Byaduk Lutheran Church Closedby John Noack
The closure of Zion/Neukirch Lutheran Church, Byaduk took place on Sunday 17 Sept 2006.
The Byaduk area, south of Hamilton in Victoria, was first settled by Johann Rentsch, who purchased land there in August 1860. By 1865, other families, who were mostly Wends from Lusatia in Brandenburg and Saxony, purchased land there as well. They included Johann GUDE, Johann SCHLEMMER, Matthes HANDRECK, Martin KOSCH, Johann HONA, Christian BRAMKE, Johann SALZKE, Martin KOTZUR, Mathes JEITZ, Johann KILO, Martin PUMPA, Martin TOWK, Adolph PERTZEL and Christian NICKEL.
In 1866, these families formed the Neukirch congregation and a wattle and daub church was erected. Pastor C.W. Schurmann conducted services there. A weatherboard church was erected in 1886, but after this was destroyed in a bush fire in 1900, the present brick church was erected in 1902. The congregation flourished in the 1960s and 1970s but by 18 Jan 2006, the few remaining members decided to cease operating. The closure was held on Sunday 17 Sep 2006 but the Cemetery will continue to be used.
Descendants of Johann Rentsch, Ossie and Elaine Rentsch, still occupy the original land selected in 1860.
We thank researcher Betty Huf for this information on the history of Byaduk.