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The History of Kettle Moraine United Presbyterian Church

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KETTLE MORAINE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

1852—Present

English and Scotch settlers arrived in this area in 1842 to stake their claims on the new frontier. They found a beautiful country covered with forested land and a network of Indian trails bordered by many lakes and rivers. 

The settlers began to put up makeshift shanties covered with slabs of bark and bundles of hay. John Johnson who had come here in 1840 built a dam and a saw mill to make timber for the settlers' homes. This little settlement was now called Johnson's Mill. 

By 1843 many of the set­tlers had purchased land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Norwegian immigrants began calling Johnson's Mill by the name of Newberg   The new pioneers hungered for community worship and some social life. Ministers of any denomination were welcome as long as they could speak the English language. 

The Methodists sent preachers into the frontier settlements. A man known as "Good Elder Wheelock" of the Methodist Episcopal faith came on foot to preach to the people in their homes, to bring them news, and to comfort the sick.

In 1843 a log schoolhouse was built high on the hill east of the Coonamawac River. On April 15, 1852, the Presbyterian Church of Newberg was organized by fifteen members of Scotch and English descent living in the Newberg and North Lake area. Three ministers, one Presbyterian, and two Congregational, led the organization of this church   The members held their worship services in the log schoolhouse. 

In 1845 John Ferguson gave land for a church. When the church did not materialize, the land was then used for a cemetery, which is the current Gardens of Stone Bank Cemetery. John Ferguson gave land for the original church which was built near the log school. This building was dedicated on March 4, 1858. A post office was established and the name of the village Newberg was changed to Stone Bank.

In 1855 the Church accepted the Confession of Faith at the Covenant of the Milwaukee District Convention    In 1858 a home missionary began to serve the church. In 1874 a pastor from the Delafield and Ottawa Presbyterian Churches began to sup­ply the Stone Bank church

In 1867 John Ferguson was sent to the Milwaukee Convention to seek dismissal so the church could join the Milwaukee Presbytery. After 20 years of steady growth, a new and larger church was built further back on the church lot. 

While Elder John W. Mason was attending a meeting of the General Assembly in New York in May, 1896, a bolt of lightning struck the church, ripping off the spire, breaking the windows, breaking the sides, and piercing the stove pipe with a dollar size hole. The shock was so great it broke some of the windows in the schoolhouse across the road, and kitchen windows in the Mason house below the hill. Pieces of wood were scattered over the surrounding countryside, and a big hole was left in the ground by the gate of Larson's field across the road. 

A committee, consisting of B. Boorman, James Miles, Ingelbert Peterson, R.D. Mason, and W.J. Foster, was appointed to take care of the repair of the church. Thomas Fulmer rebuilt the church and steeple for $357.52. The church was painted, new opera style seats were purchased, and wallpapering, carpeting, and plastering were redone. The insurance company paid $560 for the repair of the church. A large center door which opened to enter down the aisle, was put in for the convenience of funerals held at the church. 

This repaired church  served the congregation until 1972. The church was then sold along with the North Lake Presbyterian Church to help finance the building of the Kettle Moraine United Presbyterian Church.

The early settlers who once travel by foot or horse and buggy to that little log schoolhouse to hold their worship services on Sun­day, would be very proud to see the accomplishments and progress of the generations that followed after them over the century."And Jesus said to him ...all things are possible to him who believes."   Mark 9:23

The Stone Bank and Delafield Presbyterian Churches shared the services of a minister beginning in 1874 and continued for 78 years. Ottawa and North Lake Presbyterian Churches were part of this parish for a short period of time. Due to poor roads and slow travel, most of the members who lived in North Lake and the surrounding area withdrew their memberships from the Stone Bank Presbyterian Church to organize a Presbyterian Church in North Lake in 1903

In 1953 the Delafield Congregation voted to have a minister of its own. The Stone Bank and North Lake churches, unable to support ministers on their own, began making plans for a joint parish served by one pastor. 

In 1960, a resident pastor was installed to serve both churches. In January, 1961, the two congregations voted to merge, the future Kettle Moraine United Presbyterian Church was the result of this joint merger.A "Service of Union" was held on August 6, 1961 for the newly organized Kettle Moraine United Presbyterian Church. 

A building committee was organized and plans were made for a financial campaign. Eighteen acres of land was purchased and a manse was built in 1963 on the front parcel of land off Hwy K. Both the North Lake and Stone Bank Churches were sold in order to finance the building of the church. A beautiful new church was built and dedicated in 1973. An addition was added to the church and dedicated in November of 1993. The Sanctuary was rennovated in 2004.                        

(compiled from "History of the Presbyterian Church of Stone Bank," by Isabelle Miles.)

