Zion Evangelical Church was founded by a group of German Lutheran settlers in and around Brownsville. They began meeting in the home of Julius Hanke for worship services, but soon saw the need for a church. In 1862, they purchased a lot and began to build. The church was completed in the spring of 1863 at a cost of $800. Of course, at that time, the church was called “Deutche Evangelische Lutherische Zion’s Kirche” or Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church. The church, however, was not officially part of any synod.
In 1889, the decision was made to join the Evangelical Synod of North America, and the congregation took the name, Zion Evangelical Church. For many years, Zion Evangelical Church shared ministers with Peace Church at Crooked Creek and Zion Church in Hokah. This association lasted until 1935 – although sharing of ministers occurred off and on through the 1980s.
In 1938, the Evangelical Synod added Reformed to their name, and the church became Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church. In 1957, this denomination merged with the United Church of Christ, and again a name change was in order. Between 1957 and 1975, the church was called Zion UCC. However in 1975, the congregation chose to drop their affiliation with the U.C.C. because the UCC had declared that the Bible wasn’t the inspired Word of God, and the congregation felt the denomination was putting their political agenda over their spiritual agenda. At this point, we reclaimed the name Zion Evangelical Church, and have remained a non-denominational church since.
Over the years, many things have changed at Zion Evangelical Church, including our name and denominational affiliation. What has not changed, however, is our core commitments. We are committed to the Bible as the infallible Word of God. We are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way for humans to be saved. And we are committed wholeheartedly to the Jesus’s Great Commandment – to love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves in meaningful and tangible ways.
We invite you to come join us as we seek to worship God purely, to know Him deeply, and to live in Christian fellowship with one another.