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The cornerstone for Zion's sanctuary was laid on September 23, 1888 and the dedication of the building occurred on a bitter cold January 20, 1889. The estimated total cost was $2500. The church name, over the front entrance, read “Zion Deutsches Evangelical Kirche." A biblical name, Zion, means ‘a place or religious community regarded as sacredly devoted to God.` The original building was without the present front narthex and the north vestibule and was 32 feet less in length. In 1897, the main structure was lengthened by 32 feet and a pipe organ and the beautiful Good Shepherd stained glass window were installed. In 1901, the remaining stained glass windows were installed. The original section of this structure served the congregation as both a house of worship and as a parochial school, for its youth, until 1892 when Zion's ‘old school house` was erected on Wayne Street, the current site of Zion's Church Center.

The narthex and the north vestibule were added to the building in 1921. in 1928, the current lantern lights and ceiling “spots” were installed as replacement illumination for the former (gas-electric) chandeliers. The Historic Preservation Commission, some years ago, conducted a survey of all historically significant buildings in our county. On a scale of 1 to 13, they rated Zion's church building a 12, which is very high. They listed its architectural style as “eclectic.”

The designation of “eclectic style,” given by the Commission study, is accurate as many historic periods are part of its design and heritage. In the latter part of the 19th century this style of church building almost became a style of its own in America.

Zion United Church of Christ / 211 S. St. Peter Street / South Bend, IN 46617

 

"Never place a period where God has put a comma."
Zion United Church of Christ South Bend
-Gracie Allen