SNAPSHOTS OF OUR CONGREGATION

ZION, FRIEDHEIM
10653 N 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733

Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School

Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School opened its school doors for the first time on Tuesday, September 2, 1969. The student body included 108 boys and 87 girls, for a total of 193 students enrolled for its first year. This represented approximately 77% of the children eligible from the three congregations that formed Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School - Zion (Friedheim), St. Paul (Preble), and St. John (Bingen). In the thirty eight years of Wyneken's history, the following teachers have served the Lord and have been a blessing to God and His people.

David Hartman 1969 - 1975 Raymond Backman 1969 - 1972
Richard Bultemeier 1969 - 1974 Marvin Meyer 1969 - 1970
Johanna Rafert 1969 - 1981 Ross Stueber 1969 - 1975
Thelma Standiford 1969 - 1986 Addy Schuller 1970 - 1971
Mrs. Michael Leaman 1970 - 1972 Kenneth Germann 1971 - 1999
Orvin Schlegel 1970 - 1987 LeaAnn Fifer 1972 - 1976
Donna Schieferstein 1972 - 2003 Donna Scheumann 1975
Walter Schefft 1975 - 1979 David Boerger 1975 - 1977
Lois Niemann 1976 - 1978 Gay Hutchison 1978 - 1979
Rae Fuhrmann 1976 - present Mike Bronner 1979 - 1983
Mark Zimmer 1979 - 1988 Lois Nord 1981 - 1982
Mrs. Keith Niemeier 1980 Pam Williamson 1982
Lisa Wallace 1982 - 1986 William Reichhart 1983 - 1985
Nancy Gowen 1983 - 1985 Megan Payne 1985 - 1987
William Griffith 1985 - 1987 Diane George 1986 - 2000
Rebecca Klenke 1986 - present Cynthia Wollman 1987 - 1988
Dean Wass 1987 - present Marcia Gevers 1988 - 1990
Marvin Drier 1987 - present Karen Bierlein 1988 - 1990
Fred Krey 1988 - 1991 Timothy Steltenpohl 1991 - 1995
Doug Dash 1990 - 1993 Deborah Miller 1991 - 1997
Kristie Brown 1992 - 1996 Michelle Martin 1995 - present
Gretchen Hardesty 1993 - 1998 Richard Schwantz 1996 - 2005
James Krupski 1997 - 2000 Pandora Zimmerman 1998
Dianne Hormann 1997 - 1999 Amy Dickmander 1998 - 1999
Jennifer Ackman 1999 Anne Hess 1999 - 2003
Ruth Armao 1999 - 2002 Heidi Werling 1999 - present
Yvonne Schwantz 1999 - 2005 Sarah May 1999 - 2001
Mary Nichols 2000 - 2005 Emily Nelson 2000 - 2001
Keith Dicke 2001 - present Lowell Timm 2001 - present
Cindy Roy 2001 - present Deb Olson 2003 - 2006
Jean Timm 2005 - present Pam Brewer 2005 - present
Janine Albert 2006 - present    

We have been privileged to have the following Wyneken teachers who have called Friedheim their church home: Johanna (Rafert) Buuck, David Hartman, Richard Bultemeier, Addy Schuller, Walter Schefft, Mike Bronner, William Reichhart, William Griffith, Marvin Drier, Diane George, Doug Dash, Deborah Miller, Kristie Brown, Anne Hess, Ruth Armao, Dean Wass, Lowell Timm and Jean Timm.

The pastors from the three congregations are also a part of the staff conducting chapel services, teaching confirmation class to the 7th and 8th grade students, and participating in kindergarten chapel and various other activities.

Representing Friedheim have been the following ministers:

Rev. Otto Brillinger 1969-1971
Rev. Ronald Schultz 1971-1972
Rev. Baldwin Camin 1972-1975
Rev. Eric Reinhold 1977-1979
Rev. Marvin Hinkle 1980-1986
Rev. Daniel Dahling 1987-present

 

Sunday School

Forty five years ago (1960), the Sunday School of Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, Friedheim, was born. Through the years, many individuals have been a part of this important area of Christian education in our midst. Listed below is the first Sunday School classes (the teacher's name is underlined with the students' names listed afterward). If any names were forgotten, we apologize for this oversight. May the Lord continue to lead us as we offer a program of education to all of God's people here at Friedheim.

