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   Omaha: In the summer of 1887 the first services were held in the home of John Blazek Sr., the minister of the English-language Presbyterian church leading in prayer. John Jirak read from the scriptures in Czech and Rev H. A. Schauffler of Cleveland, Ohio, preached in Czech. Miss Barbara Jirak (long since deceased) played the organ. This gathering took the name of "Bethlehem Chapel." During the summer vacation Rev. Frank Rundus, minister of the church situated between Munden and Cuba, Kansas, conducted services. In the following two years the congregation grew and the Bohemian Brethren Congregation was established. Among the pioneers were the families of Jos. Vladyka, F. Koza, S. A. Beranek, John Jirak, John Blazek Sr., and others. Later the congregation joined the Presbyterian denomination. Rev. V. Pisek from New York City conducted services as a visiting minister, then for three months V. Vladyka was minister pro tem.

Bohemian Brethren Church and minister's residence, in Omaha

   In 1890 the first pastor, Rev. A. Paulu, was chosen. He was succeeded in 1891 by Rev. John Pipal, who left in 1896, and for three years following visiting ministers had charge. In 1899 Rev. Jaroslav Dobias was chosen, a very able pastor, during whose incumbency a corner lot was bought on 15th and Hickory and the church building (then standing on 15th, north of William street) was moved thereon. Later another building was bought and moved, to be used as a parsonage. Rev. Dobias was instrumental also in founding the congregation in South Omaha. He left Omaha in 1906, to become editor of a Bohemian paper (Ceskoslovansky Svet) in New York City. His successor was Rev. B. A. Filipi, who was succeeded in 1913 by Rev. V. Cejnar, born December 14, 1862, in Svinary near Kralove Hradec. He studied in Neukirchen, Germany, and Glasgow, Scotland. For three years and a half he was minister in Bohemia, a year and a half in Gratz, Styria, and ten years in Vienna, Austria. He came to this country in 1905, being a year in Pittsburg, Pa., a year in Chicago, Ill., five years in Georgetown, Tex., a year and a half in Scotland, So. Dak., and after eleven years' service in Omaha, in 1925 he was appointed travelling preacher and colporteur by the Nebraska Synod. He was succeeded in October, 1925, by Rev. Louis Kvetensky, the present incumbent.

   South Omaha: In 1893 S. A. Beranek and wife established a Sunday and sewing school, coming from Omaha to participate. During Rev. Dobias's time the congregation was founded and the church built on Twenty-first street between Q and R. After his departure in 1906 V. Miniberger, then studying theology in Omaha, took care of the congregation. In 1909 he moved to Racine, Wis., and his successors were: Rev. B. A. Filipi and Miloslav Filipi (then studying theology in Omaha). In 1912 Rev. Emanuel Kalina, newly ordained and coming from New York, became incumbent. He was earnestly active and improved the church building, but in 1918 he entered the services of the Young Men's Christian Association. Rev. V. Cejnar of Omaha then took care of the congregation until Rev. Charles Joseph Koukol, the present incumbent, took charge. Rev. Koukol was born in Kostelec nad Orlici, Bohemia, in 1883 and came to this country in 1895, without his parents. He lived a year in Jessup, Pa., where his eldest brother was pastor of the first Slovak Presbyterian church in the U.S. Then he lived for several years in Moorestown, N.J. He studied as follows: 1909: Oberlin Academy; 1909: Oberlin Seminary, Slavic Department; 1912: Carroll College, Wisconsin, where he attained the degree of Bachelor of Arts; 1913: Chicago Theological Seminary, Bachelor of Theology; 1913-1914: Philosophical Faculty in Prague, Bohemia. In 1915 he was ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church and until 1921 was minister of the Bohemian Presbyterian church in Phillips, Wis., where was organized also a Bohemian Presbyterian Church of Jan Hus. In 1921 he came to South Omaha, the incorporated title of his church being: Presbyterian Church of the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren.

Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in South Omaha

   Prague: During Rev. Pipal's incumbency in Wahoo, he looked after Prague. Following his departure, Rev. B. A. Filipi used to come from Omaha at intervals, but in 1911 Prague was annexed to Wahoo.

   Table Rock: Originally the congregation met in Humboldt, in Richardson County. Rev. Frank Rundus used to come occasionally from Cuba, Kans., and in 1893 Rev. John Rundus used to come from Crete, Nebr. Later the congregation shifted to Table Rock. There is no regular minister.

   Thurston: In 1900 a number of Czechs came from other points, mostly from the vicinity of Wahoo, Saunders County, and rented farms from the Indians. They first met in a schoolhouse three miles east of Thurston and were attended by Rev. V. Miniberger, Rev. B. A. Filipi and Miloslav Filipi, then a student of theology--all from Omaha. In 1909 the congregation was formally organized. In 1912 a student of theology, Jaroslav Stulc, spent his summer vacation there, but the first resident minister was Rev. Joseph Leksa, who had been ordained in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1917. Before his coming a fine brick church had been built and during his time a parsonage bought. He left in 1922, moving to Blue Rapids, Kans., and at present there is no incumbent.

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