History of St. Paul Lutheran Church
Posen Twp., MI

Submitted by Donald H. Knopf

St. Paul Lutheran Church – Posen, MI

   The first missionary in the area, Rev. Joseph Antonius Bohn, organized the
congregation of St. Paul on Bolton Road in 1878.  Pastor Bohn also organized St. John’s
of Rogers City, St. Michael’s of Belknap and Immanuel of Moltke.
   The first church services were held in the homes of church members.  Later, a small
building was used which served as school and parish hall. In 1897, the present church
was built. The church property was donated by Mr. Julius Behning*. In recent years,
extensive renovations to the church building, the parish hall and the parsonage have been
made by the members. St. Paul Lutheran Church is located on the Alpena Road near the intersection of Green
Road, 2 miles east and 2 mile southeast of Posen. On November 10, 1893, the Village of Vincent in the Township of Posen, Presque Isle
County, was incorporated and included Section 9 and 15, Town 33 North, Range 6 East.
The name Vincent, came from Vincent D’Vincent, who at that time owned much
property and operated the Vincent Place Hotel. He was a dealer in general merchandise,
forest products, a manufacturer of lumber and shingles, and operated a planing mill. In
1907, the name of Vincent was dropped and the Village of Posen was incorporated.
Many of the people in the area were from Germany and Poland. The name was taken
from the Polish Province, Poznan and the German spelling, Posen, was used. Charter members of St. Paul were Edward Behning, Louis Gruening [spelling later
changed to Green], August Bluemke [spelling later changed to Blemke], Carl Schmoldt
[spelling later changed to Schmold], William Bahrke, Carl Trapp, August Mueller
[spelling later changed to Miller], Louis Schroeder and Carl Hahn. Among the first marriages were those of Mr. and Mrs. Gustave Blemke, Mr. and Mrs.
Henry Boettcher, Mr. and Mrs. William Boettcher, Mr. and Mrs. Max Felax, and Mr. and
Mrs. Henry Brandt. [The 125th Anniversary copy lists the Boettcher’s as William and
Henry Bocker.Boettcher is more correct.] In 1955, the Ladies Aid was reorganized with Mrs. Herman Heinecke as President,
Mrs. Victor Hahn as Vice President, Mrs. Arnold Green as Secretary, and Mrs. Harry
Wiese as Treasurer. Membership was sixteen. The first resident pastor was the Rev. David Ehmann. He also started a parochial
school where he taught German, English and religion. The school was discontinued in
1925. Pastors listed in the St. Paul Register beginning in 1892 to 1902 were Theodor Hartman
1892-1895; C. Kuechle of Immanuel Lutheran Church Alpena and Bruno Potzger of St.
Michael’s Belknap Township served 1895 as Interim Pastors; David Ehmann 1895-1899;
P. S. Mueller as interim Pastor 1900; J. W. Schoech 1900-1902. [The two church record books overlap.] * Behning has been spelled many different ways. Originally, it was Böning, changed to Behning, and finally to Benning. Since 1900 the following served St. Paul’s at Posen: Schoech, Rev. Joseph W. 1900-1903 Marzinski, Rev. E. E. L. 1904-1907 Essig, Rev. Heinrich W. [St. Michael’s Belknap interim pastor] 1908 Essig, Rev. William G. A. 1909-1912 Bartusch, Rev. E. 1912-1913 Marshall, Rev. John 1913-1915 Hahn, Rev. Arthur 1916-1919 Heumann, Rev. F. W. [Immanuel Alpena interim pastor] 1919 Schmidt, Rev. Edward 1919-1925 Wacker, Rev. Arthur 1925-1929 Schoenow, Rev. William 1929-1937 Koenig, Rev. Otto 1937-1955 Heinecke, Rev. Herman 1955-1958 Unger, Rev. Ralph 1958-1964 White, Rev. Harry 1964- Schultz, Rev. H. Luhrs. Rev. David Baerwolf, Rev. R. Moehring. Rev. J. Powers, Donald Molzan, Rev. Harold 1987-2007 Spaeth, Rev. David 2007- Information from: Presque Isle County Advance, Thursday, July 24, 2003 St. Paul Lutheran Church of Posen 80th Anniversary August 24, 1958 St. Paul Lutheran Church of Posen 125th Anniversary July 27, 2003 History of Posen village NOTE: In all the above newspaper articles and Anniversary booklets, Rev. Joseph
Antonius John was listed as Rev. Philip Bohn. Phillip was the son of Rev. Joseph
Antonius Bohn. This was incorrect information as Rev. Philip Bohn never served St.
Paul Lutheran Church, Posen, MI. The 1880 Census for Michigan, Saginaw County, Bloomfield Township, Joseph A.
Bohn, 30, Minister of the Gospel and wife Amalie, 28, and children Edward W. Bohn,
age 3, and Phillip Herman Bohn, age 1. [Son Phillip was born 18 August 1879 in
Belknap Township, Presque Isle County, Michigan but left Belknap before his second
birthday when, in 1880, his father was called to serve St. John’s Lutheran Church in
Frankentrost.] In 1891, Rev. Joseph Bohn accepted a call to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Detroit,
MI; in 1894 he accepted a call to St. Paul Lutheran Church as Assistant, Fort Wayne, IN;
