Anniversary dates are special. It means reaching a milestone of magnificent proportion.

The members of Peace United Church of Christ recently observed the 125-year anniversary of the congregation. Considering the major changes that have occurred at places of worship in all denominations in recent times, a 125-year celebration is a remarkable accomplishment for the church located at Tenth and Elizabeth streets in Marinette.

The ethnic German congregation was created in November 1882, and for the initial 20 months worshiped in Our Savior’s Norwegian Lutheran Church. The congregation moved into a newly constructed brick building on Elizabeth Avenue July 1, 1894. The church was part of the Evangelical Synod of North America, which later became known as the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Following its merger with Congregationalists in 1957, the denomination became the present-day United Church of Christ, one of the mainline Protestant denominations in America.

A lot of history is stored in the growth and development of the congregation over more than a century of service to area worshipers. Church members were riveted to the reflections of the past, including one that replayed the vigilante mob accosting of the church’s pastor at the tail end of World War I.

The congregation marked the milestone with an array of spiritual and social activities, which included food and song. The Menominee River Chorus and a barbershop chorus were among the featured activities. An organ concert of German and French classics was also featured. Not to be forgotten was a celebration of German heritage with German hymns.

The Rev. Franz Rigert, the Wisconsin Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ, delivered the sermon at one of the anniversary events. There was much more, of course, to the celebration event than what is listed here.

We join fellow Christians from our M&M area in congratulating Peace United Church of Christ on its long and impressive record of service to our community. The committee members that worked on the planning of the anniversary milestone deserve credit for a job well done. This is also a good time to pay tribute to the past members and leaders of the congregation who paved the way for the present-day members.