Zion's History

Zion's history is long and rich.  Originally Salem Lutheran Church, it was first organized in 1856.  In 1857, the first Church building was erected, at a size of 24' x 24'.  Sadly, this building was burned in the Great Wilton fire in 1874.  A new building was constructed at the corner of Cedar Street and Wate Street, and stood until 1944, when the Salem congregation, then a member of the Iowa Synod, disbanded.

In 1875, then Pastor Strobel decided to join the Missouri Synod.  A portion of the congregation followed and accepted the name of Zion Lutheran.  While this event was full of some drama, the result was a parsonage and school being built in 1881.  The school doubled as a location for Divine Service.  This congregation soon outgrew the school building, and in January of 1892, it was decided to build a church. 

Eventually, the congregation, now under the leadership of Rev. P.W. Happel, decided to build a new, brick building, and move the current building just east to become a school.  The cornerstone was set in place in the summer of 1929, and the church was dedicated that winter.  The former church building was moved just a few yards to the east, and converted into a 2 room Christian day school.  Zion still has a very active and successful Preschool.

Many improvements and additions have been made over the years.  A marble baptismal font was purchased, the basement was renovated to serve as a fellowship hall, and an administration center was built.  The organ that was part of the church dedication in 1929 is still in use today.