Marananga, SA - St Michael's Gnadenfrei Lutheran

Year Built: 1873

Denomination: Lutheran

Saint: Michael

Address: Seppeltsfield Road, Marananga, South Australia, 5355

Architect: Unknown

Traditional Owners: Peramangk people

Last Updated: 30/04/2024

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History and Architecture:

The area was originally called Salt Creek. It was also known as Gnadenfrei before 1918 when names of "enemy origin" were changed to sound less German. The Gnadenfrei Lutheran Church was established, then a German school was established in 1879.

The first church building was erected on the present church grounds, the land being given to the Congregation by a Mr Carl Kriebel.

Originally aligned with the Langmeil congregation, the German settlers formed their own church in 1853. The present building was erected in 1873. Forty years later in 1913 the building was extended to include the existing gallery and bell tower. The bell in the tower was donated by a Mr Leopold Schmidt in memory of his late wife, Sophie, as the inscription on the bell tells us. The cost of these extensions was ₤579-11-4 ($1,159.15).

The architect for the tower was Gerald Seppelt of the local wine family and B.Freytag, of Tanunda, constructed it at a price of £550.

A full historical description can be seen on the Church website here.


These names are now in the Database and can be searched individually.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1854 - 1860 Pastor A L.C. Kavel KS
1860 - 1864 Pastor G W. Staudenmeyer TL
1864 - 1865 Pastor K G.W. Keppler TL
1865 - 1888 Pastor J. P Niquet TL & IS
1888 - 1900 Pastor J Spanagel IS
1901 - 1922 Pastor C W.J. Meier IS
1923 - 1931 Pastor Frederich Wilhelm Matschoss IS 1939
1932 - 1943 Pastor F. A. Hartmann IS
1944 - 1954 Pastor A. G. Simpfendoerfer IS
1954 - 1964 Pastor G P Venz IS 1909 2007
1965 - 1966 Pastor P. E. Mickan IS
1966 - 1974 Pastor B. E. Bartholomaeus LCA 1915 2009
1974 - 1977 Pastor E. O Riedel LCA
1977 - 1985 Pastor John Henry Mattiske LCA 1931 2018
1987 - 1997 Pastor E. L Spike LCA
1998 - 2011 Pastor J. B Weier LCA
2012 - 2015 Pastor Wayne L. George LCA
2016 - 2020 Pastor Detlev Vosgerau LCA
2021 - 2021 Pastor Philip Bentley LCA
2023 - Pastor Eugene Minge LCA


The pipe organ was built by a Mr W.G. Rendall for a Mr G.S. Hale of Norwood at a cost of ₤70.00 ($140.00). In 1880 the organ was later purchased by one of the Point Pass Congregations and then sold in 1915 to a Mr Geyer, an organ dealer and teacher of Tanunda. Mr Geyer had it set up in his home until 1918 when the Gnadenfrei Congregation bought it. It was converted from foot pedal operated bellows to an electric blower in 1962. The organ was fully restored and repainted to its original colours in 1988 by Mr Roger Jones, organ builder of Nuriootpa. It was re-dedicated on May 28th 1989.
For a full description and photos click here.


1. 2023 Peter Neldner photo & additional names and Organ information.


1. Lutheran Archives with permission.
2. Wikapedia
3. Church website.