HISTORY OF FAITH 


The history of Faith United Methodist Church had its beginnings in 1879, when Philip and Marie Enders invited friends and acquaintances into their home for worship service, which was conducted in German by Rev. William Zickerick. Rev. Zickerick was a member of the Circuit Riders, who were clergy that traveled from town to town preaching the Gospel and encouraging people to establish local congregations.

On November 22, 1882, Charles and Fredericke “Rica” Tesch purchased a plot of land on West Water Street for $200 to build a church for this group of worshippers. The first church for this congregation was built in 1884. It was named Emmanuel Evangelischen Gemeinschaft Kirche in German - Emmanuel Evangelical Association Church in English - and was dedicated on November 6, 1884. 

Charter members of the new Emmanuel Evangelical Church were: Mr. and Mrs. John Jesse, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tesch, Mr. and Mrs. C. Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. P.C. Enders, and Mr. and Mrs. William Schwabe. The first pastors of that church in 1884 were Rev. F. Nickell and Rev. Geo. Richart who conducted services in German. 

On February 20, 1920, at a meeting of the congregation, it was decided to tear down the church building and construct a new one. The cornerstone was laid on June 14, 1920. In preparation for the building, Rudolph C. Zorn, a building contractor and active member of the congregation, purchased a bell from the Evangelical Church in Stockbridge. This bronze bell, which is 32” in diameter and weighs 705 pounds, was manufactured at the Buckeye Bell Foundry in 1886 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Zorn stored the bell on his lawn on Main Street until the steeple was completed and the bell was installed. The bell remained in the bell tower announcing worship services to the community until 1965. (That same bell is displayed in the front of the Francis Street entrance of Faith United Methodist Church.)

In 1944, the congregation of Emmanuel Evangelical Church, located in Maple Grove, united with the Brillion Emmanuel Evangelical Church. This church began in the early 1860's with Circuit Riders preaching in homes in the Maple Grove area. A building was built in 1874 for its members. This wood frame structure served the congregation for 71 years. Today, only the Emmanuel Evangelical Church cemetery remains. 

In 1946, the United Brethren in Christ Church and the Evangelical Church united nationally. The Brillion church became known as Emmanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church in November 1946. 

It was decided at a meeting of the congregation of Emmanual Evangelical United Brethren Church on February 16, 1964 to construct a new building. On July 26, 1964, a groundbreaking ceremony took place.

Attended by 300 persons, on April 4, 1965, a ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of the new church took place. Following the ceremony, the cornerstone from the old church built in 1920, was set in place inside the west entryway of the new church. The cornerstone with the year “1965” was then set in placed next to the west entrance of the church. 

Rev. Willard Albertus served as pastor of the congregation during the years of transformation from the old Emmanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church into the new Faith Evangelical United Brethren Church. The name “Faith” was chosen for the new church because it required great faith and courage for a small congregation to undertake the building of a larger, modern church, which would serve their present and future needs for worship, Christian education, and fellowship. 

The old Emmanuel E.U.B. church on West Water Street was razed in 1966.

Rantoul Emmanuel Evangelical Church began in 1869, that same year, the church building was constructed. The congregation continued to hold worship services in that church until September 1916, when a new structure was completed. A special meeting of the congregation of the Rantoul Evangelical United Brethren Church, the name change was due to the national merger in 1946, was called to order on May 5, 1967 to consider the future of their church. A motion was passed to close the Rantoul E.U.B. Church on May 31, 1967. A motion was passed to transfer the members of the congregation as a body to Faith Evangelical United Brethren Church in Brillion. The Rantoul E.U.B. church was razed shortly after it closed. All that remains is the Rantoul E.U.B. cemetery.

Faith Evangelical United Brethren Church became Faith United Methodist Church in 1968 when the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist churches united on the national level. 

The centennial anniversary of Faith United Methodist was celebrated by the congregation on October 7, 1984. On that same day, they also celebrated the bicentennial of the founding of the Methodist Church and the burning of the 1965 mortgage. 

On July 24, 1988, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of a third wing to the church. “Forward with Faith” became the motto of this building project.

By April 1989, construction of this wing - which contained nine classrooms, restrooms, fully-furnished kitchen, fellowship hall, and coat room - was completed. On April 9, 1989, a service of consecration of the new addition and remodeling of Faith UMC was held. 

At this ceremony, in commenting on the Forward with Faith building project, Rev. Robert L. Gossett wrote: “This was no less a step of faith than the original [1965] church building because there are always questions about the need for such a project and the ability to pay for it. If we could see clearly and without question, there would be no need for faith. Faith enables us to act because we have confidence in God whom we have come to know and love through Jesus Christ. If we seek God’s guidance and go into the future with a ministry of love and service, I am confident that this congregation with continue to move ‘Forward with Faith’.” 

Forty-six pastors have served Faith United Methodist Church, including Pastor Dale Eggert, who is the current pastor. Present membership is approximately 240 members.

Information was compiled from "A History of Faith United Methodist Church in Brillion, Wisconsin 1884-2009" by A. Dean Wallace and Patricia A. Wallace. 

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204 Horn Street, Brillion,  WI  54110
Phone:  (920)756-2717  Email:  faithumc204@gmail.com