HOLY CROSS LUTHERAN CHURCH IN 1964
by W. T. Block
As usual, the year 1964 began on a joyous note and with membership optimism that the Lord God would once more bless Holy Cross Lutheran Church with an exciting and prosperous new year. On the first Sunday, the following new officers and committee members took office, as follows: T. E. Smith, president; Wm. Martin, vice prsident; F. Kieschnick, secretary; D. Bryant, treasurer; H. Miertschin, financial secretary; K. Dubois, W. Fehl, H. Kieschnick, W. Weigmann, elders; E. Boehm, G. Davis, H. Schaefer, C. Terrell, trustees; L. Biar, B. Cogswell, E. McLaurin, B. Morgan, board of missions; W. Gregory, J. Singleton, L. Struckmeyer, C. Wiedenfeld, board of stewards; and J. Ludwig (Sunday School superintendent), J. DeRuiter, R. Shouse, H. Smits, K. Williams, board of education.1
Rev. E. Heckmann of Orange was the guest minister for both January 19 and 26th. On January 18, Walther Leaguers held a pizza party. A film, "A Letter to Nancy," was scheduled for showing on Feb. 7. The Couples Club met on Jan. 19. Service times were temporarily reversed for two weeks, with a 9 AM church service and 10:15 AM Sunday School. Preparation was underway for the Evangelism Festival on Feb. 2nd. The Sunday School teachers met on Jan. 29th.2
The Evangelism Festival was celebrated on Feb 2nd with Rev. E. Heckmann as guest speaker. The LWML Prayer Day was on Feb. 11th; the regular pastoral conference was held in Houston on Feb. 2nd; and the film, "A Letter To Nancy," was shown as scheduled on Feb. 7th. On Feb. 9, Mr. and Mrs. L. Graeter and children, Deborah and Theodore, were received by transfer. Sunday School teachers met on Feb. 13, and the Ladies' Aid on Feb. 11th. Lent began with the Ash Wednesday service on Feb. 12. Rev. G. Press spoke at the Sunday School teachers district meet on Feb. 20th. The Couples Club met on Feb. 16, and the new floral calendar was placed on the bulletin board. On Feb. 23, Mr. and Mrs. L. Goodson and children and Mr. and Mrs. F. McGoldrick and children were received into membership.3
The bi-monthly voters meeting met on March 3, and the Couples Club on March 15. Walther Leaguers held a bowling party on March 14. Only $59 remained as final payment on the new organ, which would be paid off in less than three years. A special spring cleaning of the church was held both on Saturday, March 14 and 21st. The used clothing drive ended on March 22. There were special Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (70 present, $51 offering) services on March 26-27th. The Holy Cross Easter egg hunt was held on March 28, and a community Sunrise Easter Service, in fellowship with St. Paul's in Groves and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Port Arthur, was held at the Don Drive-in Theatre. Pastor John Schmid and W. H. B. Fehl attended the Texas District Convention in Austin between March 30-April 2. As of March 31, the Holy Cross Sunday School teachers included Mr. C. Wiedenfeld for junior high; Louis Biar for pre-teen; Mrs. K. Dubois for juniors; Lynn Hughes for primary; Mrs. F. McGoldrick for kindergarten; and Mrs. D. Bryant, Mrs. Alphin in the nursery.4
Pastor Schmid and his family visited his parents in Gretna, Louisiana during the first week of April. A final payment of $15.81 was made on the organ. The Ladies Aid met on April 14; the Couples Club on April 19th; and the Walther League zone rally was held in Galena Park on April 19. An adult instruction class was begun, and a "Building Fund" for new Sunday School rooms was started. The LWML zone rally was held at Trinity Lutheran in Port Arthur on April 23d, with Pastor Rohe as speaker. The Sabine Area Sunday School teachers met at St. Marks in Port Arthur on April 30. T. Malone, Lutheran missionary to Nigeria, spoke at Trinity in Port Arthur on April 26, and a special Holy Cross offering of $50 was collected to buy a new bicycle for Missionary Malone to use.5
