Midsummer’s Music Festival returns to Door County’s historic Ephraim Moravian Church tonight, Sunday, June 12, as the second concert in their 2011 summer festival.
“We love performing in Ephraim Moravian Church,” says Artistic Director, Jim Berkenstock. “Not only is it rich in history, but it has wonderful acoustics. Our musicians really enjoy playing here.”
The Ephraim Moravian Church was founded by Reverend Andreas Iverson, an immigrant Moravian evangelist. Born in Norway, Iverson felt called to ministry as a young adult and he was trained and ordained as a Lutheran minister at the Norwegian Mission Society. It was here that he learned about the Moravian faith, to which he eventually gravitated and served as a minister for many years.
In February of 1853, he and a few others walked north over the ice from Green Bay to the wilderness area that later became Ephraim. After exploring the horseshoe-shaped bay and forested land, Iverson used a $500 loan to buy 425 acres of government land for his parishioners. His home was the first constructed in the village (it remains, in original condition, now operated as a museum by the Ephraim Historical Foundation). Church services and school classes were held in the Iverson home until the construction of the church began in 1857. Designed by Iverson and built by him and the congregation, work was halted several times by lack of funds. When completed and the doors opened on December 18, 1859, it became the first church on the Door County peninsula.
The church was originally located on the shore (paintings done by Iverson himself show it right next to the water), but it was moved to its present location on the hill in 1883. Ephraim Moravian Church remains the historical center of the village, and along with the Bethany Lutheran Church (founded in 1882), the twin white steeples form the distinctive and often photographed view of the Village of Ephraim.
Midsummer’s Music will present the music of Hahn, Durufle, Karg-Elert, and Faure in this wonderful church,located at 9970 Moravia Street in Ephraim. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are just $25 per adult. Youth 17 and under are free.Parking is available on the street or in the lower and upper parking lots behind the church.
For more information, visit www.midsummerSmusic.com.