Zion Lutheran congregation of Wenona, IL was founded in the summer of 1883, when several Lutheran families in the area asked Rev. August Sippel of LaRose, IL, to conduct services for them. The exact location and date of the first service, attended by five families, is not presently known. Two years later, Zion became a member congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Two years later, the congregation purchased the land on the southeast corner of Walnut and First North Streets, bought the United Methodist Church building for $1,000, and moved it to the site. The building served as the church and the school, until a separate structure was built for the school in 1898. The school closed in 1924.
Steady growth followed for many years, but the membership began to decline in the middle of the 2oth century. In 1960, Zion entered into a dual parish agreement with St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Varna, IL, 10 miles to the west. This partnership is still in effect today.
On July 8, 2004, a fire destroyed the building which had housed Zion for the previous 117 years. It was a devastating blow to the congregation, but God worked it for good. The congregation met for 16 months at Bethany Lutheran Church, five blocks away. The generosity of the people of Bethany has never been forgotten.
On November 13, 2005, the present sanctuary was dedicated to the glory of God. The chancel furnishings, some of the windows, and other items from the old church are still in use in the new one.
At Zion, the people of God still meet together to be strengthened by His Word and Sacraments. They hear His word of forgiveness, celebrate the gifts He gave us in our Baptism, and are refreshed and restored by His Body and Blood in the Lord's Supper. Join us as we continue to grow into our Head, Christ Jesus!
"O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home!" (LSB# 733, v. 1)