Rosewood Scrub churches

The German pioneers were men and women of strong religious conviction. Although more than ninety percent would describe themselves on arrival as Lutheran, German names can be found among the congregations of churches of all faiths today. Plagued from the outset by bitter quarrels and doctrinal differences Lutheran congregations fragmented to establish new churches nearby, or families joined Primitive Methodist, Congregational, Church of Christ, Church of England or Catholic faiths. The Lutheran Church had been plagued by doctrinal differences from its inception, and found it hard to provide pastoral and administrative help to the new arrivals. But the problems were far more complex. Pastors recruited from Germany had little or no English and insisted strenuously on the German language from the pulpit, in communion classes and in church records, upsetting a growing number of new generation members. Harder to substantiate, but probably true to a degree was the inherent rugged individualism and stubbornness - the very Qualities that drove so many to win the battles of the bush on their selections enabled many devout fundamentalist Lutherans to I more comfortably in the shoes of Baptist, Church of Christ or Methodist preachings and teachings.
Tallegalla Primitive Methodist Church
(Primitive Methodist church, Tallegalla)
An earlier church was a slab and shingle building near the present Tallegalla School. In 1881 a new church was built on a high crest at Tallegalla on land donated by the Freeman family to include a cemetery as well. It attracted quite a few German families of that area. The church was replaced, then later removed to Eumundi; the cemetery which remains on the site is one of the most attractive rural cemeteries in the State. Early churches in the Scrub made good use of abundant timber in-situ to erect small shingled structures on stumps.

The metal stump caps preserved the timber above them from the ravages of termites, but had a secondary use. After holes had been dug and the posts rammed, a dedication and fund-raising stump-capping ceremony was held that invited church members and visiting dignitaries to place donations for the building in the inverted metal caps.
Harvest festival in Tallegalla Primitive Methodist
(harvest festival in same church)
Annual harvest festivals in most churches reminded congregations of the richness of the soils that supported them.

Marburg German Baptist
(Marburg German Baptist Church)
Taken at the turn of the century. The simple, open shed on the right is not a forerunner of the modern carport, but a shelter for worshippers waiting for the service to start. The large homes in the centre face Edmond Street and stand today.
Lutheran Churches
( St. Johns, Minden / St John's, Coolana. Lutheran churches)
Each building bears its own subtle touch of German heritage: the imposing tower on St. Johns, Minden. on the left; the pyramidal spire of St John's, Coolana, on the right.

These two fine Lutheran churches bear no evidence of the early turmoil that cleaved congregations asunder to cause separate Lutheran churches to be built close to one another. The old wounds have long healed, families have been linked by intermarriage and peace and goodwill prevail. The altercations and splitting of congregations was by no means confined to the Minden churches. At one stage Lowood had two Lutheran churches, St Mark's, and Bethel, on opposite sides of Park Street, poised like two bantam cocks for battle. It took them forty long, bitter years to sink their differences to re-unite under the name Trinity Lutheran.
Marburg Trinity Lutheran Interior
(Interior of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Marburg, tastefully decorated for the wedding of Elsie Stegemann and Arnold Bachmann. The church was built and dedicated in 1888.)

Congregational Church Rosewood
(Congregational Church in Rosewood)
The two buildings - the Church and the Sunday School Hall as they appeared in 1900, the interesting criss-cross pattern along the wall of the church is repeated in the simple stained glass window. The two buildings are a fine match. Later they were put together to form a cross.

Haigslea (Kirchheim) Uniting (Methodist)
(Haigslea (Kirchheim) Methodist / Uniting church)
The Haigslea (Kirchheim) Methodist congregation comprised many German families: Heiner, Huth, Berlin, Sprenger, Eisenmenger, Steinhardt, Guth, Berndt, Rohl, Hertweck, Claus, Verrenkamp. Some like Harry and Minna Steinhardt had been confirmed in the Lutheran faith. With the forming of the Uniting Church in 1977, the former Wesley Methodist Church at Haigslea was moved to the site to effect at once a physical and spiritual union.

Rosewood Catholic St Brigid's
(St Brigid's Catholic Church, Rosewood )

This magnificent church is said to be the largest wooden church in Australia, and few would deny that it is the most beautiful. From its earliest days it has had only a relatively small percentage of German people among its parishioners. No doubt the Rosewood Scrub made a substantial contribution in other ways; most of the fine timbers used in
construction would have come from the Scrub.

German settlers were generally Protestant but some from the Rhineland, Nassau, Bavaria, Baden and Poland were Catholic... Before churches were built priests travelled out from Ipswich and said Mass at homes as advertised previously in the Queensland Times.

Bishop Quinn moved to meet the special needs of recently migrated German parishioners by inviting a German priest, Fr. Kaercher. to Queensland in 18 71.... High up Berlin's Road atop the range at Tallegalla, at the crossroads just south of Two Tree Hill, Church authorities purchased just over three acres of land for a church and
cemetery. The site can still be identified by the remaining grave sites.. ..Besides building St. Brigid's (Rosewood), and probably building St. Boniface's (as the Tallegalla Church was known), Lucas Ulrich was later chairman of a committee that removed the building of St. Boniface's to Marburg in 1901. [Terry Rowden]

A modern church replaced the old St. Boniface's church in Owens Street, Marburg in June 1993. Three years later the old and neglected cemetery on the Two Tree Hill site was fenced and marked with a heritage sign by the Ipswich City Council.

The congregations of other Catholic churches in the Scrub included higher percentages of German families.

St Michael's, built on a hillside between Lowood and Tarampa on land donated by Michael Kluck, was consecrated in 1888. The church was moved to North Ipswich in 1934 for use as a school hall. The cemetery is still in use. St. Brendon's, Lowood, was built at the corner of Church and Prospect Streets. A new brick church was erected next to the old church in 1980. Glamorgan Vale had several Irish settler families like the O'Briens. the Kellys and the Dwyers before the influx of the Germans, when it was known as Bald Ridges. The church has a fire-and-brimstone history - physically, not spiritually. The first church was destroyed by lightning in 1909, the second by fire in 1949. [Fred Kleidon]

The Baptist Church at Marburg was predominantly German from its beginnings in 1871. Its membership of 14 comprising mainly the Dahm, Lamprecht and Arndt families, climbed dramatically to 173 by 1877. The first pastors, Windolfand Bernoth, were German and services were in German. Serious divisions plagued the church,
that prompted the building of a second church. In I 9 14 it was linked into a pastorate with Lanefield and came under the English influence of the Queensland Baptist Union. [Fred Kleidon]

My grandmother Minna Beduhn (born Schuiz, 1878) told us that as a child she could attend the English speaking or German speaking services at the Baptist Church. But services were mainly held in German. Saturday morning German School was held somewhere in the vicinity of the present Church of Christ. [David Beduhn]

[from book in Rosewood Scrub museum in Marburg]