We believe that a great commitment to the great commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) and the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) will grow a great church.
Friedens United Church of Christ exists to help believers accomplish the final command that Jesus gave his disciples, the members of the first church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
We strive to accomplish this great commission by:
1. helping people encounter the presence of God in their lives;
2. assisting them in becoming more like Christ day-by-day;
3. being missionaries to the community outside the church; and
4. reaching out to the unchurched and those in need.
Our doors have been open since 1880
1880 to 1918
In June of 1880, a small group of Christians “who wanted to serve the Lord as they were used to serving Him in the old country” (as the original church books say) met in the home of Gerhard Keusemann. They adopted a constitution, chose the name “The Evangelical Friedens Gemeinde” and applied to the Evangelical Synod of North America for a minister.
Dr. Pape, Friedens’ first minister, was sent from Eden Seminary in St. Louis. The church services were held in German at the public school that stood across from where the present church now stands. In November 1881 it was decided to build a church. The church was dedicated on July 30, 1882.
1919 to 1975
In 1919 the present church was built. The church's 1,850 lb. bell came from St. Louis, Missouri. It is 30” high and has a circumference of 130”. The church dedication took place on November 9, 1919.
In 1937 it was decided to have English services every third Sunday, and ten years later that was changed to every other Sunday. A pipe organ was purchased in 1948 from Evangelical and Reformed Church in New Holstein, Wisconsin. It was taken apart piece-by-piece, labeled and then put back together at Friedens.
In 1960 the German services were dropped and an altar was purchased for the basement. Because of the merger between the Congregational Christian and Evangelical and Reformed denominations to form the United Church of Christ in 1957, the church voted in 1962 to adopt the name Friedens United Church of Christ.
1976 to present
In 1976 a cornerstone was laid for a new entry to the church. It was dedicated June 5, 1977. In 1980 Friedens celebrated its centennial. In May 1992 a coordinating council was set up with Church of Peace UCC in Glencoe, Minnesota and a pastor was hired to serve both congregations. The 135th anniversary of Friedens United Church of Christ was marked in 2015.
Peace UCC of Glencoe has been open since 1896
1896 to 1933
Jan. 1896: First German Evangelical Congregational of Peace held its first service using the First Baptist Church building. It was a funeral service in German.
April 1899: Deed of First Baptist building was signed over to First German Evangelical Congregation of Peace.
1925: English was introduced into worship services.
1927: Church building was raised up so that basement could be added.
Dec. 1931: Original church building burned to the ground.
1934 to 1991
Aug. 1934: A new church building was dedicated. This is our current building.
1944: German worship services were dropped.
Late 1950s: Joined the newly formed United Church of Christ and Changed our name to Peace United Church of Christ.
1971: United as a parish with Browntown Congregational Church.
1992 to present
Jan. 1992: Parish agreement with Browntown ended.
May 1992: A coordinating Council was set up with Friedens United Church of Christ of Norwood Young America,
Minnesota. A Pastor was hired to serve both congregations.
April 1994: Name was changed to Church of Peace.
1996: Celebrated the church’s centennial anniversary.
2016: Celebrated our 120th anniversary.
Mitch Nelson, Pastor
Mitch is originally from St. James, Minnesota. He is currently finishing his Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary and is a Member in Discernment with the Minnesota UCC Conference. Mitch likes playing guitar and listening to traditional blues and jazz music. He also likes to spend a lot of time walking and biking.