In Seyda, a rural village about 20km from Wittenberg, Germany, the church bell was dedicated in 1717 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Reformation. This bell served the congregation from before the days of Napoleon and through two World Wars, welcoming the faithful into a remarkable number of worship services, weddings, funerals and other events.
During World War II, the other bells in Seyda were confiscated for military use, however, the 1717 bell was spared. In the 1950s, a steel bell was added to the tower, however this bell rusted and outlived its service.
With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaching, this church, where Luther himself visited in 1528, decided to raise funds for a new bell. This was a significant challenge for the village of under 1,000 residents, especially since Seyda is in an area of the former East Germany, where 90 percent of the population identifies themselves as non-Christian. However, the persistence of Pastor Thomas Meinhof and his community, along with the cooperation of the bell manufacturer, enabled the on-time delivery of a new bell to be dedicated on Nov 1, 2017.