Churches

Bethany Mennonite Church
The Bethany Mennonite Church was started by East Freeman, West Freeman, and Silver Lake descendents of Swiss Mennonite and Hutterish Christian bodies.  In 1898 land south of the city park was purchased from Andrew Gering and a 28 by 48 foot building was constructed.  The Bethany Mennonite Church was organized in 1905 in Freeman.  The church was remodeled and expanded in 1924.  In 1945 the building was destroyed by fire.  The church was rebuilt in 1948 and dedicated in 1952.  The church is located at 509 S Juniper Street, measuring 102 feet by 38 feet with a 40 foot bell tower.  Shane Van Meveren is the pastor. 
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Bethlehem Reformed Church
Bethlehem Reformed Church was organized in 1892 with John Gross as a charter member.  Before this time Reformed families living in or around Freeman most likely met at Christ Buechler's home on Main Street for services.  The Bethlehem Reformed Church was built around 1894 on Third street north of (Dave's Car Wash site).  In 1937 the church expanded, and in 1964 a new church was dedicated at 300 S Relanto Street where it services today.
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Fellowship Harvest
The Cornerstone Steakhouse opened in 1978 on Highway 81.  The building later became Fellowship Harvest Community Church which services at 702 S Highway 81.   
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Hutterthal Mennonite Church

Hutterthal Mennonite Church was established by Ukrainian Hutterite villages of Hutterthal and Johannesruh in the 1870's.  The first church was built in 1882 two miles south the current church.  In 1899 a second church was built 2 miles north of the old church.  In 1952 the current Hutterthal Mennonite Church was built 1 mile west and 3 miles north of Freeman at 27473 437th Avenue.  The educational wing was added in 1968.  Today Todd Jones is the pastor.

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Johannesthal Reformed Church

In 1874 eight families settled 8 miles west of Freeman near Martin Creek.  A few of the familes were Schempp, Lang, Holzworth, and Bertsch.  The Auch family joined the settlement in 1874.  From 1873 to 1877 worship services for Johannesthal congregation were conducted in Christian Delzers home.  In 1877 the first Johannesthal Reformed Church was built in the settlement, called "Die Johannestal Kirche."  A cemetery was built close to the church soon after.  A lone four sided marker lists Rosina Auch's children who all died of scarlet fever in 1886.  In 1902 a new church was built, later moved to the museum grounds where it stands today.

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Missionary Church of Freeman

In 1969 the members of the Missionary Church in Bridgewater relocated to Freeman.  In 1980 the members of the Missionary Church of Marion joined the congregation. The Missionary Church is currently located at 610 South Albert Street.  Stephen Roussos is the pastor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

St. Paul Lutheran Church

St. Paul Lutheran Church was organized in 1882 served by Rev. Melcher.  In 1886 the First Lutheran Church was built on Poplar street (24 x 32 feet).  In 1886 a 400 lb church bell was purchased for the church, later moved to the second church in 1899.  The children needed a Christian education so in 1888 the Lutheran Day School was built (Home Federal Bank site). The first parsonage was also built at this time and was used until a new parsonage was built in 1894.  In 1899 the original church was outgrown and a larger church building was built to the north (the original church was sold and moved to Cherry street for the Sunnyside Chapel.)  In 1945 a new parsonage was built and in 1963 a new church was built at 615 E 7th Street.  On April 15, 1963 the church bell was taken down from the old church and moved to the new brick church.  In 1975 a new parsonage was built and is still used today with Kent Borglum as pastor. 

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Sunny Side Chapel and Bible School

The original St. Paul Lutheran Church was sold in 1899 and moved to Cherry street.  In 1926 John J. Engbrecht established the Sunnyside Chapel and operated for 20 years.  The chapel was 24 foot by 36 foot.  There was no bell in the bell tower.

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Salem Zion Mennonite Church "North Church"

In 1880 the Horodischer group built the first church in Rosefield township.  It was a 34 by 54 foot building called the Salem Church "Mother of the Swiss community".  In 1894 both churches merged and became the Salem Zion Mennonite Church.  Salem Zion Church "North Church" was turned a quarter and rebuilt in 1912.  Jonathan Schrag, a missionary for the Church, died overseas and his funeral on June 15, 1930 was the largest on record.  There were 5,000 people at the Salem Zion Church with 1,100 automobiles.  A new Church was built in 1956 at 27844 443 Ave. Freeman which still services members today.  In 1961 a new parsonage was built.  Today Eric Deckert is the pastor.

