HOLY CROSS LUTHERAN CHURCH GREETED 1967
by W. T. Block
The year 1967 dawned quite early on our congregation since January 1 was also New Years Day. The first bi-monthly voters meeting of the new year was held on Jan. 3. A new floral calendar was posted on the bulletin board. On Jan. 8, the new Ladies Aid officers were installed, namely, Mrs. J. Ludwig, president; Mrs. G. Davis, vice president; Mrs. H. Starr, secretary; Mrs. J. DeRuiter, treasurer; and Mrs. D. Bryant, LWML secretary. The new Dorcas Society officers included Mrs. W. Martin, president; and Mrs. W. Perryman, secretary-treasurer. The kindergarten class resumed instruction on Jan. 3. The Ladies Aid met on Jan. 10, followed by the Dorcas Society on Jan. 19. The Couples Club met on Jan. 15 to enjoy a pot luck supper and indoor games. Also on Jan. 15, Mariaenne Williette Stohlein was received via the sacrament of baptism. On Jan. 22, the Walther Leaguers left for Houston to see a film entitled "The Bible." Jan. 29 was Lutheran Mission Week, with Pastor E. Runge of Lake Jackson as guest speaker, and the week of Jan. 29 through Feb. 1 was designated as Lutheran Mission Week. The Fisherman's Club also met on Jan. 29th.1
The Ladies Aid began collecting old sheets for Lutheran foreign hospitals. The church council (all boards and committees) met on Feb. 9. The Pastor-Teacher Conference met in Houston on Feb. 6-7. Ash Wednesday fell on Feb. 8. A total of 200 persons worshipped on Jan. 29, with totals of 84, 104, 106, and 100 persons attending the 4 evening mission services. A total of 199 attended worship on Feb. 12, when the "old" church's seating capacity was considered to be only 160. A new adult instruction class began on Feb. 12. The area LWML workshop was held at St. John's, Beaumont, on Feb. 16, and on Feb. 18, the senior confirmation class, namely, Deborah Bryant, Debra Goodson, Deborah Graeter, Becky Kubitz, Joy Lilljedahl, Jody Shipley, and Melissa Shockey, underwent an oral examination. During the week of Feb. 12, the building contractor erected the new church archs. On Feb. 19, Charissa Renee Cowgill was received through the sacrament of baptism. The Ladies Aid met on Feb. 14, and there was a pastoral conference at Grace, Orange, on Feb. 13. The Couples Club held their monthly pot luck social on Feb. 19, followed by the Dorcas Society and Fisherman's Club on Feb. 23. On Feb. 26, Brooke Angela Richards was received through the sacrament of baptism, and Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Jaetzold and children, Trent and Candace, were received by rite of transfer. During the month, the Ladies Aid rolled cancer bandages out of old sheets for Lutheran foreign hospitals and saved Big Bonus stamp books for a new church refrigerator.2
On March 5, a long list of needed church furniture - pews, lectern, pulpit, sound equipment, cry room, church and secretary's offices - and estimated costs of each were published. On that date, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Menzel of Port Arthur were received by rite of transfer. The Walther Leaguers went bowling on March 3, and the voters meeting met on March 7. Pre-registration for the '67-'68 kindergarten class was conducted March 11. The voters decided not to participate in an Easter sunrise service; however, there is an Easter sunrise bulletin on file, indicating that their vote was rescinded. On March 13, there was a pastoral conference at Redeemer in Beaumont. The Ladies Aid met on March 14, followed by the Dorcas Society on Feb. 16. Both the Fisherman's Club and the Couples Club met on March 19, the latter for a pot luck social. On March 19, Mr. and Mrs. Dewitt Nehrkorn and son Ted were received by rite of transfer. The Walther Leaguers sold tickets for a spaghetti supper on March 25, and the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship services were held on March 23-24. A total of 200 persons worshipped on Palm Sunday; 123 more at the Easter sunrise service, and 173 at the morning Easter worship service. The District Pastor-Teacher Conference was held in Waco on March 28-30, and during the week, no kindergarten classes were offered.3
The Holy Cross ladies began the study of the book of Philippians on each Thursday evening. On April 9, Esther McKay was received through the sacrament of baptism. The Walther Leaguers met on April 9 to nominate new officers and finalize plans for their banquet on April 14. There was a pastoral conference at St. John's in Beaumont on April 10. The Fisherman's Club and Couples Club met on April 16, the latter for a pot luck social and miniature golf. The Ladies Aid met on April 11, with each member to bring a can of food and Big Bonus stamps for the church refrigerator. The contractor announced that the new sanctuary would be completed by June 1. On April 16, Sharla Dianne Lovelace was received through the sacrament of baptism. The LWML zone rally was held at Redeemer, Beaumont, on April 20, with Mrs. Finke of Houston discussing work with the blind. The Dorcas Society met on April 27; the Walther Leaguers held their zone rally April 30 at St. Paul's, Port Arthur, and the Holy Cross ladies' study of Philippians continued each Thursday evening.4
Members were still making special gifts and memorials for the new church furniture listed on the bulletin board. The Sabine Area Sunday School teachers held their spring rally at St. Paul's, Port Arthur, on May 1, and May 4 was the Ascension Day service. The bi-monthly voters assembly met on May 2, and the chancel choir held its first rehearsal on May 8. The ladies' used clothing drive ended on May 14. The Ladies Aid met on May 9, followed by the Dorcas Society on May 18. May 14 was also confirmation day for the senior confirmands, namely, Deborah Bryant, Debra Goodson, Deborah Graeter, Rebecca Kubitz, Joy Lilljedahl, Jody Shipley, and Melissa Shockey. Also on May 14, Mr. and Mrs. Idis Goddard were received into membership by rite of transfer, and at 12:30 PM, the Holy Cross congregation had its annual May picnic, with plenty of food and outdoor games. On May 20, all teachers and helpers met for a Vacation Bible School workshop in preparation for the two weeks of VBS between June 5-16th. During the week of May 21, Holy Cross members Bobby Gillespie, Donald Gribnau, Beth Hughes, and Linda Schaefer graduated from Nederland High School. On May 26, a graduation service was held for the 25 members of the 1967 kindergarten class.5
On June 4, Hans Alfred and Arlene Glaze were received through the sacrement of baptism, and Mr. and Mrs. Graydon Cowgill, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Glaze by the rite of confirmation. The Fisherman's Club met on June 4, followed by the Dorcas Society on June 22. The Couples Club held its pot luck social on June 18. On June 11, 204 persons worshipped in church and 150 in Bible Class and Sunday School. On June 16, the Vacation Bible School held its closing service, with 160 children enrolled and average attendance of 116. The VBS staff of teachers included Mesdames Goodson, Kieschnick, DeRuiter, Bryant, Nehrkorn, Biar, Morgan, Wiedenfeld, Griswold, Ludwig, Willis, Struckmeyer, Roebuck, and Shipley, and the Misses M. Shockey, B. Nelson, B. Kubitz, D. Graeter, D. Goodson, D. Bryant, S. Nelson, and J. Shipley. The bi-monthly voters meeting was held on June 27, with a report and recommendations from the building committee.6
On July 2, Holy Cross welcomed into membership Mr. and Mrs. Carl Schubert and children, Nanci, Patti, and Don, by rite of transfer. The Ladies Aid met on July 11, followed by the Fisherman's Club on July 9. The Couples Club met on July 16 to eat hamburgers and ice cream and to play miniature golf. On July 3, Pastor Schmid and family left Nederland for 4 weeks, since the pastor had a scholarship to attend Concordia in St. Louis. Church and Sunday School hours were reversed to permit Pastor Meyer of St. John's to serve as vacation pastor for 3 Sundays. The Dorcas Society met on July 20. As of June 30, the Holy Cross members had contributed $555 as an Ebenezer Thankoffering.7
Church time was once more altered to 8:30 AM on Aug. 6 to permit Pastor Brammer of Good Shepherd, Port Arthur, to be the guest speaker; regular hours resumed on Aug. 13. An outdoors work day for the Holy Cross men was scheduled for Aug. 12. On Aug. 13, Lynne Hughes and James L. Hollomon were wed at Holy Cross. There was a pastoral conference at St. Paul's, Port Arthur, on Aug. 14. The Ladies Aid met on Aug. 8. Members were by now fully engaged in preparation for the dedication of the new church sanctuary on August 20, and offerings were accepted to defray cost of the barbeque dinner that would be served on that date. On Aug. 13, Susan Lynnette Daily was received through the sacrament of baptism. On Aug. 15, Ladies Aid members met to make Chrismon ornaments for the Christms tree.
In conjunction with the dedication, a special bulletin of Aug. 20, 1967, reviewed "Ten Years of Blessings," that led up to the new sanctuary. Holy Cross' first service of Sept. 15, 1957, attracted 105 persons in a vacant building formerly known as "Cessac's Cafe," which now is a part of Nederland Pharmacy. Delores Denise Bryant was the first infant baptized on Dec. 3, 1957. The constitution was adopted on Dec. 11, 1957, with 56 charter members, and Ladies Aid was organized on Dec. 3, 1957.
Our present location of 2 1/2 acres on Helena Stret was purchased in May, 1958, for $12,000, and our first sanctuary was dedicated on Dec. 6, 1959, with 79 communicants and 119 souls. The Schlicher pipe organ was dedicated on June 24, 1962 and the Couples Club organized on June 24, 1962. On Nov. 19, 1962, the Holy Cross congregation declared itself to be self-supporting. The new educational building was dedicated on April 23, 1965. Ground-breaking for the present sanctuary was held on July 31, 1966, followed by the cornerstone-laying on Dec. 18. On Sunday, Aug. 20, 1967, 260 persons worshipped at the last service in the "old" church (designed to seat only 160), and at 4 PM, 821 persons, the numerical "cornerstone of Missouri Lutheranism in the Golden Triangle," attended the dedication of the new Holy Cross Lutheran Church, with Rev. V. Buvinghausen as guest speaker. (The writer attended both services and recalls crowds packed like sardines, almost hanging from the rafters.) The culmination of dedication week was the "Service of Praise" on Wednesday evening, Aug 23. On Aug. 27, Walter Bradley Perryman was received through the sacrament of baptism. On Aug. 25 the fall kindergarten orientation was held, followed by the junior and senior confirmation classes and parents' orientation on Aug. 31st.8
The bi-montly voters meeting met on Sept. 5. A retreat for the Holy Cross men was conducted at Dam B on Sept. 9-10. A new Lutheran Bible Institute began at Holy Cross Church on Sept. 12, scheduled to continue through Oct. 17. At the first communion service in the new sanctuary, members preferring the common cup were instructed to take seats in pews on the left side. The Ladies Aid met on Sept. 14; the Couples Club enjoyed a pot luck meal on Sept 17; and the Dorcas Society met on Sept. 21. On Sept. 17, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Kasper and children, Larry, Kurt, and Kyle; Mr. and Mrs. T. Wayne Nau and children, Lauren and Corynne; Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Pittman and children, Mark, Lisa, and Loretta; and Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Proft and children, Pamela, Eddy, and Stephanie, were received as members by rite of transfer. The new junior confirmation class included Becky Block, Diana Bryant, Deborah Gunter, Monica Gunter, Tysie Hughes, Dale Lilljedahl, Randy Lovelace, Valdis Smits, and Kert Turner. The senior class enrolled Darlene Bryant, Jack Ewing, David Hoelzer, Roger Holmes, Dennis Martin, Vicki, McCorkle, Patti Schubert, and Carl Shockey. On Sunday School rally day, Sept. 24, a total of 247 persons worshipped during the morning service.9
On Oct. 1, a special offering for hurricane and flood victims in South Texas was received. Pastor Schmid's father, a retired Lutheran minister of Gretna, La., died during the week. The Ladies Aid had a "weight party" on Oct. 2. Sunday, Oct. 8 was "pulpit exchange day," with Pastor Schmid speaking at St. Paul's, Port Arthur, and Pastor Blakelock of Grace, Orange, as guest speaker at Holy Cross. On Oct. 8, Walther Leaguers held their zone rally at St. John's, Beaumont. The Kappa Delta Sorority of Lamar University were guest worshippers at Holy Cross on Oct. 8. The Ladies Aid made Chrismon ornaments on Oct. 9 and held their montly meeting on Oct. 12. The Couples Club enjoyed a pot luck social on Oct. 15. The area Confrontation Dinner of Circuit 18 met at Trinity, Port Arthur, on Oct. 16, with Pastor Ray Schade as guest speaker, and Oct. 17 was the last meeting of Lutheran Bible Institute at Holy Cross. The LWML zone rally assembled at Trinity, Port Arthur, on Oct. 9. A total of 254 persons worshipped in church on Oct. 8. On Oct. 15, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Anderson and sons, Mark, David, Craig; Mrs. W. Dickinson; Mr. and Mrs. John Ford and sons, Chad, Troy, Bret; Mr. Nathan Gehrts; Mrs. Jerry Glenn; and Mr. and Mrs. John Varley and Kerry were received by rite of transfer. The Ladies Aid scheduled a two-weeks used clothing drive for Lutheran World Relief. Oct. 22 was also Mission Festival, with Missionary T. Malone of Nigeria as guest speaker. The Dorcas Society met on Oct. 26, and on Oct. 29, Rhonda Sue Roebuck was received by sacrament of baptism.10
On Nov. 2, the LWML held its fall workshop at St. Paul's, Port Arthur, with Pastor Blakelock as guest speaker. The Sabine Area Sunday School teachers held their annual banquet at St. Mark's, Port Arthur, on Nov. 6. On Nov. 5, a new slate of 1968 Holy Cross church officers were nominated, and 244 persons worshipped on that date. The Dorcas Society hald a garage sale Nov. 8-9 to benefit the Lutheran Student Center at Lamar College. The Ladies Aid met on Nov. 14, followed by the Dorcas Society on Nov. 16; and the Couples Club held their Thanksgiving party on Nov. 19. Loyalty Sunday was Nov. 19, and on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving baskets were delivered to needy families. There was a special Thanksgiving service on Nov. 23. On Nov. 26, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Doering and daughters, Jonnye Dee and Ruth; Mr. and Mrs. William Schmidt and daughters, Sharlotte and Susan; and Mrs. J. P. Sturgis were received as members by rite of transfer.11
December 3 was the first Sunday of Advent. There was a special voters meeting on Dec. 5, and the chancel choir held its "hobo party" on Dec. 6. December 10 was celebrated as the second Sunday in Advent, also as the tenth anniversary of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. There was also a congregational pot luck supper at 5 PM and a Chrismons service at 7 PM. The Ladies Aid Christmas party was held on Dec. 12, followed by the kindergarten Christmas program on Dec. 15. On Dec. 17, the Couples Club held their Christmas party at Crown House Restaurant in Port Arthur, followed by the Dorcas Society and Walther League's Christmas parties on Dec. 21. Also on Dec. 17, Kert Ernst Stahl was received by sacrament of baptism, and the new 1968 church officers and board members were installed. The Christmas Eve children's Christmas program was on Dec. 24, followed by the Christmas Day service on Dec. 25. On Dec. 29, Lizzie Belle Cowgill and Harrison H. Hilliard were wed. The last service of 1967 met on New Year's Eve.12
The slate of 1968 Holy Cross officers installed were, namely, C. Wiedenfeld, president; J. Ludwig, W. Martin, K. Wagner, W. H. B. Fehl, C. Schubert, 1st through 5th vice presidens; C. Messler, secretary; C. Jaetzold, treasurer; G. Menzel, financial secretary; Ludwig, F. Kieschnick, E. Anderson, D. Nehrkorn, A. Shipley, L. Struckmeyer, board of elders; Martin, D. Bryant, B. Cogswell, E. Kieschnick, K. Lilljedahl, board of trustees; Wagner, B. Gillespie, R. Kretschmar, B. Morgan, J. Rienstra, K. Williams, board of stewards; and Schubert, L. Biar (Sunday School Supt.), T. E. Smith, C. Terrell, W. Wiedenfeld, W. Weigmann, board of education.
At the end of 1967, Holy Cross Lutheran Church had 148 enrolled in Sunday School and 44 in Bible Class. Mrs. William Schmidt served still at teacher of the kindergarten class, which had 24 enrolled. The sanctuary choir with 16 members was organized in May, 1967, along with the chancel choir, which had 22 young people enrolled in it.
The Ladies Aid had once more participated in a variety of projects, including altar, communion ware, and flower chart service; mite boxes, selling cookbooks, rallies and workshops, two used clothing drives, stamps for missions, five Thanksgiving baskets for needy families, monthly visits to Simon Rest Home, various other activities, as well as preparing cancer bandages for foreign hospitals and Chrismons for the Christmas tree. The Dorcas Society had shared in some of those activities, gave prayer books to baptized infants, mailed "get well" cards to the sick, held their garage sale, and mailed cookies and candy to area servicemen in the armed forces. And the Fisherman's Club and Couples Club had enjoyed a number of activities and church socials. The Walther Leaguers had 15 members enrolled at the end of 1967, with Billy Block, president; Nick Ewing, vice president; Bonnie Nelson, secretary; and Harry Smits, treasurer.
Of course, the highlight of our church year had been the dedication of the new sanctuary on Aug. 20. Offerings for the year totaled $32,677, with a weekly average of $616. However, there had also been a variety of special offerings, including $1,884 for missions; $992 for the education building fund; $2,085 for memorials; $486 for church extension; $1,323 for the Ebenezer offering; $88 for other funds; and $75,000 for the new church building fund. (The O. W. Burton family contributed $150,000 spread over three years for the new church.) Church attendance averaged between 205 and 229 for the last six months of the church year. Most of the swelling new membership had been received via transfer, but there had also been a number of baptisms and senior and adult confirmands as well. With the church's completion and dedication in 1967, the Holy Cross Lutheran members had indeed enjoyed a prosperous year that they could scarcely forget.13
1HCLC Buls., Jan. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1967.
2HCLC Buls., Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, 1967.
3HCLC Buls., March 5, 12, 19, 26, 1967.
4HCLC Buls., April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 1967.
5HCLC Buls., May 7, 14, 21, 26, 28, 1967.
6HCLC Buls., June 4, 11, 18, 25, 1967.
7HCLC Buls., July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 1967.
8HCLC Buls., Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27, 1967, and a special bulletin, "Ten Years of Blessings."
9HCLC Buls. Sept. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1967.
10HCLC Buls., Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1967; 1967 HCLC Annual Report.
11HCLC Buls., Nov. 5, 12, 19, 26, 1967; the 1967 HCLCV Annual Report.
12HCLC Buls., Dec. 3, 10, 17, 17, 24, 1967; the 1967 HCLC Annual Report
13The 1967 Holy Cross Lutheran Church Annual Report.