The History of Hope Church 

On County Trunk "H" about 3 miles south of Fremont, Wisconsin, nestled among a cluster of very tall stately pines, is a white frame, well kept church, the center of activities for Hope United Church of Christ, a congregation of about 250 souls.  Because the very beautiful picturesque setting, it is better known in this locality as "The Church in the Pines."

 

The history of Hope UCC, spans a period of over 140 years, dating back to the 1860's when following the Civil War, many German and Swiss immigrants were moving into the area primarily on the east side of the Wolf River.  The majority were of the Reformed heritage, and being "Calvanists," they preferred a very simple style of worship on Sunday.  In those first few years being without a pastor, they chose those from among their own fellowship who were most adept at leading a worship service to be the Shepherd of the Flock.  On a rotating basis these settlers offered their homes to be used a s a santurary on the Lord's Day where they sang their German hymns and heard scriptures expounded in their native tongue.

 

The immigrants continued this mutual style of community worhsip with the assistance form the pastor who served the Zion UCC congregation at Dale, Wisconsin, for about the first ten years until 1874, when this cluster of neighbors took that step to become an official congregation, adapting the name - "Die Reformirte Hofnungs Gemeinde" - The Hope Reformed Church).

 

But as the congregation grew, there were very few homes large enough to accommodate all on a Sunday morning, prompting a quest for a building that would serve as their sanctuary.  That goal was realized in 1874, when the congregation dedicated their first church building, a remodeled former one-room school which was located near the present Pioneer Cemetery at the east edge of Fremont (formerly Fremont Town Hall, currently the Fremont Museum).  In the later 1800's, more of the new settlers were establishing homes on the west side of the Wolf River, and to spare those new members the long journey of crossing the river to attend church, consideration was given to relocate to the river's west side.  The cornerstone of Hope Church is marked "1903" dignifying the year the congregation moved to its present location.

 

The name "Reformed" has always been a part of the official name of Hope Church, emphasizing its Calvanistic heritage.  This congregation from its beginning was affiliated with the "Reformed Church" in the U.S.A., a denomination that has always been ecumenical minded, seeking ways to heal the factions that have criippled the unity of the Christian Church.  With each merger came a new title, prompting Hope Church to change her name several times, but in 1953, following yet another ecumenical step, we took the name of "Hope United Church of Christ."  For many of the Fremont natives and the many visitors who come to this area, there is no name more fitting than "The Church in the Pines."  - Come visit us sometime when you are in the area!

© 2018 Hope United Church of Christ
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