Nursery

Mrs. James Crosby: Susan Blomenberg, Grace Bultemeier, Michelle Buuck, Randy Buuck, Christine Crosby, Dale Heckman, Nan Kiess, Ruth Miller, Kent Stoppenhagen, Steve Hormann

Kindergarten

Mrs. Gene Kiess & Mrs. Richard Miller: Jerry Bultemeier, Jeffrey Crosby, Cynthia Kiess, Glen Miller, Randy Moellering, Kim Stoppenhagen, Sharlene Stoppenhagen

Mrs. Walter Moellering: Ralph Blomenberg, Cliff Buuck, Carol Erxleben, James Heckman, Colleen Kiefer, Sheila Kiefer, Kathleen Moellering, Weston Worth

Primary

Mrs. Marvin Conrad & Mrs. Richard Buuck: Peggy Blomenberg, Deanna Bultemeier, Carol Fuhrmann, Gregg Kiess, David Miller, Ellen Nuerge, Sandra Stoppenhagen

Evelyn Hitzemann & Marlene Bultemeier: Diane Buuck, Jerry Buuck, Janice Heckman, Delvin Kiefer, Allen Schroeder, Jackie Stoppenhagen, Annette Buuck

Junior

Eldora Bultemeier: Carla Bultemeier, Darrell Buuck, Douglas Buuck, David Conrad, Ronald Erxleben, Lois Linker, Judy Scheumann, Leroy Scheumann, Sheila Stoppenhagen, Sylvia Stoppenhagen

Mrs. Gerald Schroeder & Mrs. Wilbert Gallmeyer: Thomas Blomenberg, Janice Buuck, Alice Ehlerding, Donald Erxleben, Marsha Erxleben, Leonard Gallmeyer, Stephen Heckman, Carolyn Miller, Margene Miller, Richard Moellering, Ned Nuerge

Intermediate

Mrs. Walter Nuerge & Mrs. Elbert Fuhrmann: Vickie Blomenberg, Kay Bultemeier, Allen Buuck, Joann Buuck, Michael Buuck, Dennis Erxleben, Dianne Fuhrmann, Russell Fuhrmann, Dale Gallmeyer, Sandra Heckman, Christine Reifsteck, Don Scheumann, Michael Stoppenhagen

Senior

Mrs. Ben Miller & Lorene Buuck: Judith Bultemeier, Duane Buuck, Gary Erxleben, Shirley Gallmeyer, Roger Nuerge, Joan Scheumann, Shirley Scheumann, Stephen Stoppenhagen, Barbara Werling

Mrs. Gilbert Bultemeier & Mrs. Hugo Fuhrmann: Donald Bultemeier, Suzann Buuck, Theodore Buuck, Danny Conrad, Leslie Conrad, Stanley Fuhrmann, Sherril Heckman, Janice Miller, Jan Rafert, Jan Schroeder

 

Young Teens

Gloria Koenemann & Mrs. Elfurt Blomenberg: Ronald Bultemeier, Cheryl Buuck, Donna Buuck, Eugene Buuck, Kathryn Buuck, Vernon Fuhrman, DeWayne Gallmeyer, James Gallmeyer, Loren Gallmeyer, Mary Heckman, Eileen Keuneke, Kathleen Rafert, Perry Schroeder, Gene Stoppenhagen

Older Teens

Mrs. Elmer Bultemeier & Gary Heckman: Thomas Bauermeister, Dennis Buuck, Ron Buuck, Judy Conrad, Diane Erxleben, Donald Gallmeyer, Sharon Gallmeyer, Susan Hitzeman, Patricia Kalthoff, Joyce Kiess, Stanley Linker, Winifred Rafert, Trudy Reifsteck, Dennis Schuller

Young Adults

Elvin Hormann & Elbert Fuhrmann: Larry Bultemeier, Carol Buuck, Marcille Buuck, Bonnie Conrad, James Fuhrman, Gene Kalthoff, Janeen Linker

 

Also included in the 1960-1961 staff was Pastor A. A. Fenner, Teachers Ernest Kalthoff and Wilfred Rafert. Serving as superintendent was Erwin Buuck and Alfred Buuck was the assistant superintendent.

 

The following individuals have been on the Sunday School staff as superintendents, assistant superintendents, teachers, or helpers during the last 45 years.