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Salem Mennonite Church "South Church"

In 1881 the Waldheimer group built a church in Childstown township called the Zion Church "Spitziche Kirche".  This was located 2 miles east and 1 1/2 miles south of Freeman, 2 miles west and a 1/2 mile north of the current church.  In 1894 both churches merged and became the Salem Zion Mennonite Church.  Jacob R. Schrag was in charge until 1888 when he moved to Oregon.  In 1902 the church was destroyed by a storm, and rather than rebuild members moved to the old Salem Church, which became the "North Church". 

 

Salem Mennonite Church "South Church" was built in 1908, 7 miles southeast of Freeman at 28103 443rd Avenue, 2 miles south of Salem Zion Church.  In 1917 the Church was enlarged and remodeled, adding a basement, horse barns, and a parsonage.  In 1966 a new brick building was built but was destroyed by fire in 1985.  Salem Mennonite Church was rebuilt in 1987 and services the community today with Nicholas Detweiler Stoddard as pastor. 

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Silver Lake Church

In 1874 low Germans immigrated to the area and began worshiping in 1878.  In 1891 the first Silver Lake Mennonite Bretheren Church was built 6 1/2 miles north of Freeman on Highway 81.  The Church serviced the people until 1920 when a second Church was built.  The second Church serviced until 1961 when a third Church was built.  The third Church was removed in 2003. 

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"Heilbronn" Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Germans from Russia founded an area 3 miles west and 3 miles south Freeman on 281st street known as "Heilbronn," SD.  There were only dirt roads, a few farm houses, a church, a parsonage, and a school.  George Adam Huber, Jacob Gunthner, and Christian Gunthner families immigrated here from Heilbronn, Crimea in Ukrane.  In 1875 more families immigrated to the area: Hubers, Hafners, Schamber, Zeeb, Schoppert, Dewald, Nuss, Pfeiffer, Dubs, Haar, Mettler, Tabert, Ellwein, Walz, Heins, Farmer, Holzwarth, Wollman, Ortman, Borer, Mutschelknaus, Heible, and Heckenlaible.   Fred Haar, Chris Knodel, and Gottlob Schmitgall also lived in the community.  There were large quantities of cheap and even free land in the prairies, soil that could be plowed and farmed.  Soon after two signs with the inscription "Heilbronn" were set dedicating the settlement.   

In 1875 church was held in George Adam Hubers home.  By 1876, under his leadership, Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church "Heilbronn", was founded with 21 members.  In 1878 the first Lutheran Church "Heilbronn Church" was built with stones hauled from Yankton by horse and ox carts.  In 1889 the church burned down and a new church was built in 1890.  A parsonage was built and followed by a parish school with apartment for the teacher in 1893.  At this time there were 180 church members.  By 1924 the Heilbronn Church had gotten too small for he community so it was moved to Fred Hubers farm and a third church "Trinity Evangelical Lutheran" was built.  The church was 32 by 60 feet with a 75 foot steeple and art glass windows.  In 1926, two years after laying the cornerstone there were 230 members of the church.  John Dewald was the last pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church in Heilbronn.  In 1958 the church closed and the property was sold in 1961 to the Bert Huber family.  The church was moved 18 miles east to Hurley where it serves the Zion Lutheran congregation.  The pasonage was converted into the Huber home.  415 children were baptized during the first 50 years, 210 confirmed, and 92 couples were married in the Trinity Church.  In 1958, the community of Heilbronn still had 105 members.

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Hutterdorf Church
In 1879 Rev John Hofer and Rev Elias Wipf were elected to serve as ministers.  In 1880 worship services were held at the school.  In 1901 the Hutterdorf Church, also known as "Hofer's Church" was built 2 1/2 miles west and 2 miles south of Freeman.  The church was later moved 2 miles north.  Rev Peter Stahl served the congregation from 1916 to 1961 when the church dissolved and the congregation joined the Bethany Church.