Zion Lutheran Church turns 100

Zion Lutheran Church, 8322 N. Second Street in Wellington, will celebrate 100 years in the community at two worship services scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. Former minister Frank Winter will preach and Al Schroeder will be the liturgist at both services.

Lunch is planned at noon and at 1 p.m. between the services. “The church holds only 100 people so we are staggering the festivities, minister Mark Grabbert said.

Built in 1905, the church originally housed the 15-member Baptist Church. In 1914, the Baptists moved out and the Lutherans moved in. Gabbert said part of the congregation was made up of Germans from Russia who came to the area to work in the sugar-beet fields.

Once part of the Missouri Synod, the church is now part of the Lutheran Congregation in Mission for Christ, referred to as LCMC.

Gabbert came to the church eight years ago. He served as a youth educator for for three years, then was ordained and has served as minister for the last five years. Officially “part-time,” he says his job is close to full time. He juggles his church duties with substitute teaching and coaching football, wrestling and track at Wellington Middle School. He has lived in Wellington since 1993 and raised his family in town.

During his tenure, Zion Lutheran has grown until it now has 175 members from 70 families. “The congregation is a warm, close-knit and positive group of people,” Gabbert said. “My job is a very satisfying one.”

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