Friedens (Peace) United Church of Christ was started by a
group of residents who broke off from the
Some members continued to be unhappy and according to
The first minister was Rev. Stroetker, resident Pastor of
St. John’s Church in Cappeln. This
was the beginning of a long history of sharing a minister with
The property on which Friedens church is located was
purchased from John and Laura Koelling in 1905 for $2,400.
The building on the property had been used as a grocery store/saloon.
Ernest Sudbrock was chosen as carpenter to do the remodeling, along with
a lot of volunteer help. The newly
remodeled building was dedicated on
Work began on the present sanctuary in 1967 with the
construction of a foundation basement. In 1980 the present sanctuary was
completed and a vision became a reality. The
old church was dismantled in stages, beginning with the steeple and ending with
the foundation stones, and was moved to the Daniel Boone Home off Hwy. F near
The bell from the old building was retained by the
congregation and a free-standing bell tower was constructed near the current
sanctuary. The Dove of Peace adorns
the top of the tower. The steeple of
the Old Peace Chapel also is topped with the Dove of Peace.
The two doves were sculptured by Dr. M. R. Jones of
In 1980, the educational and fellowship wing was added, and a new playground and multi-purpose building were built in 2003.
Over the years, the church has undergone several changes in
its name. It was founded under the
name Deutsche Evangelische Friedens Kirche.
As the mission of the church changed and the German language began to
disappear from the area, it became
Over time, the area continued to change. The German language almost completely disappeared and the question was frequently asked, “What does Friedens mean?” To help people understand the name, the church became Friedens (Peace) United Church of Christ, and remains so today. This transition took place when the congregation moved into the new sanctuary in 1980.
Shown are the current sanctuary and outside views of the church.
Historical information for this article provided
by Ida Gerdiman
Thanks to Dianne Sudbrock for providing the write-up.
Deutsche Evangelische Kirchenverien des Westerns
Additional information on church history for Friedens and other local churches can be found in the 1957 New Melle Festival brochure.