by Jim Quade
The origin of Zion Lutheran Church began in the early 20th century when a small group of farmers living in the Schefflin area (northwest of present-day Hillsboro) decided that travel to worship by horseback or buggy at their church (St. Peter of Blooming) was too difficult during winter months. Zion was officially chartered as a congregation of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod on April 4, 1904.
With a declining rural population and improved transportation, the congregation moved to its present location with the construction of the main worship facility completed in 1970. Even though moved out of the country, for many years farm fields surrounded the facility, with housing development finally arriving in the past decade.
The facility was significantly remodeled in 1996 and the second unit that included classrooms for preschool and Sunday School, and a larger meeting area completed in 2006. Zion's current pastor, the Rev. Grant Knepper, has been at Zion since 2008.
Zion’s current support of Forest Hills Lutheran School had roots in the operation of a Lutheran Elementary School at the Schefflin site almost from its inception. In its early years the teacher was often the pastor of the congregation. In 1994, Zion became the first of seven congregations to join the new Westside Lutheran School Association, which currently operates Forest Hills Lutheran School.
The concern and interest for Christian education at Zion continues with the support of Forest Hills, but also in the operation of our preschool for children ages 3-4 now entering its 25th year in 2018.