Cape Girardeau County Missouri Genealogy Trails




Photos submitted by Leslie Riney

sign church

The church is located on County Road 532 near Pocahontas, MO.

Cape Girardeau

OUR METHODIST HERITAGE--One hundred years ago, in 1838, the first German-speaking Methodist Congregation in America was organized by the Reverend Dr. William Nast in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.  The establishment of the German-speaking congregation in the Ohio Valley under the auspices of the Ohio Conference marks the beginning of German Methodism in America.
    The religious zeal of these early pioneers spread rapidly, and by 1841 the Reverend Ludwig S. Jacoby was delegated by the Reverend Dr. Nast to go to St. Louis to look after the German Methodists who had migrated westward to that city.  From St. Louis as a center, German Methodism expanded rapidly north, west and south, following the two great rivers of the middle west.
    The day came when the influence of Methodism in St. Louis kindled the fires of religious enthusiasm and zeal that spread to this community.
    About the middle of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Antonette Hunze, a native of this city, spent some time in St. Louis and while there she came under the influence of the ministry of the Reverend Ludwig S. Jacoby.  She became inspired to return to her native city to carry the message of the Methodist church to her family, neighbors, and friends.  It was through the influence of Mrs. Antonette Hunze, about fourteen years after the founding of German Methodism in America, that a congregation of German-speaking Methodists was organized in Cape Girardeau.
OUR FOUNDER--Grace Church is singularly indebted to Mrs. Antonette Hunze (1809-1892).  It was through her efforts that the little German Methodist Church was established which marked the beginnings of Methodism in this city.  Mrs. Hunze lived to see the fruit of her labors as Methodism became firmly rooted here.  She helped to dedicate the second building erected by that first congregation and was a devoted member until her death on March 20, 1892.  The esteem with which she was regarded is revealed in the following quotation from an article appearing in a Cape Girardeau newspaper at the time of her death:
    "Calm and peaceful were the last years of her life, devoted almost entirely to the church.  She was a true Christian in word, thought and deed...She was converted to Methodism 40 years ago in St. Louis, there being no church of that denomination here at the time.  Returning to this, her home, she gathered her family around her and held services in her own home.  She was the founder of the Methodists in this city and by the united efforts of herself and family the first Methodist Church was built here...
    "There is probably not another woman in this part of the country who was so univerally loved and respected, who had so many friends and so few enemies as 'Grandma Hunze.'
    "The community has lost a member who can never be replaced..."
    The church whick Mrs. Hunze founded 100 years ago has prospered and grown until it has reached a present membership of nearly 800.  A number of her descendants are among the present members and others are active elsewhere in the church.  As we remember her life, we recall the words:  "This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did."  (Acts 9:36)

    The following grandchildren of Mrs. Hunze are active members of Grace Methodist Church:  Mr. Herman Brennecke, Mr. John Hunze, Mr. Ed Hunze, Mrs. Anetta Hunze Bueltemann, Mrs. Emma Hunze Haman and Mrs. Bertha Hunze Beckman.
--Contributed by Catherine Allison.  (no dates were given)

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