A bi-monthly voters meeting assembled on May 3, and the Ascension Day service was conducted on May 7. The oral examination for senior confirmands was held on May 9. Vacation Bible School for June 8-19 was announced, and the church annual picnic was held May 24th at 12:30 PM. A Christian Growth workshop, "Segregation and The Christian," was conducted by Pastors G. Press and E. Heckmann. A pastoral conference convened at Holy Cross on May 11th. The Couples Club met on May 17th, and VBS staff met on May 19th to make plans. The new Walther League officers elected included Ron Gribnau, president; Daniel Nelson, vice president; Lunn Hughes, secretary; and Beth Hughes, treasurer. Seven Walther League members graduated from high school in May, 1964. May 24th was the last day for the church organist, since she, her husband, Capt. M. E. Henegar, and family moved to Mississippi.6
On June 5th, Ruth Anne Gribnau and Walter Perryman were married at Holy Cross Church. On June 6, the Couples Club met jointly with the Trinity couples for a picnic and games. The new Walther League officers took office on June 7. Vacation Bible School began on June 8 for ages 3 through 14. The Jerry Cowgill-Anita Palmer wedding took place in Beaumont on June 19. The Ladies Aid met on June 9, and the Couples Club had a swim party at Circle G on June 20. The VBS closing service was on June 19th, and the VBS staff included Mesdames Wiedenfeld, Bryant, Harbour, Singleton, McGoldrick, Biar, Dubois, Ludwig, E. Kieschnick, Struckmeyer, Schmid, Schaefer, DeRuiter, and Mr. Nelson. On June 27, the Walther Leaguers went on a hay ride at Tyrrell Park, and the men's BBQ picnic was held on Cow Bayou on June 27. On June 28, Keith Dubois received his letter of admission to Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois.7
On July 5, James Ranka of St. Paul's served as guest organist, and the bi-monthly voters meeting was on July 7. Mrs. H. Schroeder was guest organist on July 12 and 19th. On July 14, Mrs. G. Davis reported on the Texas District Ladies Aid meeting in Odessa. The Walther Leaguers held a car wash on July 18, and the Couples Club gave an ice cream social with outdoor games on July 19. During Pastor Schmid's vacation, church hours were altered to 8:30 and 9:30 AM, with Pastor Isenberg of Beaumont as guest minister on July 19 and 26th. On July 26, Charles Smith served as guest organist, follow by Mrs. H. Schroeder on Aug. 2nd.8
On Aug. 2, the Ladies Aid hosted a church ice cream social. Gina Raylene Thompson was received through baptism on Aug. 9. Miss Cox served as guest organist on Aug. 9 and 16th. On Aug. 9, the Walther Leaguers had a swim party at Circle G. Also on Aug. 9, the Couples Club had a "winner-loser" BBQ party. A congregational farewell was held for the Keith Dubois family, who were moving to Illinois, where Keith had enrolled at Concordia Seminary in Springfield. On Aug. 23, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Daily and Mr. Walter Perryman was received into membership through confirmation.9
The fall confirmation classes began on Sept. 1, and on Sept. 6, Sandra Lynn Daily was baptized. Minnie (Mrs. R.) Shouse died at John Sealy Hospital, and her funeral was conducted on Sept. 1. On Sept. 13, Mr. and Mrs. Hans Schulz and children and Mr. and Mrs. C. Lovelace were received through transfer. On Sept. 15, the LWML zone workshop was held at Holy Cross. On Sept. 20, Mrs. Bergstedt of Redeemer Lutheran served as guest organist, and the Couples Club met to play volley ball. Registration began for the Lutheran Bible Institute at Trinity in Port Arthur. Sept. 27 was Sunday School Rally Day, and Larry Dale Singleton was received through baptism. On Sept. 30, the Lutheran Bible Institute began, with 65 registrants, 11 of whom were from Holy Cross Lutheran Church.10
A church picnic on Oct. 4, scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM, with games at 2 PM, was temporarily cancelled due to impending Hurricane Hilda, but since no rains hindered, the picnic continued as planned. Miss Viola Arvidson died, and her funeral was held on Oct. 8. Ladies were solicited for the Walther League zone rally on Oct. 11, when 325 leaguers were expected to attend at the Galena Park rally, where Rev. L. Symmank was the rally guest speaker. On Oct. 18, Mr. and Mrs. Jan Rienstra were received through confirmation. The Couples Club held their costume hobo party on Oct. 18. There were two Mission Festival services on Oct. 25, with Rev. R. Kahle as the morning service guest speaker, and Rev. E. Heckmann at the evening service. Also, Oct. 25th witnessed the 25th anniversary of the installation of Rev. W. E. Meyer at St. John's in Beluamont, and the first mixed choir rehearsal for the Nov. 8 Union Reformation Service in Port Arthur.11