M/M Robert Bauermeister M/M Elfurt Blomenberg Peggy Blomenberg
Ralph Blomenberg Sandy Blomenberg Susan Blomenberg
M/M Tom Blomenberg M/M Tim Blomenberg Vickie Blomenberg
Carol Brandt Millie Brillinger Sylvia Bronner
M/M Robert Brown Lee Bryant Eldora Bultemeier
M/M Elmer Bultemeier M/M Gilbert Bultemeier Marlene Bultemeier
M/M Ronald Bultemeier Tim Bultemeier M/M Waldo Bultemeier
Janna Bultemeyer M/M James Bultemeyer Mrs. Richard Bultemeyer
Alfred Buuck Bonnie Buuck Donna Buuck
Douglas Buuck M/M Ervin Buuck Gerhard Buuck
Julie Buuck Lonnie Buuck Lorene Buuck
Margaret Buuck Roger Buuck Sherri Buuck
Sue Buuck Mitzi Cale Aaron Conrad
Laurina Conrad Leanne Conrad M/M Mike Conrad
Teri Conrad James Crosby Jeffrey Crosby
Tamara Dahling Sue Daugherty Sara Des Jean
Debbie Dettmer Shirley Drier Tammy Drummond
Pam Everett Diane Erxleben Lisa Erxleben
M/M James Fuhrman M/M Elbert Fuhrmann Louise Fuhrmann
Kenneth Fuhrmann Dawn Gallmeyer Deborah Gallmeyer
Evelyn Gallmeyer M/M Loren Gallmeyer Mary Gallmeyer
Shirley Gallmeyer M/M Don Gehres Joe Gorman
Theodore Grotrian Marlene Hartmann Marlys Hartmann
M/M Dale Heckman M/M Delmar Heckman Gary Heckman
Jim Heckman Julie Heckman Harriet Hinkle
M/M Elvin Hormann Scott Hormann Andrea Jackson
M/M Rex Journay Patricia Kalthoff Marlin Keidel
Richard Keuneke M/M Robert Keuneke M/M Kent Kiefer
Irene Kiess Gloria Koenemann Lisa Lee
M/M Jerry Liby Janeen Linker Lois Linker
Stanley Linker Eugene Linnemeier Marla Manley
Alma Miller Norma Miller Helen Moellering
Kathleen Moellering M/M John Nidlinger Roger Nuerge
M/M Walter Nuerge Jan Rafert Sue Robinson
Weldon Schaefer M/M Kim Schamerloh Bill Springer
Alvina Scheumann Eldora Scheumann Judy Scheumann
Sylvia Scheumann Alan Schroeder M/M Gerald Schroeder
M/M Dennis Schuller Jamie Selking Betty Sielschott
Stan Stoppenhagen M/M Wilbert Stoppenhagen Floyd Thieme
Shirley Witte Wava Witte Weston Worth

 

With the beginning of the 1998/1999 school year, it might be interesting to reflect back on some of the school records of our Friedheim school. About one year ago while sifting through some boxes in the Parish Hall, the attendance records from 1928 were uncovered. There were 42 pupils back then, all recorded by the teacher Mr. Nielsen.

Back then there were no computers or any of the modern conveniences we have grown accustomed to. And yet, there are many notations which all students both young and old can relate to. In the 1928/1929 school year, the first day of school was September 4, 1928 and ran through May 24, 1929. There were approximately 170 school days compared to our 180 days. No, there was not spring break that year but school was canceled in the fall for the fair.

Yes, inclement weather caused school to be canceled due to "bad roads" and numerous "flu" cases. And in April, the eighth grade did not return to school once they were confirmed.

The notations for school absences are all given. Linda was absent due to a sprained ankle and Edwin was simply "injured." Other interesting notations are "funeral," "had to work," and one interesting one "went to town." In the fall and spring, some students had to "work" while others left to be vaccinated or were quarantined for diphtheria. One humorous notation mentions that an eighth grader missed two days in the first week of school because he had to "hunt."

As we begin school at Wyneken, I hope and pray that our present students can have just as many pleasant memories as those in the past. God has blessed our parish with a fine school and dedicated teachers and staff. May we continue to learn of Him who is the creator of all and sustains those who place their hope in Him.

To further spiritual growth, to promote fellowship, and to serve the congregation and the church at large, various organizations have been formed in the congregation. Following is a brief sketch of some of the organizations of our congregation.

Earliest records of a choir date back to sometime before the turn of the century. Since that time, with a few interruptions, our church services have been beautified by various choirs. At the time of our congregation's 125th anniversary, there was a mixed choir a men's choir, and a ladies' choir. All of these were under the direction of Mrs. Wilfred Rafert (Jo Buuck). Our current choir director is Mrs. Ted (Sandy) Blomenberg.

Although there was a Sewing Society long before, the Tabea Society was organized in 1921 with Mrs. Henry Gallmeyer, Mrs. William Koenemann, and Miss Hannah Koenemann as officers. From the very beginning, the Tabea Society has been a charitable organization. The current officers are Mrs. Dorothy Droege, Mrs. Laurina Conrad, and Mrs. Dorothy Heckman. In 1962, about $200 was contributed for various congregational purposed and about $235 for other charitable purposes. In 1997, $3,118 was contributed for various congregational and charitable purposes.

