Reverend G. Haken
Served: 1906 - 1932
After the Rev. Janssen had left the Ramsey church, at a congregational meeting, it was decided to call Reverend R. Siemsem, but Reverend Siemsem declined this invitation. At another congregational meeting the same year, Rev. G. Haken was called. This first call the Rev. Haken declined. Again the Ramsey congregation met and extended a second call to Rev. Haken, and this time he saw fit to accept the call, and so in 1906, he moved his family and possessions to the Ramsey church.
Rev. Gerhard Haken was born at Weener, Germany, the tenth day of March, 1863. He received his fundamental education in the old father land and served his country for several years as schoolmaster. Later he immigrated to this country and completed a course of study in the Mission House College and Seminary in Wisconsin from 1888 to 1891.
He first served as ordained minister in our church at Kings, Illinois from 1893 till 1896. From 1896 to 1906 he served the church at Lennox, South Dakota, and at the same time he served a church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was while in this position that he received the call to come to Ramsey, and so arrived in 1906.
The congregation had built an especially fine addition to the parsonage at that time making the parsonage of the Ramsey church one of the most spacious among the parsonages of our German churches. Rev. Haken served the Ramsey church long and well; for twenty years he remained its pastor.
During this time many changes and improvements were made, both in the property and in the congregation. Not only was a new parsonage built, but also a new church. This new edifice was completed in the year 1910. Not only was Rev. Haken interested in the spiritual welfare of his people, but also in the physical welfare and through his ability to prescribe health cures he acquired a well known name, not only in this community, but throughout several states. His book, "The Home Sanitarium" has become the standard book of health for many families in this country.
Although he did an outstanding piece of work for the physical welfare of the people, his greatest work was done for the spiritual uplift of those to whom he ministered. Rev. Haken has had the unique experiences of marrying couples, baptizing their babies, catechising these growing children, marrying them when they came to years of maturity and baptizing their babies, all in this one community. Many of those who were firm supporters of the Ramsey church had been raised and educated under his care. He, indeed, occupied a large place in the hearts of the people of Ramsey.
On the 22nd day of December, 1914, his wife, Hinnerina, died. Several years later Rev. Haken was united in marriage to a Mrs. Meyer of Lennox, South Dakota. His one daughter married one of the young farmers of this church and remained a member of this congregation. In 1932, having reached the 70th year mark, Rev. Haken felt that it was time for him to retire from active service and so his resignation took effect on the first day of April. He moved his possessions to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he continues to live as strong and healthy as ever. Indeed, the Ramsey congregation owes to this, its former shepherd, a great debt of love and friendship.