Peace United Church of Christ in Gladbrook celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the church with a special service on October 21, 2012.
The service began with an organ/piano duet by Michael Horstmann and Carma Horstmann Sturtz. It took all back a few years in memories as they joined forces for an impressive "He".
Worship leaders were Rev. Robert Doner and Mary Winklepleck. Communion was served and lots of hymns were enjoyed by the congregation.
Deb Ploen Grove, of Ames, is a former member of Peace Choir. She thought it would be fitting to invite all former members of the choir to join forces for the 125th Celebration. The choir is pictured as they sang 'Amazing Grace' during the service. During the closing moments the congregation and choir sang 'The Lord's Prayer'. One person stated, 'You could hear the joyous sound all the way to Dike.'
Pictured standing in front: Marie Benda, Deb Ploen Grove, Pat Claussen, Mary Luethje, Rose Russell, Nancy Gethmann Farnsworth, Kathy Gethmann Trinkle, Laura Osborn, Jolene Denbow, Kathleen Hansen Carlson, Mary Jane Schaeferle, Judy Wendel, Shellee Parsons Jordebreck and just out of the photo Drew Carlson and Darrell Meyer.
Middle Row: June Bessman, Rebecca Franksain, Devonna Wiese Brundage, Marshall Mussig, Carma Horstmann Sturtz, Linda Goos, Jim Grove, Cole Goos, Rick Benda, Robert Wiese, John Claussen, Larry Miell, Junior Dierks and Eleanor Lott. In the very back are: Michael Horstmann, David Goos, Bruce Marten, Ron Busch, Robert DeBerg, Jim Gethmann, David McGowan and Dick Denbow.
The featured portion of the service was a play, "The Autobiography of an Old Church Pew". This was a poignant story of what the Old Pew saw over the years of occupancy in a little holy place of worship.
The story followed a young couple and their children through trial and triumph. Jim Gethmann and Rose Russell were the voices of the Old Pew.
Solos were sung by Linda Goos and David McGowan. A chancel choir of former and current members sang "Amazing Grace". Deb Ploen Grove spear-headed the idea of the mass choir. The choir was directed by Eleanor Lott.
Rev. Doner and his puppets made an appearance for the children. Eleanor Lott played an old organ that was in Peace Church some 100 years ago. It was purchased at an auction by Robert Mohr and donated to the church. June Bessman did an awesome job of accompanying the hymns and playing "background"music for the play. The Hand bell Choir played "Alleluia".
Guests from the Iowa United Church of Christ Conference included Rev. Jonna Jansen and Rev. Patricia Goldberg. Former organists present included Sandy Wiese Koester, Michael Horstmann, Carma Horstmann Sturtz and Jerri Baumeier.
A bountiful potluck meal was served with Shirley Miell doing a wonderful job of organizing the kitchen and getting the food served.
A wonderful time of fellowship and reminiscing took place. Visitors came from all over Iowa and as far away as California.
Committee members for the celebration included Jeannie Paustian (who put in untold hours of organizing and planning), Rose Russell, Jodi Betts, Shirley Miell, Tammi Oettchen, Linda Goos and Margaret Thomsen