The history of St. Luke’s United Church of Christ dates back to December 25, 1872 when twenty early settlers and founder of Columbus, sharing the same religious, cultural and national backgrounds, met and banded themselves together under the leadership of the Reverend Ferdinand Dieckman as “Der Deutsche Reformierte Kirchen Verein” – and presumably held services of worship in various homes of its members Early secular and religious records show that the following were members: Vincent Kummer, Jacob Ernst, Andrew Mathis, Michael Schram, John Stauffer, R.F. Weishand, Wilhelm Jahke, Jacob Louis, Henry Gass, Peter Schaffroth, Michael Schram, Jr., John B. Tschudi, Julius Kluck, David Schupbach, John F Schaffroth, Karl T.E. Schmidt, John M.T. Schmidt, Karl Frederick L. Schmidt, Jacob Mathis, Johann Brugger, and William Trofholz. Three trustees were elected and were as follows: Henry Gass, Andrew Mathis and Christ Gisin. Shortly thereafter the City of Columbus deeded to this organization a plot of ground at Washington Avenue and Eleventh Street, presently 21st Avenue and 11th Street, on which to erect a church edifice and parsonage–the first German Church organization in Columbus, Nebraska. On June 30, 1873, Articles of Incorporation were filed at the Platte County Courthouse and work was immediately begun on the construction of the original church edifice at a cost of $2,800. Dedication of the newly completed Church was held on Sunday, October 4, 1874. The Reverend Ferdinand Dieckman, organizing Pastor, remained as Pastor for about two months. The choir was organized at Easter time the following spring and continued to be a part of all services. The Reverend A. S. Foster assisted occasionally as “supply Pastor” until the call of the Reverend Abraham Schneck who served the congregation from 1874 to 1876. From 1876 to 1881 the Reverend Frederick Huellhorst served as Pastor, and upon his resignation, his brother, the Reverend C.G.A. Huellhorst, accepted a call to the pastorate. He conducted services not only in the home church in Columbus, but also at mission stations at Duncan, Gruetli and Becker Hill (now known as Shell Creek). The membership, including the mission stations, numbered 150. This congregation thus very early gave expression to its missionary zeal through the founding of additional congregations. The church records indicate that the Sunday School was begun in 1881 by the Reverend C.G.A. Huellhorst at the Columbus church with a membership of 20. Following the resignation of the Reverend C.G.A. Huellhorst, the Reverend Ferdinand Fleischer was called and served from 1883 until 1885. The Reverend Mr. Scholz accepted a call to serve the congregation in 1886 and continued as its Pastor for about one year. During this period the Frauen-Verein was organized with a membership of 20 ladies. Mrs. Dr. Hoehn was president; Mrs. Andrew Mathis, vice president; Mrs. Adolph Jaeggi, secretary; and Mrs. Elizabeth Erb, treasurer. There was an existing Ladies Aid before that time but no records were kept. Meetings were held the first Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m. Election of officers was held in July of each year. The purpose of the organization was to aid the Church in any way possible. The Frauen-Verein sponsored a concert at the church in 1886. The proceeds of the concert netted $66.25 which was turned over to the congregation to apply to a debt. Various social affairs were given from time to time to raise money for special projects. Music was purchased for the choir and regular contributions were made to the congregational treasury every year. In 1890 another concert was given which netted $96.85. In 1888 the Reverend Ferdinand Fleischer, after the resignation of the Reverend Mr. Scholz, returned and served the congregation until 1894. In approximately 1889 the parsonage was built. The Reverend Mr. DeGeller accepted a call to serve as Pastor in 1894 and remained until 1898. (Upon his resignation several families followed suit to worship at another place. During the interim, the Reverend J.B. Braun of the Gruetli Church served this small group in the Baptist Church, the Heinz residence and the Latter Day Saints Chapel. This group finally returned to the original congregation.) The Reverend G. Mueller, Lutheran Pastor at St. John’s Shell Creek Church, served the remaining group from the time of Mr. DeGeller’s resignation until the call of the Rev. R. Neumarker as Pastor. Pastor Neumarker arrived in 1899 from St. Joseph, Missouri, to assume his pastoral duties. Immediately following Pastor Neumarker’s arrival the church was reorganized and the name changed to “Die Deutsche Unabhaengige Evangelische-Protestantische Gemeinde.” Many activities and changes took place during the 26 years of Pastor Neumarker’s work and there was a steady growth in the number of communicant members. In 1900 the Frauen-Verein was reorganized and a new constitution adopted. There were 46 members and the meetings were opened with song and prayer, and devotional exercises were led by the Pastor. In May of that year the Church Board borrowed $40 to be repaid in the Fall. A tea was given at the home of Mrs. S. E. Marty – with $12.50 proceeds. Several other teas were given and $32.80 was raised by these means during May, June and July. In August, $20 was taken in at a tea held at the home of Mrs. Fred Stenger. An ice cream social was given at the home of Mrs. Louis Held and netted $78.50. Pastor Neumarker suggested that the money thus raised be applied to an organ fund; and in December 1900 a new organ was purchased for $135.00. Contributions were made each year to various orphanages, old people’s homes and missions. In 1901 a new cupboard was built in the church and notes to Mr. Mathis were paid off amount of $80.00. In 1902 another $80.00 was paid off on the note and song books were purchased for the church. In 1903 a new floor was laid in the Church and new carpet for the aisles and platform purchased at a total cost of $143.39. In 1904 another $80.00 was paid on the Mathis note and minor repairs to the Church and parsonage financed by the Frauen-Verein. (It may be noted that it was unable to be determined what this note to Mr. Mathis was for, but it was presumed to be made in relation to the erection of the parsonage in 1889.) In 1905, $40.00 was paid off on the note and the membership increased to 75 in the Frauen-Verein. During the summer on 1905, Mrs. P.F. Luchsinger invited the Frauen-Verein to a party at her home in Platte Center. An ice cream social was held at the home of Mrs. David Schupbach and the money raised was applied to the “bell fund” which had been started early that year. The “bell fund” amounted to $81.20 in 1906 and the bell was purchased for $118.80 and finally hung in the steeple of the Church in 1909. From 1907 to 1909 the Frauen-Verein made repairs to the parsonage, contributed to the mission in India, and gave $128.00 for benevolent purposes (such as the Tabatha Home and orphanages), as well as smaller gifts to needy persons and charitable organizations. Plans were made for the remodeling of the Church to provide room for the Sunday School and a meeting place for the other Church organizations. In 1912 the Church building was turned from a “west front” to a “north front,” and the building raised and a full basement placed under it to provide parlors, kitchen and furnace room. A committee was appointed to secure pledges to meet the estimated cost of $2,600 to $2,700. The campaign netted $1,900 which was applied to the cost of renovations, and $760 was borrowed to take care of the balance. A “corner stone” was purchased and located on the northwest corner of the Church edifice. This stone, however, did not bear the date of the founding. New benches and two dozen chairs were purchased. The pulpit and altar hangings were trimmed with gold fringe. Ushers were appointed to take up the offerings. In 1914 the windows were changed to permit opening from the top and a new entrance was made into the sanctuary. In 1915 it was suggested that an addition be made to the parsonage and a sewer be installed. The estimated cost for those improvements was $600. Neighbor John Graf offered to pay half of the sewer installation. The modernizing of the parsonage was completed in 1916. In 1917 the constitution was changed in regard to the payment of dues, amounts and charges for use of the Church by non-members. The ceiling of the Church was painted and the roof of the barn was repaired. In 1918 a “service flag” in honor of service men was purchased and the Ladies Aid was asked to tend to it. Due to the stringency of war, the congregation’s use of the German language for all its services was questioned by the Platte County Defense Council. They, in turn, requested that the congregation make provisions to have at least part of its services in the English language; however, for the most part German was used for the Sunday morning worship services. In the all of 1918, the children attending confirmation class had the choice of either German or English lessons and the “Class of 1919” was confirmed in both languages. It was in this year that the “annual picnic” was inaugurated with games, treats and refreshments for the children. The Sunday School began using