Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Zion Lutheran in Morton celebrates 125 years this Sunday

  • The history of Zion Lutheran Church has its roots in a group that began meeting for worship in Beaver Falls in November 1882....
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  • What does it take to establish a church? Is it the building materials that help a congregation take shape? Is it the people who enter its doors each Sunday for worship? While both the building and the people are important elements in what makes a church, the key piece of the true church is what that church is built upon – its solid foundation. For Zion Lutheran Church in Morton, that foundation is the grace offered by God through the sacrifice of Jesus. “We are saved by grace,” said Pastor David Horton of Zion Lutheran. “It is not something we earn. It is the gift of God that comes free of charge.” Since 1889, the Zion Luth-eran Church has held fast to that truth, and this year it is celebrating 125 years of ministry as a church saved by grace.
    “This is a landmark year for Zion Lutheran Church,” said Horton, adding it is not often a church reaches this milestone. “This is our year to celebrate what God has done for the church and through it.” The celebration being held this Sunday is an all-day event, with things scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with a worship service focusing on those who have been confirmed at the WELS church. “We have invited every confirmand we could find,” said Horton, adding those who may not have been contacted are definitely welcome to attend, too. “Former pastor Jim Strand is going to be preaching at the service.” Strand served the congregation from 2000-09, and Horton, who is originally from Milwaukee, Wis. was then called to serve at Zion and is in his fifth year of ministry with the Morton church. A missions update on work being done in Asia is scheduled to be held during the day’s events. A catered meal is set for noon at the church, which Horton saiud is going to include a program. The anniversary celebration is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., and Horton said former pastor Kevin Stellick is going to be preaching at that service. All are invited to come and help the church celebrate this Sunday, said Horton, adding that doesn’t just mean current and former members of the church. Everyone from the community is invited to come and be involved in the events. The history of Zion Lutheran Church has its roots in a group that began meeting for worship in Beaver Falls in November 1882. Eight charter members helped to organize the congregation, but building a church there never came to fruition. The desire to establish its own place of worship led the group to Morton where it officially organized Zion Lutheran Church Feb. 18, 1889. The Articles of Incorporation were registered in Beaver Falls. That same year the first church building was erected, with the church being dedicated June 28, 1889 at a cost of $1,357.43. The church began to grow, which also led to the need for a larger building, and in 1939 ground was broken for the current building. Horton said there are currently 132 members of Zion Lutheran, adding they come from a wide radius around Morton for worship each Sunday. “This is a good church,” Horton said. “The members are very loving and in many ways are like family.” That, said Horton, is what a church should be like, as it demonstrates what it means to be part of the family of God. “We continue to see God working here,” said Horton, adding that overflows into the community as many of the members of the congregation are in-volved in the community as they demonstrate God’s love.
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