St. Peter Evangelical Church is a rural church with a strong commitment to traditional values, reaching out to the community of Town Rhine and the surrounding area with the good news of new life in Jesus Christ. This new life is available to all who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and seek to follow His word. Following the Evangelical and Reformed tradition of our past, we accept the Scriptures, contained in the Old and New Testaments, as the final authority in all matters of faith and life. We encourage all who share our faith to grow together with us, in Christ, and serve together with us, using our time, talents, and treasures to enhance our church ministry in Town Rhine and our community to the glory of God.
Our style of worship is traditional, with a blending of contemporary praise songs, Gaither hymns, traditional hymns, and gospel favorites, helping people from every generation express praise and worship to our Lord. St. Peter’s choir also enhances the worship from time to time. Sunday School takes place before or after worship (see schedule). Children participate in the worship service, which includes a children’s talk. Adult Bible studies are offered during Sunday School, and from time to time during the week. Our goal is to encourage our members to grow in their faith, and put it into practice in their daily lives.
St. Peter and St. Paul share a two year confirmation program for youth in grades 7-8, as well as youth group activities that encourages young people to grow in faith, and share together in fun activities. St. Peter Church sponsors the Memorial Day Picnic held at the Rhine Town Hall every Memorial Day, including a parade and Memorial Day program, activities for children, and good food. The church also holds a Turkey Dinner the second Sunday in October.
St. Peter’s Ladies Aid has provided a vital ministry as a part of the church for more than 100 years. The ladies minister to residents at the Plymouth Care Center on the second Friday of each month, and in addition to holding meetings, sponsors the annual chili supper on the Tuesday following Easter.
St. Peter Church voted at its annual meeting in February of 2006 to affiliate with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. Follow the link to discover more about our denomination.
A Brief History of St. Peter Church
During the mid to late 1800s, many hard-working farmers from Germany settled in Town Rhine, and they brought with them a strong evangelical faith. On August 1, 1858, the Rev. F. Lenschau of the Town of Herman officially organized St. Peter Evangelical Church. Two acres of land were bought for a cemetery and a small church building, which was dedicated on October 1, 1859. This building later served as a schoolhouse and now serves as a garage. For many years, the choir sang German songs, and the service was conducted in German.
Over the years, Gkod has allowed the ministry at St. Peter to prosper. The church built a modest parsonage to welcome Rev. Von Rague, who was installed in 1865. A second and larger church building was dedicated by him on October 13, 1867, and the congregation became a member of the Evangelical Synod of North America. Rev. Von Rague obtained two bells from prominent friends in Germany, which were installed in the belfry. These bells still ring out every Sunday morning calling the community of Town Rhine to worship.
In 1934, St. Peter Evangelical Church became a part of the new Evangelical and Reformed Church after the merger of these denominations. A new church basement was built in the summer of 1954 and was dedicated by Rev. Oppermann. In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Church to form the United Church of Christ. At our annual meeting in February of 2006, St. Peter voted to disaffiliate from the UCC and return to their roots, taking again their original name. They also voted to affiliate with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.
The church celebrated its 150th anniversary by remodeling and expanding the entryway and installing a lift to make the sanctuary and basement handicap-accessible. Over the years, St. Peter has faithfully proclaimed the Word of God in Town Rhine and the surrounding areas, and through the missionaries we support, helped take the gospel to the ends of the earth.