regular graded lesson material and a Superintendent of the Sunday School was appointed. The pavement along the church property was begun in 1919 and arrangements for payment were on the basis of a 10% down-payment with annual installments. In 1921 a member, who wished his name withheld, donated $100 toward the pavement indebtedness. In 1920 the Choral Society, an organization of “active and passive” choir members, was started with a membership of 83. It was felt there was a definite need for such an organization because there were no active youth organizations since the turn of the century. Its main function was to promote music in the church and good fellowship among the young people. There was very fine musical talent and together with an orchestra and male quartet, the choir gave beautiful concerts, the proceeds of which were used t purchase a piano, light fixtures for the sanctuary and similar items. In 1921 a discussion was held about building a balcony for more seating room. This was eventually dropped. Hat holders were placed on the pews. The painting of the metal ceiling being unsatisfactory, the copper ceiling together with ventilators was installed at a cost of $600. The Ladies Aid paid $200 toward this expenditure. The old ceiling was sold to the highest bidder for $2.50. The Ladies Aid suggested a hot water heating system for the parsonage at an estimated cost of $600. The Church Board agreed to the installation and Dussell & Son did the work at a final cost of $688. In 1923 the parents of confirmands were asked to pay for confirmation certificates. The congregation paid $100 toward the cost of Mrs. Neumarker’s lengthy illness. The Ladies Aid arranged to have the basement of the church painted, install a “rest room” and a new window in same. The 50th Anniversary of the Church and the 25th Jubilee of Pastor Neumarker’s service to this congregation occurred in 1924. Plans were started in January for a proper celebration of those occasions. (The anniversary of the Church was based on the date of the erection of the Church edifice—1874—rather than on the date of the founding–1872). Festivities were held Sunday, October 5, 1924, at the Maennerchor Hall with a banquet at noon for the congregation. German worship services were held in the Church in the forenoon with the Reverend Mr. Waldschmidt of Pender, Nebraska giving the “jubilee sermon.” During the afternoon’s program, two men were especially honored: Mr. Henry Gass, Sr., being the only living charter member, and Mr. Leopold Jaeggi, having been a member o the choir for 50 years. The evening servcies at the Church were in the nature of a rally of those who had been confirmed in the Church with the Reverend Martin Schroeder delivering the sermon entitled “Remain True to Your Mother Church.” In 1925 the Church received a legacy of $100 from the estate of Emma Gisin. Wooden floors were laid in the basement parlor and kitchen and seven dozen German song books were purchased. It was also in 1925 that Pastor Neumarker submitted his resignation due to illness and advancing age Several Pastors were invited to preach “trial sermons” and the Reverend F. Albin Heinz was extended a call. He accepted on September 30, 1925 at a salary of $1,500. The Reverend Mr. Heinz was installed by the Reverend Dr. Kletsche of Fremont, Nebraska and the Reverend Dr. Neumarker preached the sermon. During the pastorate of Mr. Heinz, an individual communion service was purchased. The name of the Church was changed to omit the word “German,” resulting in “The Independent Evangelical Protestant Church of Columbus, Nebraska.” It was determined that all who were confirmed and reached the age of 21 should sign the Articles of the Constitution and pay annual dues. Through the years of Reverend Mr. Neumarker’s pastorate, he had acted as director of the choir, but Pastor Heinz felt that a layman should act in that capacity. Mr. A. C. Flatew was appointed to the post. The Constitution was printed in pamphlet form in both English and German and copies mailed to all members of the congregation. Mission Festival was held in Buffalo Square with dinner. New roofs for the church and parsonage were installed and the Ladies Aid turned over their mission money (possible proceeds from the Mission Festival dinner) in the amount of $251 to pay for those repairs. At this time the Reverend Dr. Neumarker explained to the congregation that they may belong to one church only and that transfer cards be used by the Pastor in case of leaving or joining another church. It was also decided that members not paying dues regularly would lose the right to pastoral services. Confirmands