Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Monarto

Zion Lutheran Church Monarto

The first stone for this beautiful little church was laid by Pastor Hanson, assisted by Pastor Homann, on 15 February 1925. It had been only a year since the congregation had decided to draw up the plans and specifications. Most of the work was done free of charge by the members of the congregation. It was opened on 20 September of the same year. When finished it had cost a total amount of 2,016. However within six years this amount had been paid off and the church was free of debt.

Although the church was brand new, some items were slightly second hand. The organ had already been in use for six years while the church bell had been used for some twenty years. Nobody was complaining though as this was actually the third church they had build since 1871.

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The Baptismal font is of Italian marble and has the form of an angel standing on a pedestal and offering the water in the basin. The Crucifix is also of Italian marble.

Both of these items plus the carpet were a gift of the women of the congregation. This fine building with its tower and choir gallery clearly shows that these Lutherans were willing to pay and work hard for what they believed.

When the Hundred of Monarto was proclaimed and opened for settlement in 1847 many Germans moved to it to take up farming. They built their houses of pug and pine, later to be replaced by more solid stone structures. Before they could start farming the land had to be cleared which was a back breaking job with the primitive equipment in use at that time. It was not until Mullenising was introduced that this became a little easier.

When the land was finally cleared it was ready for ploughing. Before the introduction of the stump jump plough and harvesting without the Ridley Stripper both jobs were time consuming and arduous. Slowly enough Lutherans established themselves for a congregation to be formed. At first they held services in the private homes of Johann Gottlob Frahn, Joachim Schulze and others. As more and more attended it was decided to build a proper church.

This became possible when a block of land was transferred from Gottlob Paech to the Trustees on 16 November 1871. It was decided that the building would serve as a church and a school. When completed Pastor Christian Gottlob Teichelmann became its first preacher. The building was used for more than ten years until replaced by a new one in 1883. Again it was used for both church and school puposes. The school remained open until 1917 when it was forced to close as a result of anti German and Lutheran feelings.


Many of the early German pioneers
are buried near their church.

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