Saint Peters Lutheran Cemetery

Photo added by Dick Rohr

Saint Peters Lutheran Cemetery

Also known as New German Lutheran Cemetery

Location
County Road 441
Metz, Presque Isle County, Michigan, 49743 USA
Memorials 159 added (77% photographed)

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History of St. Peter Lutheran Church and Cemetery – Metz Township [Presque Isle County], Michigan

As near as can be learned from old records, the first German Prussian settlers to the Metz area, attended other Lutheran churches in the surrounding area; one of those churches was St. Michael's of Belknap. Distance in travel caused them to desire a church near their homes, so after settling, these people began making plans for a place of worship. Pastor Christian Schwan of St. James in Moltke was contacted and in spite of the difficult traveling conditions in those days, he was willing to serve them. Thus it was that on the afternoon of November 14, 1880 he went to the Grambau School in Metz and held the first service. For twenty-two years St. Peter was served by pastors from St. James Church.

Pastor Schwan was 53 years old when he began to serve St. Peter. He had come from Neuendettelsau in Germany in the year 1870 to serve German immigrants. He was a pious man with a missionary zeal. Pastor Schwan never married. His home was a log house at St. James in Moltke. While visiting churches and preaching he stayed in the home of many of the members and depended upon them for his immediate needs.

From the time he started his ministry in America in 1870, Pastor Schwan kept a diary in which he recorded vital information from the various "preaching stations" that included Macomb County, Alpena County, Cheboygan County, Montmorency County and Presque Isle County. Before churches were established, he recorded official acts: births, baptisms, confirmations, deaths and obituaries that included communion rosters, outline of services, elders, and other valuable information, including the Metz Lutherans. The five diaries were translated in 2007 and are available in the Rogers City Library and at the Presque Isle County Historical Museum. The original diaries are kept at St. James in Moltke.

On 25 April 1883, the Metz congregation organized and adopted the name of St. Peter Lutheran Church, affiliating themselves with the Iowa Synod. The names of the charter members in Pastor Schwan's diary are as follows: William Schultz, Theodore Schultz, Rudolph von Wiederscheim, Martin Piechan, August Schott, Henry Hoffman, Jacob Breno, Herman Grambau, August Manz, Fredrick Kannenberg, John Zimmerman, Julius Gross, and Carl Luedtke.

During early years, the congregation held services in the local schools and also in the home of Herman Grambau.

In 1897, Pastor Schwan retired and was followed by another consecrated missionary from Neuendettelsau. Pastor Leonard Schmidt came to America in 1896 and began his pastorate on July 5, 1897. He served St. Peter and also was pastor of the Moltke congregation.

The original plans by the congregation were to erect a church 1 mile east and 1 ½ miles south of Metz on the Brino Homestead. [Hagensville Road & ½ mile north of the Posen Road]. The first cemetery was started at this place. Later this was changed and two acres of land in Metz were given by Henry Hoffman. The cornerstone of the first church was laid on the seventh Sunday after Trinity in 1888. Dedication services were held on the seventh Sunday after Trinity in 1889. On October 15, 1908 the church was destroyed by the Metz forest fire. Enough financial aid was given to build a new church on the same site and also a parsonage. The new church was dedicated on the fifth Sunday after Trinity – 14 July 1909. That church building continues to serve the Metz area today.

On 12 June 1994, St. Peter Church voted to withdraw their membership from the ELCA. On 26 June 1994, the congregation affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Churches [AFLC] head-quartered in Minneapolis, MN.

Pastors who served St. Peter Lutheran Church

1873 – 1897 Rev. Christian Schwan
1897 – 1902 Rev. Leonard Schmidt
1902 – 1910 Rev. Ernst Thieme
1910 – 1913 Rev. Konrad Flierl
1914 – 1920 Rev. Rudolph Muenzinger
1921 – 1925 Rev. Johannes Scheer
1926 – 1930 Rev. Albert Seeman
1930 – 1935 Rev. Emil Kuehn
1935 – 1943 Rev. Karl Schmidt
1943 – 1948 Rev. Alfred Schumm
1948 – 1950 Rev. Leonard Schmidt
1950 – 1952 Rev. Edward Reeves
1953 – 1967 Rev. Homer Marsh
1967 – 1968 Rev. Harry Schultz [Supply Pastor]
1967 – 1968 Rev. Harvey Jaeger [Supply Pastor]
1968 – 1972 Rev. Robert Thies
1973 – 1984 Rev. Keith Parker
1984 – 1989 Rev. Tom Mammoser
1990 – 1992 Rev. Mark Honeck
1992 – 1994 Rev. John Kromer [Supply Pastor]
1995 – 1996 Rev. Harold Molzan [Supply Pastor]
1994 – 1995 Rev. Fred Faughn
1995 – 1996 Rev. Brain Davidson
1997 – 2001 Rev. Dennis O'Neil
2001 – 2002 Rev. Harold Molzan [Supply Pastor]
2001 – 2002 Rev. Chris Rasper [Supply Pastor]
2003 – 2006 Rev. Lee Hoops
2006 – Present Rev. Chris Rasper


History of St. Peter Cemetery

Originally, it was thought St. Peter Church would be built on land 1 mile east and 1 ½ miles south of the present Church. Before a building could be constructed at that site; however, there were burials at that location. That cemetery became known as St. Peter Schroeder Cemetery so as not to confuse it with the present cemetery known as St. Peter Cemetery that is located at the south east intersection of County road 441 and E. Metz Highway.

St. Peter Schroeder Cemetery is located on Hagensville Road and ½ mile north of the Posen Road [Highway 634]. The original land was homesteaded in the 1870's by Jacob & Ottilie von Wiederscheim Simon Breno. Ottilie's daughter, from her first marriage to George Simon, was Helena Emma Simon. Helena married August Manz 29 June 1882 in Alpena by Rev. F. W. Wendt. August was given 40 acres of the Breno Homestead. A year later, his wife of one year, Helena Emma Simon Manz died on 25 July 1883 in Metz Township at age 19 years, 3 months. 18 days. Jacob Breno and August Manz each gave ½ acre for $1 from the original Breno Homestead for a burial location and August Schott, whose Homestead was across the road from the cemetery gave 2 acres of land for $5 for a church site. Helena Manz became the first burial at that location. August Manz then re-married to Augusta Schroeder on 6 September 1884 in Alpena by Rev. F. W. Wendt. Soon afterward, August sold the forty acre farm on 26 May 1890 to his father-in-law Wilhelm Schroeder for $650 dollars. Eventually the Schroeder family ended up with the entire Breno Homestead in 1931 & 1932 because one of the Breno girls [Alma] married Adolph Schroeder. From that point in time, many generations of Schroeders have lived there. And, aptly, the cemetery was referred to as the Schroeder Cemetery.

Then came a turn a quick turn of events. In 1887, Henry Hoffman, a charter member of St. Peter Church, donated 3 acres of his Homestead at the southeast corner of Highway 441 and E. Metz Highway. The first St. Peter Church building was dedicated at this spot in 1889. Besides the church building was also space for a cemetery. Soon afterward members were being interred at this "new" location. As a result, the first cemetery, or today known as St. Peter Schroeder Cemetery, became less used, and almost to the point of abandonment. There is renewed interest in St. Peter Schroeder Cemetery since few plots and spaces remain in the St. Peter Cemetery.

Burial entries in St. Peter Schroeder Cemetery are listed separately on "Findagrave".
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GPS Coordinates: 45.28917, -83.80028

  • Added: 22 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #162281