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RG4037.AM:  First Lutheran Church (Avoca, Neb.)

Records:  1878-1979

Avoca, Cass County, Neb.:  Lutheran church

Size:  1 reel of microfilm containing 5 volumes


In 1880 a congregation was organized among the German settlers in North Branch precinct of Otoe County, Nebraska, and construction of a church building was begun. Since shortly after its founding, the post office has been located at Avoca in Cass County, and the parish was officially named the First Lutheran Church of Avoca.

The Reverend Christian Neumann of the Iowa Synod was called to serve in 1880. He also undertook to organize a congregation in nearby Syracuse. Subsequent pastors also served other neighboring churches. By 1900 the Avoca parish fully supported a pastor of its own.

Surviving difficulties during World War I, this congregation continued to conduct at least some services in the German language until the 1950s. A new parsonage was constructed in 1920 and a new church in 1923. In 1930 the parish became a member of the American Lutheran Church, when the Iowa Synod merged with several others to form this new body.


This collection of the records of the Avoca, Nebraska, First Lutheran Church on one reel of microfilm, is arranged in two series: 1) Record Books, 1878-1978; and 2) Minutes, 1962-1979. The record books contain membership lists and records of baptisms, marriages, confirmations, and burials.

These records were filmed in June of 1979 by the Archives of the American Lutheran Church in Dubuque, Iowa. The Nebraska State Historical Society acquired a copy of the film in February of 1981. In the description following, volumes are numbered to correspond with the numbers appearing on the film. The earliest volume of minutes available at the time of filming begins in 1962. Accordingly, Volume 1 is listed as “missing,” and the first volume of minutes on film is numbered Volume 2.

Note:  This microfilm must be used on-site. It is not available for Interlibrary Loan.


Series 1 – Record Books, 1878-1978

Reel 1


  1. Membership Book #1, 1880-1950 (1878-1880 at end of volume 1)

    Page 1: Index

    Pages 2-151: Baptisms, 1880-1949

    Pages 152-193: Marriages, 1880-1950

    Pages 200-230: Confirmations, 1880-1950

    Pages 241-277: Funerals, 1880-1949

    Baptisms, 1878-1880 (Pastor Neumann) (Loose)

  2. Membership Record Book #2, 1950-1978

    Page 1: Index

    Pages 2-17: Baptisms, 1950-1978

    Pages 40-56: Confirmation, 1950-1978

    Pages 75-80: Accessions, 1950-1978

    Pages 128-147: Dismissals, 1950-1978

    Pages 179-185: Funerals, 1950-1978

    Pages 203-211: Marriages, 1950-1978

    Page 239: Pastors, 1950-1973 (+)

    Page 240: Church Organists, 1950-1957

    Page 244: Festivals, 1950-1972

Series 2 – Minutes, 1962-1979


  1. Minute Record Book #1, 1880-1962 (MISSING)

  2. Minute Record Book #2, 1962-1978 (Cong) pages 1-127

  3. Minute Record Book #3, 1971-1978 (Council)

  4. Minute Record book #4, Feb. 2, 1978-June 1979 (Council)



Cass County (Neb.) — Churches

First Lutheran Church (Avoca, Neb.)

Germans in Nebraska

Lutheran Church in Nebraska

North Branch Church (Otoe County, Neb.)

Otoe County (Neb.) — Churches


Revised 08-12-2008   TMM