On Nov. 1, Mr. and Mrs. T. Cole were received into membership via transfer. An offering of $574 was received at the Mission Festival. Walther Leaguers traveled to Orange to see the film, "Martin Luther." The Union Reformation Service assembled at 4 PM on Nov. 8 at Trinity Lutheran, with Rev. J. W. Behnken, honorary president of the Missouri Synod, as guest speaker. On Nov. 15, the Couples Club had a "foreign dish" supper, and Nov. 22 was the deadline for receiving food for the Thanksgiving baskets. A total of 658 persons attended the Union Reformation Service. Our Thanksgiving service was conducted at 9 AM on Nov. 26, with 83 persons attending. On Nov. 30, area Sunday School teachers held their banquet at Wayside Inn in Bridge City, with Rev. R. H. Lawrenz as speaker. On Nov. 29, Mr. and Mrs. A. Shipley and children were received by transfer.12
A voters meeting convened on Dec. 7 to consider Holy Cross' work program for 1965, and Dec. 6 was the fifth anniversary of the dedication of Holy Cross' new church building. Ladies Aid held their Christmas party on Dec. 8, and the Walther League Christmas party was on Dec. 18. The new Ladies Aid cook book was selling for $1.50. On Dec. 13, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Burton and children, Carl and Rachel, were received into membership by transfer, and on Dec. 20, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nielssen were received by confirmation. On Dec. 14, Mr. and Mrs. G. Davis, G. E. Davis, Roy Davis, Miss Sherry Davis, and Larry Harwell were transferred to other Lutheran churches. Pastor and Mrs. Schmid entertained at a parsonage "open house" on Dec. 30. On Dec. 27, the Nielssen children, Cynthia Ann, Billy Ray, and Robert Leland, were received through baptism.13
On Dec. 13th, the following new Holy Cross congregational officers were installed: J. Ludwig, president; B. Cogswell, vice president; C. Wiedenfeld, secretary; F. Kieschnick, treasurer; E. McLaurin, financial secretary; W. Fehl, L. Goodson, H. Kieschnick, H. Miertschin, H. Schaefer, elders; E. Boehm, J. DeRuiter, W. Martin, C. Terrell, trustees; L. Biar, D. Bryant, B. Morgan, T. E. Smith, board of missions; W. Gregory, F. McGoldrick, J. Singleton, K. Williams, board of stewards; L. Struckmeyer (Sunday School superintendent), G. Davis, R. Shouse, H. Smits, and E. Wiegmann, board of education.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church had indeed enjoyed another banner year. There were 254 baptized members, 151 communicant members, and 11 senior and adult confirmands. Eighteen were received into the church by transfer, and 9 were lost to removal. Seven children and adults had been baptized, and there had been one marriage and two funerals. Average church attendance had been 125 on Sundays, with a high of 143 in September and 114 in January. Total offering were $19,768, with a weekly average of $380. Special offerings included $656 for missions; $274 for the organ fund; $952 for the building fund; and a $1,000 special offering. The Sunday School had 105 enrolled (an increase of 20 over 1963), with twelve teachers. The Ladies Aid had been very active, supporting a number of worthy causes. Their officers included Mrs. B. Cogswell, president; Mrs. C. Terrell, vice president; Mrs. J. Ludwig, secretary; Mrs. B. Morgan, treasurer; and Mrs. L. Biar, LWML secretary.14
1The 1964 HCLC Annual Report.
2HCLC Buls., Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26, 1964.
3HCLC Buls., Feb. 2, 9, 12, 16,19, 23, 26, 1964.
4HCLC Buls., March 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 27, 19, 1964.
5HCLC Buls., April 5, 12, 19, 26, 1964.
6HCLC Buls., May 3, 7, 10, 17,24, 31, 1964.
7HCLC Buls., June 7, 14, 19, 21, 28, 1964.
8HCLC Buls., July 5, 12, 19, 26, 1964.
9HCLC Buls., Aug. 2, 9,16, 23, 30, 1964.
10HCLC Buls., Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27, 1964.
11HCLC Buls., Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, 1964.
12HCLC Buls., Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1964.
13HCLC Buls., Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27, 1964.
14The 1964 HCLC Annual Report.