were to pay at least $5.00 while confirmands whose parents were not members were to pay $10.00, $5.00 of which was to go to the congregational fund. A new custodian, Mr. Gottlieb Kupp, Sr., was hired at a monthly wage of $25. (Mr. Kupp, with the help of his wife, served the church for many years.) It was also determined that “The Messenger” (the church paper) should be subscribed and paid for when paying dues. In 1927 it was resolved at an annual meeting of the congregation to enlarge the church building. A “building fund” was started with pledges totaling $16,895. Sketches and plans were submitted for a new or enlarged church. A committee was appointed to consult with an attorney regarding the Articles of Corporation and to make certain of clear title. In 1928 it was decided to conduct congregational meetings, and records the minutes, in English. It was during the early part of 1928 that the Reverend Mr. Heinz resigned as Pastor of the Congregation. He gave as his reason the conviction that he could not serve as Pastor of a congregation which had no synodical affiliation and that he could only serve as Pastor of a Lutheran Church. A committee was instructed to approach Mr. Heinz with regard to the possibility of his reconsidering the resignation. However, they were unsuccessful in their mission and the resignation was accepted. For 28 years, friendly relations had existed between the two factions, namely the “Evangelical” and “Lutheran” groups with a result that the Church had an ever increasing membership and served God in peace and unity. But upon the resignation of Pastor Heinz, the Lutheran group withdrew following the resignation of the church officers with the exception of the Treasurer. (This group which withdrew then founded what is now known as the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church–and later another group left this original group of “separatists” to establish the United Evangelical Lutheran Church.) As a result of this separation, a special congregational meeting was called and an election held to fill the vacancies on the Church Board. It was likewise determined that plans should be made for a continuation of services of worship. Supply Pastors were secured to serve during the summer months and other Pastors were invited to give “trial sermons.” A call was extended to the Reverend J. H. Steger of Plattsmouth, Nebraska to serve as Pastor, and in June, 1928, Pastor Steger came to Columbus to assume the pastorate of this congregation. The interior of the parsonage was remodeled to provide more sleeping quarters and other changes were made in the Church from a “pulpit centered” to an “altar centered” arrangement of the chancel. The total work for this remodeling cost $2,871.16, together with other outstanding bills for a total indebtedness of $3,000. A monument was purchased by the congregation for the grave of its esteemed Pastor and friend, the Reverend Dr. Neumarker. In 1929, the Ladies Aid decided to divide into four groups. The purpose of this division was for each group to raise as much money as possible to make needed improvements. Together they raised a total of $690.72 and purchased new carpeting and altar cloth and pulpit hangings. The Mission Festival was held in June and the noon meal cleared $90 for the Ladies Aid. $15.00 was given to an old people’s home and $10.00 to the Children’s Home Society. The Board of Religious Education was organized and appointed to implement the work of the Sunday School. In 1930 a committee was appointed to welcome visitors and members attending church services. On February 14, 1930 a meeting was called of all male members of the congregation to organize a Brotherhood. This was accomplished, but due to insufficient records, it is impossible to list early officers and work of this organization. The Ladies Aid asked the congregation that they together with all women of the Church be given a right to vote in congregational meetings. Granted. In 1931 a division was made in the Ladies Aid, the older group being called the German Aid with all business and programs conducted in the German language. The second group called the English Aid, which consisted of the younger women, and their work was carried out in the English language. It was decided by the congregation that the hitching posts should be removed from the west side of the church property, that the traveling expenses of the Pastor to conferences should be paid by the Church Treasurer, and that the benches in the basement be deemed the property of the Ladies Aid with the right to dispose of them as they wish. With the organization of the