St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church “Christmas in July”

Rural Zeeland, McIntosh County, North Dakota, 10 July 2011

Photographs courtesy of Layn Mudder, LPT Images, Mandan, North Dakota

Text by Carol Just, St. Louis Park, Minnesota, St. Andrew’s Preservation Committee

Preservation efforts will be ongoing. If you missed this event but still wish to contribute, please send donations to Arndt Ketterling, Treasurer, 217 South 7th St. Wishek, ND, 58495. Checks should be made out to St. Andrew's Lutheran Church with Preservation Committee written in the memo line.

St. Andrew's Preservation Committee invited former members, descendants of the founding members and supporters of their preservation efforts, to attend a "Christmas in July" event at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, rural Zeeland, ND. Known as "The Beacon on the Prairie," St. Andrews hasn't been able to host its annual Christmas event for several years because of a faulty furnace. So they decided to do it in July and see who would come. As you will see - many believe that St. Andrews must be preserved and showed up to say so.

St. Andrew's Preservation Committe fed a large crowd on Sunday, July 10. 2011.
From Left to Right: Albert Sayler, Jeanne Walth, Vernon Gerber.
From Left to Right: Vice President Vernon Gerber and President Gary Wolf.
St. Andrew's sanctuary dressed up for Christma in July.
Christmas in July.
Beautiful St. Andrew's altar.
With baptism font.
From balcony.
Altar in the 1893 stone church - Andreas Gemeninde.
Exterior of stone church - erected 1893 of native sandstone.
View from the east.
Beautiful iron fence welcomes visitors in to the cemetery.
Michael Miller, NDSU's Germans from Russia Heritage Center and Carol Just, St. Andrew's Preservation Committee.
Dr. Tom Isern, Advisory Committee, Suzzanne Kelley, board president, Preservation North Dakota.
Gary Wolff, President, reading names of founding members.
Descendant lighting a candle.
Descendant lighting a candle.
Descendant lighting a candle.
95-yr-old descendant lighting candle in memory if his grandparents.
St. Luke's Choir.
Pastor Allen Wagner, former intern at St. Andrew's.
15 candles in memory of the 15 founding families of St. Andrews.
In the middle of the service a storm rode through. Nothing but the 15 candles to light our way.
God speaks in mysterious ways - candles representing the 15 founding members cast beautiful shadows as the program continues in story and song.
View of descendants and guest from the altar.
Following the service, Karen Meidinger Retzlaff, daughter of the congregation shared the history of the buildings that the St. Andrew's Preservation Committee is committed to preserving..


Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller