HOLY CROSS LUTHERAN CHURCH GREETS THE YEAR 1962
by W. T. Block
The year 1962 opened on an optimistic note as had the year 1961. The growth of Holy Cross Lutheran Church had not been phenomenal perhaps, but it had been continuous and steady, for which the congregation was grateful. The C. Proft family was released from membership. On January 7, 1962, little Cathy Lynette Morvant was baptized. Thirty-four attended the New Year's Day service, and the LWML officers were installed on January 9. During the week of January 14, the "Stamps For Missions" project was continued, a bi-monthly voters' meeting was held, and the flower calendar and annual report were completed. The Couple's Club, although not formally organized yet, were invited to attend the Trinity Couple's Club pancake supper. A member, Mrs. J. L. Horne, was living in Gabon, Africa, while her husband was an oil driller there.1
Early in February, the regular pastor-teacher meeting was conducted in Wharton. A parsonage paint party was scheduled for February 11. The LWML chili supper was scheduled for February 22, and the Walther Leaguers held their Valentine party on February 18. The stewardship committee and all area pastors met at Holy Cross Church on February 24 to discuss the "Carry The Cross" banks campaign, with Mr. Jones and Rev. G. Overhaus of Austin. The Concordia Seminary chorus gave a sacred concert at Trinity Church on March 4. St. Paul's Men's Club met at Trinity on February 27th to hear Rev. G. Wiederanders, head of Lutherans Laymen's League.2
March 7 was Ash Wednsday. Plans to beautify church grounds were discussed and costs were assessed to be $115. On March 18, a special voter's meeting convened to consider Pastor Schmidt's call to Immanuel Church in San Antonio. Mr. Graydon Cowgill died and was buried during the week. During the week of March 19-25, a work crew labored to beautify the church grounds, and Pastor Schmidt returned the call to Immanuel in San Antonio.3
The Lenten season continued through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, April 19-22nd. There was an area-wide Easter Sunrise Service, the sermon entitled "A Troubled Question-A Wonderful Answer." The Texas District Pastor-Teacher Conference convened, and also a spring church cleaning as scheduled. The Sabine Area Sunday School Teachers convened on April 30 at Trinity Church. Voters met on May 1, and the LWML held its zone rally on May 3 at Good Shepherd. The Holy Cross organ had been dedicated a year earlier, but the organ indebtedness still totaled $2,100. Mr. and Mrs. Henegar donated a new bulletin board for the Sunday School wing. The Walther Leaguers visited Galveston during the week. Slides from Israel where shown in the church on May 11 by Mrs. Teufel. The LWML Texas convention was scheduled June 13-14 in San Antonio. At its first official meeting, the Couple's Club enjoyed a covered dish supper on May 20, and volunteer teachers were sought for Vacation Bible School. On May 27, the new Walther League officers installed included Jerry Cowgill, president; Elmer Kieschnick, vice president, Ronald Gribnau, secretary; and Ruth Gribnau, treasurer. And Stuart Ben Kieschnick was baptized at Baptist Hospital on May 29th.4
On June 9, Patrick Harlen Roebuck was baptized at Park Place Hospital. On June 10, Pentecost Sunday--senior confirmands, Carol Gregory and Robert Simmons, were confirmed. Also Holy Cross had its congregational annual picnic on the grounds with volley ball and other games. The first VBS staff meeting was held on June 11, and Ladies Aid met on June 12, at which time "Carry The Cross" banks for the Church Extension Fund were distributed. On June 11, the funeral for infant Patrick Harlen Roebuck was conducted. On June 17, Julie Ann Smith was baptized, and public testimoney of the Stuart Kieschnick baptism was given. Vacation Bible School was conducted June 18-29, with an enrollment of 63. On June 24, Mrs. J. Tingle and children were received into membership by transfer. The Couples Club had its formal organization on June 24th.5
On July 3, the voters' group met, and $104.80 were received from the "Carry The Cross" banks. The guest speaker for July 8 was Rev. G. Fehl from Iowa. Pastor Schmidt was on vacation to Michigan between July 16-30, with Rev. L. Roehrs of Port Arthur as vacation pastor. Ruth Gribnau, Lynn Hughes, and Jackie Martin attended a Walther League school in Lagrange. The Walther League also had its Galveston beach party on July 15. The Couples Club held a pot luck supper, and the Sunday School Teachers met on July 18.6
August, 1962, was a quite busy month with regard to new members. Mr. and Mrs. G. Davis, Miss Sherry Davis, and Mr. and Mrs. C. Wiedenfeld and sons Paul and Kenneth were received by transfer on August 5. On August 12, Mr. and Mrs. E. McLaurin and son were received into membership by transfer. And on August 26, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Turner and sons Jim and Kent were received into membership. On August 16, there was a Walther League swim party, and Couples Club had an outing at Village Creek on August 19. On August 26, the Ladies Aid gave a congegational ice cream social, and on August 31st, Rosemarie Bollmann was wed to Frank H. Herring.7
