Nestled in the rolling hills of north Cape Girardeau, south Perry, and east Bollinger Counties visitors are greeted by the brilliant Christmas lights at any one of the twenty three rural churches as they arrive. Once inside the church they are greeted by members who will proudly show them around the sanctuary and give the history of their house of worship. The sound of music in the background is performed by the members of the church or it might be a full force of locals singing carols in German.
The special feature of their church could be historic stained glass windows, an antique organ or nativity set. In the Brazeau Presbyterian Church, 1819, you will see cut paper ornaments called Scherenschnitte and if you venture up to the balcony you will see where slaves carved their names in the wood. The architecture of Trinity Lutheran in Altenburg is quite unique. To find a beautiful example of medieval European church architecture in the mid-west makes it special. One of the most unique features is the and-cut stone from the regional Bodenshatz Creek. At the time, 1867, every European dream of a great building was a stone building. Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, 1839, launched an extensive reconstruction project. They preserved the original sanctuary with a ground up restoration.
Many Christian denominations are represented in the tour. The self guided tour can be started in Crosstown, Farrar, Brazeau, Frohna, Altenburg, New Wells, Pocahontas, Daisy, Oak Ridge, Friedheim, Biehle, Apple Creek, Uniontown, Longtown, or Friedenberg. If you can find the town you will find the church. When you visit the first church you will receive a list and map directing you to the other churches. A complete list of churches with GPS locators is on the web at www.immanuelnewwells.org.
Take time to enjoy the refreshments at each church before you continue your special Christmas adventure. The tour is held on Thursday and Friday, December 17 and 18 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. In case of ice or appreciable snow the tour is cancelled. Call 573-833-6188 for more information.