On April 1, 1857, this congregation was organized by the Rev. N. E. Bressler,
who was then pastor of the Armstrong Valley Reformed charge. On the same day
the Lutheran congregation was organized by the Rev. M. Fensler. The church then
was named "The St. James Lutheran and Reformed Church".
The ground whereon was erected a house of worship was obtained from John Shutt
and Phillip Hoffman. In 1859 the first structure was built, being a log
structure. Pews and pulpit were home-made and never painted. The old church
building faced South and was located about 200 feet west from the present church
building. The old building was 28 feet wide and 36 feet long; the pulpit was
high with a long stairway with banister on both sides and along the steps.
The Reformed congregation enjoyed a prosperous membership for a good many years,
while the Lutherans never were strong in membership, and in 1893 they abandoned
having worship services and released their claim of ownership in the church to
the Reformed congregation.
In 1905, it was decided that a new house of worship was needed and the following
building committee was appointed: Solomon Gottschall, Jacob Bordner, William
Potteigher, Joseph Keiffer, Isaiah Shultz. The corner stone was laid and the
building was dedicated in the year 1905. The Rev. G. W. Spotts was then pastor.
The size of the present building is 33 feet wide and 45 feet long. A railing
surrounded the pulpit. In 1906 a bell was placed in the belfry, and in 1933 a
metal ceiling was placed in the sanctuary.
The trend of people moving to the cities, and the community now being largely
composed of hunting camps, this congregation is not enjoying the same prosperity
as in its early years; but during the present pastorate this faithful group has
been very active in beautifying their church. The inside of the church has been
renovated and the chancel altered in accordance with the traditional custom of
the Reformed Church. A new piano, and new carpets and shades were purchased, a
basement provided, a new furnace installed and the exterior of the church given
a new coat of paint.
This church holds an annual home-coming on the first Sunday in September of each
year. The chronological order of the pastors is the same as that of St.
Peter's' (sic) (Fetterhoff's).