On September 2, Mrs. P. Roebuck and son Michael were received into membership. Junior and senior confirmation classes began with 11 students in attendance. Plans to celebrate the fifth church anniversary were underway, and also the Mission Festival. On September 16th, the 5th church anniversary celebration was observed at 3 PM with Pastor V. Buvinghausen of Port Arthur as guest speaker. Sandwiches and drinks were served, and colored crosses were handed out for members to wear. As of that month, Holy Cross membership had grown to 119 communicants, 186 baptized souls, and 67 enrolled in Sunday School. On September 23, the Walther Leaguers enjoyed a supper and social at the church, and a new series of adult lectures began. September 30 was Sunday School rally day.8
The Couples Club enjoyed a social on October 7. On October 14, there was a used clothing drive for the benefit of St. Mark's Church in Port Arthur. On October 21, there was a Lutheran Hour Rally, with Dr. Oliver Hoffman at the Houston Coliseum, also a chicken barbeque at the church, and a Walther Leaguers' hobo party at Good Shepherd Church. There was a mission festival on October 28, with Rev. G. Otte as guest speaker, and $264 in mission offerings were raised. Also on October 28, the church council met at 7 PM, with Rev. Rast, director of Texas District Missions, as guest speaker. Also on October 28, Mr. and Mrs. K. Williams and children were received into membership.9
On November 4, Mr. and Mrs. L. Struckmeyer and children, Don and Darlene, were received into membership. On November 5, the Sabine Area Sunday School Teachers fall meeting and banquet was at St. John's Lutheran in Beaumont. The Stewardship Committee began preparing the 1963 budget, and the voters met on November 19 to consider the new budget. November 11th was Loyalty Sunday, with each member asked to visit someone. The voting members decided to go "self-supporting" in 1963. The Thanksgiving Day service was held on November 22nd.10
On December 2, Joel Ray Horne was baptized, and Pastor Schmidt received a call from St. John's Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which he returned the following week. A general cleaning at the church was scheduled for December 8. The LWML held its Christmas party on December 11, followed by the Couples Club party on December 16. The Leaguers' Christmas party was on December 22. A Christmas candlelight service was held on December 19. Christmas Eve and Day services were conducted, and the parsonage open house was on December 28th. On December 30, Mrs. C. Taylor and Miss Sonja Blanchard were received as new members, and guest speaker was Dr. J. W. Benken, former president of the Missouri Synod. Also Mrs. D. Clark and children were released to Trinity Lutheran in Port Arthur, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith were released to St. John's in Beaumont. The New Year's Eve service with communion was scheduled for 7 PM.11
The year 1962 ended on a joyous note. On December 31, the church rolls numbered 122 communicants and 190 baptized members. Six members had been added by confirmation and 16 mor by transfer. Six members were lost by transfer elsewhere. Five children had been baptized; one marriage was performed, and there had been two funerals.
During the year, Sunday church attendance varied between 80 and 106 persons. offerings for the year totaled $14,464, with a weekly average of $278, not including special gifts and offerings. The Ladies Aid ended a banner year with 30 members and had participated in Stamps For Missions, a used clothing drive and other benevolences.12 The Walther League participated in Carry The Cross banks, Wheat Ridge seals, Christ-centered Christmas cards, had donated toward purchase of a mimeograph machine, and had held several social events. Organized only seven months earlier, the Couples Club also conducted a number of outings and socials for members. Indeed, 1962 was another banner year for Holy Cross Lutheran Church.13
1HCLC Bulletins, Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28, 1962.
2HCLC Bulletins, Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, 1962.
3HCLC Bulletins, Mar. 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 1962.
4HCLC Bulletins, Apr. 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 20, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20, 27; also 1962 Annual Report
5HCLC Bulletins, June 3, 10, 17, 24; also 1962 Annual Report.
6HCLC Bulletins, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 19; also 1962 Annual Report.
7HCLC Bulletins, Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26, 1962; 1962 Annual Report; Midcounty Review, Aug. 16, 1962, p. 4.
8HCLC Bulletins, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; also 1962 Annual Report.
9HCLC Bulletins, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, 1962; also 1962 Annual Report.
10HCLC Bulletins, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25, 1962; 1962 Annual Report.
11HCLC Bulletins, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 1962; 1962 Annual Report.
12The 1962 HCLC Annual Report; Midcounty Review, Feb, 3, 22; Mar. 8, 22; Apr. 5, 19; May 17; June 7, 21; July 19; Sept. 20; Oct. 18; Nov. 22; and Dec. 20, 1962.
13The HCLC 1962 Annual Report.