In 1940 three families moved to Austin and settled down; P. Giesbrechts, A. Kehlers, and Abram Dycks, and were now five miles from town. Since church was now so far away with horse and buggy to ride, A Sunday School was held in the homes with Mrs. A. Kehler to guide. Many pastors came from miles around to teach our little clan, we held the services once a month, this went on for a five-year span.
Some highlights were an all-day Kinderfest, at Mayfeld in the Buhler home where we were truly blest. Another joy was “Jugend Verein” where young people came from far for singing, poems and story-telling; It was just “Wunderbar”! Summer Bible School was held each year and several children came. The teachers served so willingly, salvation was their aim. Baptism Unterricht was an enriching time when ministers came to prepare. Aeltester Wilhelm Falk then performed this rite and Pastors Peter Berg and Jacob Bergen did their share.
In ’44 Mr. C. A. Thiessen was ordained as minister of our group. By 1945 we had grown so much no home could house our group. With God’s guidance a half acre land was given by the P. J. Giesbrecht farm. Since funds were scarce and work was hard each lent a voluntary arm. Four hundred dollars was gratefully received from the other EMMCs. Dietrich Rempel then the basement dug with his machinery. The frames were erected, the work began the cement was mixed and poured, But cold weather came to halt the work so the rest in spring was poured.
In 1946 the work was resumed, the basement finished – the floor was laid. A church committee was then organized but services in the basement stayed. The first church committee members we wish to name who were Dave Harder, C. A. Thiessen. The other two who also worked with them were Peter Giesbrecht and J. S. Thiessen. The first wedding took place in that basement church when Anna and John Neufeld were wed. In August 1947 the event took place but there’s much more to be said. In spring of ’48 the walls and roof came up, and iron rods were needed to aid, Dave Harder then hauled them by horses from town though welded – to this day have stayed. Fifteen children were in our Sunday School in Low German the stories were told. The manual was a “Bibel Geschichte Buch” and to memorize verses the children were told.
In 1950 Sunday School was organized with three teachers voted in, Lena Giesbrecht, Ben Friesen, and J. S. Thiessen did this work begin. The same year the wiring in the church was done, and the pews were made with care; A pulpit was built by Rev. D. Neufeld; a new floor was laid everywhere. The stairs were laid by J. S. Thiessen the ladies too pitched in, while the men were painting the church from outside the ladies were busy within. They waxed and waxed the brand new floor until their knees felt like a knob, but the reward was there when the gleam came out with a rented polisher’s job. A choir was formed with Dave Harder in charge and choir practices were begun; They were held in his home on a week-day night and oh what blessings – and fun! The songs were from our German books and suggestions were often par;
Once Ben Thiessen spoke up from a corner spot with “Brighten the Corner Where You are”. Other special services were held in winter and they would last a week when Rev.’s Friesen, Bergen and Gerbrandt would come and earnestly to us speak.
The congregation grew, that by ’57 They wanted the church in town. So they held their last service on New Year’s Eve and in January moved the church to town. Rev. Dave Funk was our pastor at that time and he stayed until ’63. Young people’s meetings were begun by him; God blessed us abundantly. From ’63 – ’65 the John Bergmans then came to serve in our church for a while. In 1965 Rev. Corny Harders arrived and they’ve been with us all this while. The congregation in Austin continued to increase until in 1974 an addition was built to the front of the church but God bless and blessed some more!
That in 1979 the question arose, shall we add again or build new? The Lord then directed for us to build And He has seen us through. In September 1980, we held our first service in our new building, where we have been since.