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Zion Lutheran celebrates 150th anniversary in Kalamazoo community

On Sunday, Aug. 19, hundreds of singing voices celebrated the 150th anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo. With a milestone that’s rather difficult to grasp, members of the church recollected about the history with a focus on the days ahead. (WWMT/Ray Hole)

On Sunday, Aug. 19, hundreds of singing voices celebrated the 150th anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church in Kalamazoo. With a milestone that’s rather difficult to grasp, members of the church recollected about the history with a focus on the days ahead.

The church’s current pastor, Tim Seeber, has served the church for 31 of its 150 years, saying it’s difficult to imagine the church is still standing after all its been through.

"It's kind of hard to think that this place that started just a couple years after the Civil War ended has been in existence all this time,” Seeber said. "I think if ministry is really effective and it's touching lives, other people then become a part of it."

Seeber said the first building for the congregation was a tiny, frame building in downtown Kalamazoo. The second was a structure on Pine Street, which just so happens to be a part of modern-day Bronson Hospital.

“That area just kind of disappeared. So, they moved up here in 1953 and built this sanctuary,” Seeber said of the current standing building, located at 2122 Bronson Blvd. in Kalamazoo.

Seeber said the church’s programs and service to the community have kept the congregation growing and, most importantly, together.

"Campus ministry. Ministry at state hospital. We do radio ministry. Dresses and layettes go to Africa and all over the world. We used to have a braille ministry. So, I think as people are more and more involved that's what adds to the life of the congregation,” he said.

Without the city of Kalamazoo, Seeber said, what has been made possible for the congregation wouldn’t exist.

“It’s just a wonderful place to be,” he said. "Some of us in 30 years won't be here anymore. Other people will be. So that's part of why we celebrate this is to help keep that interest and enthusiasm."

If you’re interested in attending a worship, Zion Lutheran holds worship on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Sunday at 8 a.m. and again at 10 a.m. The church’s weekly radio sermon can be heard on WKZO 590 AM on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. You can visit the website here.

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