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Page Index of A History of Portage la Praire
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Western Canada established at Poplar Point that has gradually wound its way through the years into Portage la Prairie. Its existence is no longer there, it is here.
. Families by the name of Neumann, Schoening and Wagner were prominent in the founding of the settlement and the Lutheran Church here. The entrance of the Lutheran Church into Western Canada was largely due to the effort and zeal'of the latter gentleman. Mr. Oscar Neumann, youngest son of the above mentioned Neu mann still lives at Poplar Point.
In the '80s a setback seemed to occur when another migration took place, this time out of the settlement instead of into it. Pastors became increasingly hard to get, and itinerant missionaries played an important part in keeping the faith alive.
When an influx of immigrants came to our area from Germany around 1928, and when families moved here from further west during the distress of the 'dry years', the number of people of Lutheran faith increased. These people could no longer bind themselves together in a settlement, and took homes wherever an opportunity for liveli hood presented itself. Thus it was, that a central location to adminis ter to the spiritual needs of families in Rossendale, Edwin, West bourne, Poplar Point etc. became important. An arrangement was made with First Presbyterian Church of Portage la Prairie for the use of their building on Sunday afternoons. This afforded the opportunity for people of the Lutheran faith within the city to attend also. Official organization of a Lutheran congregation in Portage la Prairie took place under the direction of Rev. E. H. Schmiege. Such organization of Redeemer Lutheran Church - Mis souri Synod, was effected on April 20, 1953, at the home of E. Yarchau.
In June of that year, land was purchased on the comer of 12th Street N.vV. and Gigot Avenue. In January, 1958, an additional pur chase of land was made and the serious business of erecting a chapel took place. Dedica tion of the structure took place in September of the same year.
On Sept. 25, 1960, the Rev. L. A. Koehler was installed as the resident Pastor, thereby becoming the first Lutheran clergyman to reside in the city. A parsonage was built in 1961. Following his arrival, progress in the growth of the parish in many dimensions is noted in the records.
Lutheran Kindergarten, Sunday School, Adult Bible Class instruc tion, and a Women's Missionary Society are only a few of the worth-