, for a change of climate.
Rev. and Mrs. Schettler had at first thought of settling in Homer, Michigan, but on account of many inconveniences there at that time, came to Albion. The pastor and his wife first made their home with Mrs. Emma Porr, mother of George Porr, who had also come here from Ohio. After some little time the Schettlers purchased their home on North Easton Street, which they enjoyed and where everyone was made welcome.
It was in December, 1895, that services were first held, every other Sunday in the W.C.T.U. Hall, then over the present Wochholz and Gress grocery. On May 17, 1896, a meeting was called to organize, and those present at this time, and agreeing to join the Church were as follows: Adam Krenerick, [father of Mrs. Caroline (Krenerick) Shiek, and father-in-law of Mrs. Wilhelmina Krenerick, (both members of the Three-Quarters-Century Club)]. Johannes Wiselogel, Wilhelm Knack, Mrs. Caroline Houck, Mrs. Emma Porr, Fred Young, Carl Porr, Leopold Porr, Mrs. Maria Geiger, and Mrs. Wilhelmina Leeland.
It was resolved that Messrs. Wiselogel, Knack, Young and Porr act as trustees and church Council, until a meeting of the congregation, which was to be held the first Sunday in January, 1897. The following Sunday a meeting was held after the services and it was decided the name of the Church should be Evangelical Lutheran Salem Church. At this time Mrs. Augusta Landenberger and Mrs. Saloma Sebastian joined. Miss Mary Porr, now Mrs. Harry Hoffman, was the first organist, and she was followed by Mrs. Minnie Schumacher-Geyer.
At the next service Rev. Schettler announced that he had an option to buy a site with a brick house on same, in the northern part of the city for $710. This was voted on by the council and purchased. This house was formerly the red brick school on Pine Street and is where the present church now stands. At the next two meetings, July 19 and August 16, more members joined, namely: Fred Hardt, Jacob Collmenter, John Collmenter, Fred Brandt and Jacob Geyer.
On January 10, 1897, at a meeting of the congregation Adam Krenerick as chairman, a church council was elected and a constitution adopted. In June of the same year the congregation was accepted into the Michigan District of the Evangelical Synod of North America.
In the spring of 1898, it was decided to build the present church on West Pine Street and William Loder was given the contract for $1600. A Ladies Aid Society was formed and the first members and officers were: Mrs. Emma Porr, president; Mrs. B. Collmenter, vice-president; Mrs. Caroline Houck, second vice-president; Mrs. Otto Schettler, secretary; Mrs. Caroline Shiek, treasurer.
There have been two presidents of the congregation since the adoption of the new constitution, namely: Otto Conrad and Fred Schumacher. In 1903 a Young Peoples Society was organized.
The first confirmation class, which was in the old building, are as follows: Charles Knack, William Knack, Fred Knack, Anna Frederick (Wheaton), Mary Porr (Hoffman). The first class in the new church was: Mildred Stankrauff (Behling), Dorothy Brandt (Schmidt), Emma Hackbert (Davenport).
Rev. Schettler served the congregation until July 1911, but remained until Albion until his death, which was in December of the same year. Burial was in Michigan City, Indiana. The following pastors have had charge since that time: Rev. E.W. Pusch, Rev. E.A. Piepenbrok, Rev. Paul Grabowski, Rev. Fred Piepenbrok, Rev. F. Eglinsdorfer, and the present pastor, Rev. E.F. Wilking.
Source: Miriam Krenerick, Milestones and Memories, 1932. 135-136
The Evangelical Salem Church, West Pine Street, was organized by Rev. OttoSchettler. He and his wife came from Chillicothe, Ohio, where he had a pastoratefor a number of years. The move to Michigan was influenced by several members ofhis Ohio Church, who had come to Michigan.
In December 1895 services werefirst held every other Sunday in the WCTU Hall then over the Wochholz and Gressgrocery. On May 17, 1896 a meeting was called to organize. The following Sundaya meeting was held after the services and it was decided the name of the Churchshould be Evangelical Lutheran Salem Church.
At the next service Rev.Schettler announced that he had an option to buy a site with a brick house onsame, in the northern part of the city. This was voted on by the council andpurchased. This former school house on Pine Street is where the church metthereafter.
On January 10, 1897 at a meeting of the congregation, AdamKrenerick as chairman, a church council was elected and a constitution adopted.In June of the same year the congregation was accepted into the MichiganDistrict of the Evangelical Synod of North America.
In the spring of 1898, itwas decided to build the church building on West Pine Street and William Loderwas given the contract. Rev. Schettler served the congregation until July 1911,but remained in Albion until his death December of the same year.
The Salem Evangelical Church was organized in 1896, and erected a church building on W. Pine St. during 1898. First pastor was Rev. Otto W. Shettler, who served from 1896 to 1911. Today the church is known as the Salem United Church of Christ.
Salem Evangelical Church confirmation class, March 28, 1920. Seated (L-R): Helen Kemler, Rev. Paul Grabowski, Helen Luedtke. Back row: Laura Wold, Wilbur Knack, Matilda Widner, Norma Hartwig, Leonard Miller, Mary Klein.
Source: Frank Passic. A Pictorial History of Albion, Michigan; From the Archives of the Albion Historical Society. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation. 1991.