in 1895 he became pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN; in 1902, he
accepted a call to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Fraser, MI with son Phillip as assistant
pastor; in 1917, Rev. Joseph Bohn retired from the ministry at St. John’ Lutheran Church,
Fraser, Michigan and son, Phillip, became their Head Pastor. Two of the nine children
born to Pastor and Mrs. Joseph Bohn became ordained clergymen of LCMS [Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod]; namely, Phillip and Edward. See additional information on Pastor Joseph A. Bohn in Volume 7, Book 1 of Memorial
Park Cemetery of Presque Isle County Cemeteries publications pp. 28-34. This includes
a biography, letter, chronology and Census Records from 1880-1920 Rev. Harold G. Molzan Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Posen, Michigan 1987 - 2007 Pastor Molzan has had an illustrious career in northern Michigan by serving the Lord at
St. Michael Lutheran Church, Belknap, St. John Lutheran Church, Rogers City and
presently St. Paul Lutheran Church, Posen, MI for 44 of his 59 years in the Lutheran
ministry. Pastor Molzan was born March 11, 1922 in Patterson, New Jersey to Mr. & Mrs. Otto
Molzan. He received his early education at St. Paul Lutheran School of Patterson and
graduated from Patterson Central High School. He began his studies for the Holy
Ministry at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, graduating June 7,
1947. His vicarage year was spent at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Detroit under the
supervision of the late Rev. Louis H. Koehler. He was ordained and installed at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Thawville [Iroquois County],
Illinois on July 6, 1947. He served as vacancy pastor at the nearby St. John Lutheran
Church, Buckley, Illinois. He accepted a Divine Call to the dual Macomb County,
Michigan parishes of Christ Lutheran Church, New Baltimore and St. Peter Lutheran
Church, New Haven. While there, the New Baltimore congregation grew in numbers. In
February 1954, he accepted a Call to St. Michael Lutheran Church, Belknap. From
February 1958 to July 1966, he served Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Saginaw, MI. In July of 1966, he accepted a Call to St. John Lutheran Church in Rogers City where he
served for 21 years. During his tenure at St. John, he served in many capacities for the
church and for the community that it is difficult to list them all. St. John’s new church
was built during his tenure. Pastor Molzan “retired” in 1987 after 40 years in the active ministry. Since then he has
been serving St. Paul Lutheran Church of Posen. He also served St. Peter Lutheran
Church of Metz for a year and a half and 40 months at Our Savior Lutheran Church of
Glennie. He also served as Vacancy Pastor at St. John’s Rogers City, Faith at Hawks,
Holy Cross at Onaway, and Immanuel at Moltke. In 1988 he was given the “Servus Ecclesiae Christi” award from Concordia Seminary,
Fort Wayne, Indiana, in recognition of effective ministry among God’s people in today’s
world. This award is given annually for those who have distinguished themselves in
service to congregations and the church in general. During his many years of ministry, his faithful wife, Florence, was always at his side.
They have three children: Pamela [Mrs. Harley Schaedig] of Ocqueoc, Melinda of
Onaway, and John of Rogers City. Another daughter, Judith Ann, died at the age of four
and one half years on July 6, 1952. The Molzan’s have three grandchildren: Harlan &
Jenny Sue Schaedig,and Travis Bailey. On September 25, 2007 Pastor Molzan received a Certificate of Congratulations on the
60th anniversary of his Ordination in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at the
Michigan District Professional Worker Conference at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
On October 12th, 20 Lutheran Pastors and their wives paid tribute to Pastor and Florence
Molzan for their accomplishments at a get-together at the Water’s Edge. On November 2nd, 2007, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Posen, where Pastor Molzan served
for 20 years, met at the Lighthouse for a celebration. Forty members and friends of the
congregation attended. The Molzans received a generous gift from the congregation
and those in attendance. The evening concluded with the Benediction by Pastor Molzan. Pastor Molzan has now retired from the Holy Ministry due to ill health. Information from: Presque Isle County Advance, June 26, 1997 Presque Isle County Advance, July 3, 1997 Presque Isle County Advance, September 17, 1998 Presque Isle County Cemeteries Vo. 7 Book 1 pp. 41, 42, 43 Presque Isle County Advance, Thursday, November 8, 2007

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