The Young People's Society (currently the Lutheran Youth Fellowship) was organized in 1927 under the leadership of Pastor Preuss. In 1935, it joined the International Walther League, but withdrew from this organization a few years later. In 1947, they decided to rejoin the Walther League. When the Walther League was discontinued, it became a member of Synod's Lutheran Youth Fellowship (in the mid 1970's). In addition to providing activities and Christian fellowship for our teenagers, LYF does much to train our youth for service in the congregation. The current LYF counselors are Corbin and Lisa Bultemeier.

In 1936, primarily through the efforts of Pastor Werning, an organization was formed for the adult members of the congregation. The name chosen was the Adult Club. The first officers were H. F. Nielsen and Mrs. W. H. Werning. The meetings of the Adult Club would feature a topic or educational address, business meeting, and social evening for members and their families. The Adult Club was discontinued in 1986 but has reemerged recently under the heading JETS. JETS stands for "Just Everyone Together Socially." As the name implies, this group plans activities for social occasions for the adult members of the parish. Currently, the group meets five or six times per year.

Since 1942, the ladies of the congregation have contributed to the projects of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. Through mite boxes and contribution envelopes they have helped support mission projects of the Indiana District and the Synod at large. In 1960, the local chapter was organized with Mrs. Marvin (Laurina) Conrad, Mrs. Arnold (Dorothy) Erxleben (now Droege), Mrs. Edwin Reifsteck, and Miss Eldora Bultemeier (now Mrs. Hubert Fuelling) as officers. Each are still active members of the parish and the League. Meetings are held quarterly and all ladies of the congregation are eligible for membership. The officers for 1999 are Addy Schuller, Adele Blomenberg, Sue Robinson, and Laurina Conrad. The first Sunday in October has traditionally been referred to as LWML Sunday.

The Morning Glories were organized on March 19, 1985. The Morning Glories meet Tuesday mornings from January until early spring and then from late August until mid-November. The purpose of this group is the blending of artistic talents for the creation of many arts and craft items which are sold at local craft shows. While many items are quilted, embroidered, and sewn, many of our handymen have contributed handmade furniture as they work in their workshops. Moneys collected from sales are contributed back to the congregation. In 1997, $5,000 was contributed toward the parsonage renovation and $2,000 went toward the new furnace which was installed in the Parish Hall. In 1998, an additional $500 was given towards the new furnace while $2,000 was given to the Vision 2000 campaign.

Over the years, Friedheim has competed in a variety of athletic sports and events. Currently, Zion has a men's softball team which competes in the Decatur Lutheran Fast Pitch Softball League and a men's basketball team which plays in the Monmouth Monday Night Church Basketball League.

Founding of our Congregation

It was in the year 1836 that the family of Friedrich Buuck arrived in Fort Wayne and purchased a tract of land, sight unseen, about 16 miles southeast of Fort Wayne in the northwest corner of Adams County. Upon this tract of land, the Buuck family built the first log cabin in the area. Soon other families began to arrive and thus was formed a small settlement which later was given the name of "Friedheim."

In June of 1837, a young pastor from Fort Wayne, Jesse Hoover, found out about this small settlement of German Lutherans. Making the trip either on foot or on horseback, Pastor Hoover began paying regular visits to conduct services in the homes of the settlers.

On February 25, 1838, this small group met to organize a congregation, the first rural congregation in Adams County. At this meeting six candidates were nominated and two weeks later, on March 11, the first election of officers were held. The first officers of the congregation were Friedrich Buuck (Elder) and Christian Fuhrman and Heinrich Loeffler (Deacons). The charter members of the congregation, 26 adults and 30 children, were as follows:

Fuhrman, Christian, wife Barbara, and children Philip, Jacob, Barbara,

Christian, Charley, Henry, Davie

Gabel, Adam, wife Sophia, and children Charlotte, Dorothy

Kiefer, George and wife Katherina

Repper, Ludwig, wife Sophia, and child Ludwig

Muesing, Christian, wife Christina, and children Christian, Christina, Louise,

Sophia, Frederick, Ellenora, Marie

Stoppenhagen, Ernst

Buuck, Friedrich, wife Margaretha, and children Charlotte, Sophia, Louisa,

Dietrich, Helena

Loeffler, Heinrich and wife Margareta

Kleinschmidt, Christian, wife Elisabeth, and children Christian, Carolina, Sophia

Reinking, Conrad Frederic, wife Maria, and children Eliza, Conrad, Aernhardina,

Augusta, Sophia, Helena

Kaaze, Louis and wife (name not known at this time)

Conrad, George, wife Frederica, and children William, Frederic

There are many current members who can trace their roots back to these charter members of Friedheim. In the 160th year of our congregation, 1998, membership at the begin of the year was 493 baptized members and 366 communicant members. Truly the Lord has blessed us these many years. May He continue to sustain each family here at Zion as we endeavor to be a "House of Peace" and a "Harbor of Hope" in the future.