Friday, December 5, 2008

Stockbridge Mohican Church History Timeline: Part III

Once again, this timeline is based on many sources and I'm willing to back up any of it if you're in doubt.

1892: Henry Sprague approaches Rev. Francis Uplegger about supplying a Lutheran preacher. Others, including William C. Davids, also approach the Lutherans. Rev. Theodore Nickel of Shawano, a German immigrant, agrees to preach to the Stockbridge Mohicans, making it the first time he has preached in English.

1899: Rev. Nickel purchases 20 acres on Mission Lake for Immanuel Mohican Lutheran Church. The mission project is adopted by the organization now known as the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

1902: The Lutherans start a school

1907: The John Sergeant Memorial Presbyterian Church is organized.

1908: A dormitory is built for the Lutheran school. A variety of Wisconsin Indians attend the boarding school.

1930: In a transaction that would become controversial when other Stockbridge Mohicans learned of it, the John Sergeant Memorial Presbyterian Church sends the tribal Bible and communion set to Mabel Choate's museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in exchange for $1000.

1933: The Great Depression forces the mission boarding school to close its doors. Classes continue for local children.

1936-1937: The Old Stockbridge Presbyterian Church is organized. The John Sergeant Memorial Church ceases to exist.

1944: The new tribal government supports the Lutheran Church in the Wilderness.

1958: The mission school closes its doors.

1977: The Stockbridge Bible Church is established by Rev. Gordon Shepard, himself a Stockbridge Mohican.

1978: Tribal elder Thelma Putnam writes Christian Religion Among the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians.

1984: Local churches celebrate 250 years of Christianity for the Stockbridge Mohicans.

1991: Ten delegates travel to Stockbridge, Massachusetts where the two-volume Stockbridge Bible is finally returned to descendants if the Indian Congregation it was given to in 1745. Celebrations are held at a parking lot on Highway 29 and at the tribe's Bingo Hall.

1990's:[?] Under the direction of Clarence Chicks, the Lutheran Mission is restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2006: The communion set that was sent to Massachusetts with the tribal Bible is returned to the Stockbridge Mohicans by the Trustees of Reservations.

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