two women’s groups, the four groups organized in 1929 were dropped with the exception of the Dorcas Society. Its purpose was to bring in extra money for various church needs. It was originally called the “Quilter’s Club” as most of these ladies did much quilting and gave many days of their time to the work. Later, other articles were made and sold, as well as the hosting of teas, bake sales and lunches. Usually all the money was turned into the Aid–later a treasury of its own was started. The congregation officially agreed to help the Nebraska District of the Evangelical Synod of North America with its mission work. Young folks asked the right to vote at the age of 16. This was granted with the exception where money or real estate was involved. The “duplex” envelope system of contributions was started and Fred Steger was appointed as assistant treasurer to take care of the envelope offerings. A gift of two silver candlesticks and a gold-leaf covered cross was accepted by Reverend Steger from two disbanded congregations and presented to the congregation. In 1933 it was decided that the congregation should pay half of the phone bill in the parsonage. Membership in the congregation was reduced to 107 paying members, partially because of “depression years.” In 1934 it was determined that both back and front doors in the church and basement should be kept unlocked and that the doors should be painted black. In 1935 a gift of $200 was made by the Ladies Aid to the congregation by canceling notes which the congregation owed to the Ladies Aid. It was suggested that a mimeograph machine be purchased. Robes for the choir were discussed. In 1936 the language question was discussed again, but no decision was reached. It was determined that delinquent members should be notified to pay dues. A suggestion was made to start a building fund for repairs to the church property. In 1940 the Pentecost offering was placed in the Building Fund. The Ladies Aid planned t raise money for painting the interior of the church and putting art paper on the windows. The church steeple was repaired. German services were to be held each third Sunday of the month. In 1941 a safe was received as a gift from the Reverend Mr. Deglow of the Gruetli Church and the Church Council expressed the congregation’s gratification to him. Upon the decision of the congregation the Reverend Mr. Steger was asked to submit his resignation. After a number of “trial sermons” the Reverend Martin L. Seybold of Lester Prairie, Minnesota was called to serve as Pastor at a salary of $1,500. It was agreed that the amount of $37.50 should be paid for pension to Rev. Steger. Also that year the English Ladies Aid was renamed the Junior Ladies Aid and the German Aid was known as the Senior Aid. The Easter offering in 1942 was $409.18. The congregation determined that in addition to the third Sunday of each month, German services should also be conducted on the fifth Sunday of those months having such. Slow signs were to be placed in the streets each Sunday morning. In 1943 funds were raised to purchase art glass windows for the Church. These were dedicated on Reformation Day, October 31, 1943. A deed was received from the Roselawn Cemetery Association conveying title to 12 lots for people who have no other provision for burial. In 1944 the Easter offering was placed in a building fund. A petition was read concerning a request of members of the Evangelical Protestant Church that the congregation become a part of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The congregation purchased defense bonds as an investment of the building fund. Repairs were made to the chimney and water system. The Pastor was given a bonus of $350. The Easter offering in 1945 was $560. New song books, “The Elmhurst Hymnal,” were purchased for the Sunday School. Discussion of the possibility of the purchase of an adjoining piece of property (the Graf property to the south of the church) was discussed. In 1946 the possibility of remodeling the present church edifice was discussed. The “building committee” and “finance committee” became active. It was authorized that the parsonage be insulated at a cost of $2,420. The Pastor’s salary was increased to $2,000 and the Pastor was granted a bonus of $500. At the annual congregational meeting in January, 1947, the joining of this congregation with the Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church of America was consummated. On March 19, 1947, “The Junior Ladies Aid Society” was changed to “The Women’s Guild.” During the years 1946 and on, both women’s organizations, as well as the Sunday School, collected and shipped food and clothing packages for Church World Service. In 1947 the Reverend M. L. Seybold submitted his resignation. Various ministers were thereby invited to preach “trial sermons.” The Reverend Joseph H. Mayer was elected, called and accepted. He began his ministry in this congregation in June 1947. In 1948 the Building and Finance Committees were appointed to consider either remodeling or building a new church edifice. Fifty dollars was applied for visual aids and supplies. Plans and specifications for the building to be ready in 1949. A new “Altar Book” was purchased. The Christian Board of Education was appointed. A vote by ballot on the question of the Evangelical and Reformed Church uniting with the congregational Christian Church in the U.S.A. was held. This passed. A committee was appointed to rewrite the constitution. Mimeograph and addressograph machines were purchased. The furnace was repaired and new gas heater for the basement purchased. A special offering for “the pension fund” was received. An S.V.E. tri-purpose slide and film-strip projector was purchased. The Ladies Aid entertained the Women’s Guild also that year. Through the year the Aid lost eight members in death. An adult Sunday School class was discussed, to be for young confirmed folks. Deacons were instructed to audit the treasurer’s books. It was determined that self-denial folders be used at Lent and Easter time and that the proceeds be divided equally between the “building fund” and the apportionment. A Kingdom Roll Call was conducted. In 1949 the Reverend Mr. Mayer tendered his resignation. Following his departure, services were held regularly through the leadership of ministerial students from Midland College and the capable assistance of Mr. Clifford Quante, a layman of the Methodist Church of Columbus. The Reverend Reinhold M. Jensen of Falls City, Nebraska was requested to preach a “guest sermon” and was elected, whereupon a call was extended to him at a salary of $2,700 plus utilities. Rev. Jensen accepted the call. An organ fund was raised and the Baldwin electronic organ was selected and purchased. This organ was dedicated on November 8, 1949 with the Reverend Jensen present to conduct the service. On January 2, 1950, Pastor Jensen and his family arrived to make their home in our community and to take up the work of this pastorate. On January 15, 1950 the Ladies Aid, assisted by the Women’s Guild, had a reception in honor of the Reverend and Mrs. Jensen and family. Other ministers and wives of the community were invited. The Ladies Aid started a free-will offering to establish a fund for equipping the nursery in our new church. In April 1950 the Ladies Aid decided to start a Talent Fund – each member receiving a purple “talent bag” made by the Dorcas Society and containing $1.00, which was to be put to work and increased tenfold or more during the year. These talents netted $334.00 at the end of the year. In 1950 there was $19,924.54 in the “building fund.” The salary of the custodians, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Francis, was raised to $60 per month. Lenten self-denial offering was to be divided equally between the apportionment and the building fund. Twenty-two souls united with the Church at Easter-time through an Adult Church Membership Class on April 9, 1950. The Church Council decided that the annual reports of the congregation and all the organizations should be mimeographed and mailed to each communicant member prior to the annual meeting. It was decided that we should cooperate with other Protestant Churches of the community in making a religious survey of the city of Columbus. An annual Kingdom Roll Call was authorized by the Church Council. Maundy Thursday was designated as a time for Holy Communion instead of Good Friday. The Easter offering was $789.85. It was further decided that, in order to accommodate the worshippers on Sunday morning, two services be conducted each Sunday morning beginning with Palm Sunday, April 2, 1950–one at 9:00 a.m. and one at 11:00 a.m.–with Church School at 10:00 a.m. Occasional services would be conducted at Gruetli. 