A Brief History of Macksburg Lutheran Church
In 1893 Austrian and German immigrants in the Macksburg area began to meet in homes for Lutheran church services. Rev. C. Buechler of Portland was driven to the area in a wagon by church members every third week to preach to the growing parish. Following worship, they would return him to Canby where he could board a train for Portland.
When the church was first able to call a resident pastor, clergy weren’t paid much for their efforts. They received $350 to $400 per year, plus lots of meat, eggs and vegetables from the farms of church members. The present parsonage, built in 1948 replaced the earlier one that had been constructed in 1896.
Most of the early members were natives of Germany and Austria, so German was spoken in all services until 1929. Worship alternated between German and English until 1943.
The original trustees of the church were Chris Lorenz, Franz Kraxberger and Albert Klebe. An acre of land for the sanctuary was purchased from Klebe in 1894, at the price of $50. Johann and Rosina Kraxberger were instrumental in the effort to build the church that was modeled after a church in their native Austria. The wood-frame Rural Gothic Vernacular building was a simple rectangle with a tall steeple reaching toward heaven. Four windows on each side were also designed with arches pointing upward. Construction by a group of Mennonite carpenters from the Needy area began in 1894. The cost was $237, with a lot of the labor donated. Not surprisingly, the records indicate that it was a cash deal. Things were always done for cash. The story goes that the members were assessed proportionately to the acreage of their farms. The church was completed and dedicated on November 11, 1893.
When put in use, the building was heated by a large wood stove in the center of the room, and kerosene lamps provided illumination. A well was dug, and a pitcher pump supplied the water. Originally a large shed was located right alongside the church so that members could put their horses and buggies out of the weather. The 1,200 pound bell that still sounds across the countryside on Sunday mornings was purchased in Portland for $90 by Franz Kraxberger and Franz Weninger. A used pump organ served for many years.
We of Macksburg Lutheran Church are God’s beloved, Spirit-filled children, given life and worth now and forever by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are called to model Christ by being instruments of God’s love. We are to be a moving force working for God’s values through sharing His Word, praising Him, serving others in His name, praying faithfully, promoting justice and righteousness, and being a caring community as one body, spirit and faith.
CONFESSION OF FAITH
b. The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.