This old brick church stands among the farm fields between Freeland and Bay City. A few modern houses and this old church are all that stand in the area of the old town of Amelith. Frederick Koch purchased two thousand acres of the former Saginaw Bay Chippewa Reserve at $1.25 an acre. In 1851 the first settlers arrived from the Bavarian town of Tosstel. In 1894 the town was given a post office and at one time the town included a coal mine, and a cheese factory, along with stores, mills, and saloons. By 1900 the mine had closed and immigration had ceased and the post office closed in 1904.
A historical mark proudly was proudly erected in front of the historic church and reads:
German missionary Pastor Ferdinand Sievers organized St. John Church in June 1852 to serve a colony of German migrants, some fleeing the turmoil that followed the European revolutions of 1848. Initially, the church met in a log cabin that once housed recent arrivals to the colony of Amelith. In 1870 a wood-frame Gothic style church was built. The present structure was completed in 1912. Schools run by the church began in 1853 with instruction in German surviving until World War I. Some church services continued in German until 1979. During World War II, German prisoners housed at Freeland Camp were ministered to by St. John Lutheran. An addition to the church was completed in 1997.
Thank you for Subscribing to Lost In Michigan, If you have not subscribed yet, It would mean a lot to me if you did.