225 new hymnals (The Hymnal of the Evangelical and Reformed Church) were purchased through individual donations which were given in the memory of loved ones or in the member’s own name. These were dedicated on May 21, 1950. Many suggestions for furthering the work of our Church were made by the Pastor. A modern simplified Kardex system of church records (individual members) was put into operation. An “undershepherd committee” was instituted to win new members for Christ and to re-establish former members who had become inactive. The name of the Church was changed to “The Evangelical and Reformed Church.” A new Church edifice was authorized by the congregation. The first Vacation Bible School was held in July and August 1950 was a large enrollment. On August 21, details of the plans for a new church were given the unanimous approval of the congregation. The Building Committee was authorized to investigate the possibility of securing a building permit. The Finance Committee was authorized to conduct a financial campaign. By-laws of the constitution were amended to allow three nominations for office instead of two. Additional members were appointed to the Finance Committee. The salary of the custodian was raised from $60 to $75 per month. Another organist was employed, each to receive $1.50 per Sunday. The religious sound-motion picture “Second Chance” was shown at the City Auditorium. The Pastor was given authority to conduct recreation, including folk and musical games in the church parlors as he saw fit. A financial drive for the new church edifice was conducted from October 15 to November 26, 1950. This netted $54,042.48 in cash and pledges–$23,257.52 below the anticipated goal. At the end of the year, the records showed an increase of membership from 355 communicants and souls to 420 communicant members. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church were held on May 13, 1951. The cornerstone was laid on October 14, 1951. Sunday, June 15, 1952 brought our first service in the new church with dedication on August 17, 1952. It was in the year 1953 the Reverend Jensen inaugurated “The Upper Room Pageant” on Maundy Thursday. The Pageant was again present in 1954 and 1955, both at the church and over WOW TV, Omaha. One of the highlights of the Reverend Jensen’s tenure was the symbolical burning of the church mortgage on Christmas Day, 1955. At the annual meeting in January 1956 the name of our church was changed to “Saint Luke’s Evangelical & Reformed.” On Easter Sunday the Reverend Jensen conducted his last service in our church. Reverend Melvin Schroer gave a trial sermon on March 11, 1956 and we extended a call to him, which he accepted. He assumed his pastorate in June 1956. In June 1957, the merger of the Congregational Christian and Evangelical & Reformed Church took place and The United Church of Christ was added to our name. A new parsonage was built in 1958 and dedicated on January 10, 1959. We were honored to have the first son of our congregation, Donald Walter Schmidt, ordained on June 24, 1962. Pew communion was inaugurated in 1963. In 1964 property south of the Church was purchased for expansion purposes. Reverend Schroer tendered his resignation in June 1964. On November 15, 1964 Reverend Arthur R. Detwiller was invited for a guest sermon and was called on that day to be our new Pastor. On July 3, 1966 we were honored to have the second son of our congregation ordained: Wayne Edward Schupbach. In September 1966 our Women’s Fellowship was reorganized and six circles were formed. In December of that year the “Carillon Bells” were installed and used for the first time on December 11. On March 26, 1967 Pastor Detwiller delivered his last sermon. A call was extended to Reverend Russell Mertz on June 6, 1967 to be effective September 1. On September 28, 1969 Pastor Mertz resigned, effective January 1, 1970. The Reverend Roberta Crocker, Assistant Pastor at Federated Church, served as interim pastor for the following six months. A call was extended to Reverend John McGee to become Pastor and he and his family arrived in July 1970. In 1974 our first daughter of the congregation from Gruetli, Sherry Blaser, was ordained. In 1977 the new Fellowship Hall was built, which included a large kitchen, storage room, rest rooms, secretary’s office, Pastor’s study and a coat room. A ramp was also added. The basement was remodeled at this time to provide for additional Sunday School rooms. In 1979 Pastor McGee resigned and Douglas Coffey, student interim, served our Church until 1980 when Reverend Paul E. Otte was called. He served our Church until 1984. Reverend Howard Danner, Jr. served as Interim Pastor in 1984 and 1985. Reverend James Wright served as Pastor from 1985 to 1988. In 1985 per cushions were added. St. Luke’s Rainbow Preschool, located across the street east of the Church (the former parsonage) was started. Redecorating of the Reception Room was done in 1986. Dr. Paul Bock served as Pastor in 1988 and 1989. Reverend Bruce Carlson accepted a call during 1989 and served until 1995. Reverend Rick Lane served as Associate Pastor from 1991 to 1992.