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Gethsemane celebrates 100 years

Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Snellman will be celebrating 100 years on Sunday with dinner, a hymn sing and a special Centennial Celebration.

It will be a day of singing, praise and worship at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Snellman this Sunday, Aug. 28.

Sounds like any other Sunday for this congregation of approximately 150 people, doesn't it?

Well, not quite. What makes this Sunday so special is that the church will be celebrating its centennial anniversary immediately following the regular 10 a.m. morning worship services.

Dinner will be served at the church from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a hymn sing and children's activities set to begin at 1 p.m.

At 2 p.m., there will be a special Centennial Worship Service, with special guest speaker Pastor Bruce Noennig, who served the Snellman congregation from 1980-85 and currently lives and works in Moorhead.

There will also be "hymns, songs, readings ... it's a time to celebrate our first 100 years and look forward to the next 100," said Pastor Eddie Hosch, whose ordination and installation at Gethsemane took place just a couple of short months ago, on June 26.

Though he has only been pastor of the Snellman congregation for a short time, Hosch is very familiar with the church, having served as a vicar there from 2009-10, before completing his last year at seminary in Indiana.

"I finished my last year at seminary, and they called me back," Hosch said, adding that he currently lives in the church parsonage with his wife and two children.

Though currently a single parish, the Snellman congregation has a history of working with others.

When it was first established in 1911, the Snellman congregation was part of the Finnish Lutheran Church, and "there's still a lot of that Finnish tradition around," Hosch said.

"They used to be a triple parish, where one pastor would serve three different churches --Menahga, Wolf Lake and Snellman," he added.

That arrangement continued from 1911 to 1977, when the Snellman church withdrew from the tri-parish and continued on its own.

A couple of years later, in 1979, they formed a dual parish with St. John's Lutheran in Height of Land, and that arrangement continued until 1997, when they withdrew once again.

"It's been a single parish ever since," Hosch said.

The church building itself has also gone through several incarnations as well.

"The original building was moved three times, with its last location being across the street (from the current church), by the Snellman store," Hosch noted. "They started building the current church in 1974, and moved into the new building in 1976.

"They've been here ever since."

The parsonage where he and his family now reside was built in 1979, and completed in 1980.

Displays commemorating all these changes, including pictures of both the original and current church structures, as well as of past and current members, will be part of the centennial celebration as well, Hosch noted.

The public is invited to come and be a part of this special celebration, he added. For more information, call 218-573-3574.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454