Napoleon Baptist Church Celebrates Its 90th Year of Ministry
"Napoleon Baptist Church Celebrates Its 90th Year of Ministry," Napoleon Homestead, 16 June 2009.
June, 2009 is not only the 125th anniversary of the city of Napoleon, it is also the anniversary month of Napoleon Baptist Church's 90th year of ministry in this community.
Members, former members and friends will gather Sunday morning, June 14 at 10:30 AM for a worship service of celebration.
"In June, 1919, eleven charter members organized the German Baptist Church of Napoleon. The church was a 'station' or branch of the Wishek or Danzig Baptist Churches and was served by the pastor only once each month.
"The congregation met for services in the old school building which is now located south of Napoleon at the Jeff Wald residence. In 1921 the members purchased the old Catholic Church and moved it to the site of the present Baptist Church. There it was remodeled and served the congregation until 1960, when the present facility was erected.
In 1941 the membership decided to become an independent and self supporting congregation. It was at that time that they severed their ties with the Wishek Baptist Church and changed their name to Napoleon Baptist Church with 59 members.
Some of the families that were part of the church through the years included: Gottlieb Zimmerman's, Adam Gerber's, Jack J. Rott's, Fred Pfeifle's, Andrew Zimerman's, Christian Grenz's, Fred Grenz's, Edward Sukut's, W. C. Herringer's, Otto Grenz's, Henry Oldenberger's, Adam Goehring's, Carl Zimmerman's, Ruben Zimmerman's, Jacob Streyle's, Adam Pfeifle's, Julius Grenz's, Edwin Grenz's, Edward Kroll's, Wm. Pritzkau's, John Zimmerman's, Gideon Oldenburger's, and Edward Kramer's.
Seven former members have been called into the full time pastorates of missionary service and have served throughout the United States, Germany, Japan, and Africa.
The congregation today consists of nine active resident members, four noon members who recognize that it is only by God's gracious hand that they are enabled to continue on and humbly claim the theme verse, 'Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.' 1 Samuel 7:12. The congregation is served by the Rev. Graham Kern of Bismarck, ND who commutes weekly and has served the congregation in this capacity since 2004. The hand full of dedicated believers faithfully continues its vision 'of encouraging one another in love until the Lord returns' Hebrews 10:25 and its mission statement 'Christ having changed us from enemies to his friends, gives us the task of making others his friend also 1 Corinthians 5:1 to be an influence in the community and even throughout the United States and the world.
The public is invited to share with the local congregation in the celebration of praise service Sunday morning, June 14 at 10:30 AM. Featured speakers will be sons of the church: Reverends Mervin and Thomas Kramer. Musical selections will also be presented by present and former members.
Reprinted with permission of the Napoleon Homestead.