November 25, 2011

Earliest Birth & Death Records

    These are the oldest birth & death records in our archives, following the organization of our church on September 5, 1863 during the pastorate of Rev. George Rettig: 

Namen (Name)/Geboren (Born)/Getauft (Baptized)
Allis Marie Purtscher ~ July 14, 1862 ~ September 9, 1863
Jacob Lohrer ~ August 21, 1863 ~ September 15, 1863
Maria Katherine Herold ~ August 20, 1863 ~ September 19, 1863
George Washington Ringel ~ September 6, 1855 ~ September 27, 1863
Maria Elizabeth Gebhart ~ August 24, 1863 ~ September 27, 1863
John Wm. Edward Rettig ~ August 12, 1863 ~ September 24, 1863
Anna Marie Trempert ~ June 20, 1863 ~ November 8, 1863
Louisa Zimmerman ~ November 6, 1863 ~ December 10, 1863

     The infant Rettig listed above was the son of Rev. Rettig and his wife Catherine. On another page of the register appears a list of those persons baptized before formal organization of the church, including: Matilda Maria Hoffman, Johannes Miller, and Maria Emma Rothe.
     The first funeral services on record were for John Baeker who died on September 11, 1863 at the age of 47 years, and Anna Marie Baeker who passed away on September 18, 1863 at the age of 39 years. There is also an entry for Dorotha Kremmer who died on August 28, 1863 at the age of 69, just a short time before the official formation of our church.     

November 13, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

     One of the many traditions at our Church has been the "Harvest Home" celebration, decorating the Sanctuary during the month of November until the Thanksgiving holiday, as a show of appreciation for    God's many Blessings. Placed upon the altar, displays represent the seasonal harvest and nowadays include miscellaneous items reminiscent of simpler times such as quilts, antique tools and home furnishings.    

- 1910 -
- 2011 -
      Our praise for this occasion can best be summed up in the words of the following hymn:   

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home:
All is safely gathered in, 
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied:
Come to God's own temple, come, 
Raise the song of harvest home. 
                                                                                                   Words: Henry Alford, 1844
                                                                                                   Music: George J. Elvey, 1858


November 12, 2011

Historian's Dedication

     The history of our Church has been largely preserved by our first Historian, Lee G. Van Blargan. After serving on the 100th Anniversary booklet committee in 1963, he was officially appointed to this position which he served for just over 25 years until his death in 1989. (See obituary at left, click to enlarge)
     In addition to his professional credentials, Mr. Van Blargan held a keen interest in History as a hobby. 
     In a lengthy feature article in The Lima News ( November 8, 1987) titled 'Common man' makes uncommon mark on Lima, Lee tells his motivation for the Church Historian mission:
     "I found some of the archives in the church were gathering dust in the belfry. I thought it was time to look after them or they would get lost." 

     Among the many scattered papers, he found the original Church Constitution. And with great diligence continued to collect documents, artifacts, and wrote articles about our past compiled in a booklet "Down Memory Lane." His research provides one of the main sources of information for this Blog.    
     Lee was a kindly Faithful man, with humility and a sense of humor, as we read further in the aforementioned article:

     On a clear day, Van Blargan can look out his office window and see the Lima skyline... "When I lean out my window, I can see my church out there," he added with a laugh, "so I have to be good."

     There is no doubt Lee lived a life of good works. And his legacy will long be remembered in our community and Church archives.