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NEWBERG (Stone Bank)

(Organized —April 15, 1852)


On April 15, 1852, the Presbyterian Church of Newberg was organ­ized by 15 charter members, including families of English and Scotch settlers who had arrived in Johnson's Mill and the North Lake areas as early as 1842. The first church was built for a cost of $390 and dedicated on March 4, 1858, on land donated by John Ferguson. The debt was retired by the rental of pews for $4-6 a year.

In 1858 the little village of Newberg's name was changed to Stone Bank. After 20 years of steady growth, a larger church was built on the back of the church lot, for a total cost of $1,200. This church was dedicated, debt free, on December 27, 1878. People came to church in ox carts along muddy trails or walked for miles across the fields. Each Sunday the church was filled for Sunday School and worship services. Strict obedience was required in the church discipline and no work was allowed on Sunday. They would neither buy nor sell on the Sabbath. No "nonsense" games were played. The first church was heated by a pot belly stove; a furnace was installed in the second church. The furnace smoked so badly that 2 stoves were installed in the back of the church   In 1896 a bolt of lightning struck the church causing such se­vere damage the church had to be rebuilt. These early churches were built with the help of many of the men who donated time and money. 

May 6, 1896

While Elder John W. Mason was attending a meeting of the General Assembly in New York in May, 1896, a bolt of lightning struck the church, ripping off the spire, breaking the windows, breaking the sides, and piercing the stove pipe with a dollar size hole. The shock was so great it broke some of the windows in the schoolhouse across the road, and kitchen windows in the Mason house below the hill. Pieces of wood were scattered over the surrounding countryside, and a big hole was left in the ground by the gate of Larson's field across the road.

A committee, consisting of B. Boorman, James Miles, Ingelbert Peterson, R.D. Mason, and W.J. Foster, was appointed to take care of the repair of the church. Thomas Fulmer rebuilt the church and steeple for $357.52. The church was painted, new opera style seats were purchased, and wallpapering, carpeting, and plastering were redone. The insurance company paid $560 for the repair of the church. A large center door which opened to enter down the aisle, was put in for the convenience of funerals held at the church. This repaired church (shown on the right hand side—with pillars that were added in 1950 through a gift along with a new educational unit that was built with classrooms for the Christian Education Department) served the congregation until 1972. The church was then sold along with the North Lake Presbyterian Church to help finance the building of the Kettle Moraine United Presbyterian Church.
 

The early settlers who once travel by foot or horse and buggy to that little log schoolhouse to hold their worship services on Sun­day, would be very proud to see the accomplishments and progress of the generations that followed after them over the century.
"And Jesus said to him ...all things are possible to him who believes."   Mark 9:23 sup­pers were held by the ladies of the church to raise money. Members from the North Lake area began to withdraw their member­ships from the Stone Bank Presbyterian Church in 1903, in order to organize a Presbyterian Church in North Lake.

 
NORTH LAKE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

(Organized March 12, 19O3)


The people who lived in North Lake and the surrounding area were members of the Presbyterian Church in Stone Bank from 1852— 1903. The members began to withdraw their membership from the Stone Bank Church in order to build their own Presbyterian Church in North Lake. On March 12, 1903, the First Presbyterian Church of North Lake was organized in the Town Hall after a series of evangelistic meetings conducted by Rev. J.C. Strand and Rev. Samuel McComb of Stone Bank and Delafield. There was 18 members present at the first meeting.
 

A lot was donated by Mr. O.T. Monstead for a church, but due to insufficient funds the church did not materialize. In 1912 theimages/ lot was sold. In 1917 another attempt was made to build a church. The Sunday School and Church services were begun in 1923, and for 20 years, this small group of Presbyterians held their Sunday worship services in the Town Hall of North Lake.
 

Mr. Gifford Ruby, a student from Beaver Dam High School was obtained to teach Sunday School and to preach. Mr. Ruby was so well received that plans were made at once for a real church building. Under the leadership of Mr. Ruby, the donation of land by Mr. Hans Nelson and Miss Monstead, and gifts of time and money, the church was built for at a cost of $7,500. It was dedicated on Sunday October 16, 1927. The La­dies Aid and the Men's Club of the church were vital and strong working forces for the church over the years.
After Mr. Ruby graduated from Carroll College in 1928, the church was supplied by Carroll College students, and Mr. E. Ben Weinke, Registrar at Carroll College, who served the church for 3 years until 1960.

After much consideration on August 4, 1957, the two congre­gation of North Lake and Stone Bank voted to share a resident pastor. In 1960, a called was extended to Rev. Homer Roberts and he was installed as the pastor of the two churches. The future held many new and excit­ing endeavors, but it would take many meetings and committed leader­ship with God's guidance for the merger of the Stone Bank and North Lake Presbyterian churches, (compiled from an article by Mrs. Alice M. Hayes- 1960)

 

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