First Lutheran Church in southern IL celebrates 200 years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

First Lutheran Church in southern IL celebrates 200 years

(Source: Derrion Henderson/KFVS) (Source: Derrion Henderson/KFVS)

The oldest active Lutheran church in southern Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

The First Lutheran Church in Dongola, Illinois first opened its doors in 1816.

Church members held an open house on Saturday, September 17 to welcome old pastors and members back to the area.

Four of the five pastors from the past few decades will be returning for the church's festivities.

Gregory Mayer was the church's pastor back in the 80's and said he's glad to be back for the celebration.

"It's good to reacquaint myself with that history," Mayer said. "To see all sorts of people and children and couples that I've married and baptized and now they have their own children."

Church members plan to have a catered dinner after church service on Sunday along with horse carriage rides around the church's historic cemetery. 

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