The North Bend Eagle


Prague church closing affects local parishioners

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 7/11/12

Robert Thege is the fifth generation of the Thege family to attend Prague Presbyterian Church. And he will be the last generation.

The church is closing with its last service this Sunday, July 15.

Prague churchThe Prague Presbyterian Church as it was for its 1979 centennial celebration.

Established in 1879 near the Thege homestead in Linwood, the church moved to Prague in 1889, with the Thege family following. The membership has dwindled down to 13, with four to five attending church regularly. Robert Thege, his mother Marlene Thege and uncle Richard Thege are among the regulars. In 1969 there were 31 families in the church with 24 children in the Sunday school.

“No (church member) lives in Prague,” Robert Thege said. “They come from Mead, Brainard, the country outside of Prague. The minister comes from Lincoln. And I’m the youngest one at 52.”

Last fall the members started talking about closing the church and voted in January to close. The closing ceremony is planned, and a sale is set for this fall for the building and contents.

Sharen Hines Minarick of Morse Bluff grew up in the Prague Presbyterian Church. When she graduated from high school, there were three others at the church graduating at the same time.

“I remember the Sunday School programs, great vacation Bible school time,”

Minarick said. She transferred to the North Bend Presbyterian church 20 years ago.
Adeline Hines grew up in the church and was a member 60 plus years until transferring to North Bend in 1990, thinking the Prague church would be closing soon.

“I have good memories of the church,” Hines said. “My parents were married there. I was married there. My children were baptized there. I was an elder.”

Hines’ blind great-grandmother would walk the mile and a half to the church when it was in the country. Hines’ ancestors, the Mach family, followed the church into Prague. The church cemetery stayed in the country and is separate from the church with its own governing board.

The Theges, Minarick and Hines will all be there Sunday to say farewell to the church that was a part of their lives. There will be a time of fellowship after the service, that being something Adeline Hines has fond memories of with the Prague Presbyterian Church.

Then all that will be left of the Prague Presbyterian Church will be the memories.

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