History of Our Church
The Church of the Reformation – Lutheran was organized by five
families who held their final meeting on April 25, 1954, at the
home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Koenig, Jr. The organizational group
consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Downs, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Koenig,
Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Priebe, Miss Myrtle Smith and Mr. and
Mrs. Harold Uthoff. The congregation, consisting of 44 adults
and 5 children, was officially organized on April 29, 1954, at
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Reiser under the guidance of
the Rev. E. J. Saleska, Professor, Concordia Seminary, St.
Worship services were first held at the Concordia Seminary
Chapel from May 9, 1954, through October, 1954. The Rev. H. Paul
Boehne was installed on June 27, 1954, as the Church’s first
called pastor. From October, 1954 to October, 1956, services were
held at the Affton Junior High School. The church was originally
affiliated with the English District of the Lutheran Church –
Missouri Synod and was received into membership at the district
convention in June, 1954. The church remained in the English
District until 1979, when it transferred to the Missouri
District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
On July 19, 1954, the original church site was purchased, and
the preliminary construction plans were approved in February,
1955. The congregation received its official charter of
incorporation, dated December 12, 1955, from the State of
Missouri. On January 1, 1956, the ground-breaking service was
held. Two additional lots were purchased in March, 1956. The
cornerstone was laid April 8, 1956, and the new church was
dedicated on April 28, 1957. The membership at the time
consisted of 86 families, numbering 163 adults and 93 children.
On October 6, 1957, the first worship service was held in the
new church. The first church library was opened in 1959. At the
Christmas Eve service in 1960, the sanctuary lamp, given by
Harold and Lois Uthoff, was dedicated in memory of their
daughter Susan Carol. The new stairway to the organ loft was
installed in February, 1962. In July, 1962, newly installed air
conditioning equipment was used for the first time. The Rev. E.J.
Knoernscheld was installed on February 10, 1963, as the church’s
first assistant to the pastor.
On the 10th anniversary, April 29, 1964, the
membership had grown to 189 families, consisting of 375 adults
and 181 children. The Rev. Dr. H. Paul Boehne retired on
December 31, 1972. He was succeeded by the Rev. Gustav E.
Sittman, who was installed on May 20, 1973. On November 11, 1975,
the Rev. E.J. Knoernschild requested and was granted a peaceful
release from his duties in order to serve another local
congregation. The mortgage burning service took place in
October, 1976. The total original indebtedness amounted to
$360,675.00. A new Martin Ott ten-rank pipe organ was installed
Rev. Gustav E. Sittman resigned on September 6, 1983 after ten
years of service. Rev. Timothy C.J. Quill was installed on March
17, 1985, as our third pastor. The preacher was Dr. John Johnson,
Professor at Concordia Seminary (later President of Concordia
Seminary) with officiants Rev. Roger W. Leenerts, North American
Missions, and the Rev. Dr. Paul H. Spitz, President of Missouri
Rev. David C. Pelsue was installed as our fourth pastor on
March 19, 1995, at a special service at 3:00 pm. He was installed
by Rev. James W. Kalthoff, President of the Missouri District.
The preacher was Rev. Peter M. Kurowski; liturgist was Rev.
James D. Kirk; lectors were Rev. Jeffrey Gibbs and Richard M. Anderegg, who was the current vicar.
In 1997 and 1998 several building and property improvement
projects were undertaken, and a special fund raising effort began
called the PrImp (Property Improvement) Fund. Improvements were
made to the church, office area, Sunday school rooms, nursery
and overflow area. Outside, they included new siding,
gutters, painting of the perimeter of the building, new roofing
over the entire office wing, and landscaping on upper parking lot
and in front of the office. Inside, refurbishing included new
pews; new woodwork on balcony; solar film on the nave windows;
new flooring in the nave and carpet in chancel; commercial
carpeting in office wing and narthex; remounting of the
baptismal font to make it moveable; shortening of the chancel;
replacing and making the communion rail removable; changing to
oil burning candles; new altar and pulpit; eliminating the
lectern to simplify the chancel; back lighting the chancel
cross; 2 new soundproof room dividers; video system with closed
circuit television coverage of services available in nursery,
overflow and parish hall; and changing the access door to the
nursery. Jill Pelsue also repaired and replaced several broken
stained glass windows on the south side of the nave.
The Refurbishing Committee consisted of Frank and Helen Matta,
Chairpersons; Agnes Fogg; Frank Bowles; Rev. David and Jill
Pelsue; Beverly Heermann and Mark Graudin.
1999 – New acolyte gowns were purchased, and the old ones were donated to a vestment exchange.
May 2, 1999 – A special service was celebrated in honor of the church’s 45th
anniversary. Committee members: Bev Giamanco, Chairperson; Judy Ferrario;
Dan Reimler; Bob and Wanda Miller; and Ben and Laverne Downs.
August, 1999 – Robert Wentzel became the tenth vicar.
March 5, 2000 – At this Special Voter’s Assembly Meeting, it was decided that an
assessment of all aspects of congregational life, taken in a survey, was
to be planned, coordinated and interpreted by an in-house assessment
committee. The committee then reported the results from the survey at
the July Voters Assembly Meeting.
The Men’s Club purchased a new sound system for the fellowship hall,
installed by Robert Miller. Upper and lower parking lots were repaved.
March, 2000 – Volunteers from Reformation participated in Lutheran Hour Ministry’s
Living for Tomorrow Outreach Campaign. The volunteers followed up on 55 inquirers in our community.
March, 2000 – Sheri Passanisi was hired as the office secretary.
June, 2000 – Church Ministry anniversaries were recognized for Reformation’s Music
Director Rev. Henry V. Gerike (30 years) and Bell Choir Director Ms. Lois Schoech (50 years).
January, 2001 – The confirmation class made Origami Epiphany Stars from yellow
translucent paper to hang in the church windows during the Epiphany
season. “Kids in the Pew” was begun as an insert in the
Sunday worship bulletin to inform young members on the different parts
of the liturgy.
May, 2001 – Pastor Pelsue’s 20th anniversary in the ministry was recognized.
August, 2001 – Jonathan Meraz became the eleventh vicar.
March, 2002 – Reformation youth member John Eischer landscaped around the large
dogwood tree outside the nave and Sunday school wing as part of an Eagle Scout project.
April, 2002 – Sunday School Staff anniversaries were recognized. George Johnson was
recognized for 37 years and Joyce Schubert Johnson for 20 years of service as teachers.
August, 2002 – Marty Tyler became the twelfth vicar.
September, 2002 – A catechetical review insert was added to the Sunday worship bulletins
to help catechumen and all members of the congregation retain the six
chief parts of the catechism. Service events were incorporated into the
July 6, 2003 – Reformation member, Rev. Dr. Ronald Feuerhahn, was recognized for 40
years in the ministry.
July, 2003 – During the week of Vacation Bible School, the air conditioning unit
for the fellowship hall had to be replaced. Harster Heating and Air
conditioning was hired and they were able to replace the unit in one day.
August, 2003 – Robert Kitson became the thirteenth vicar.
November, 2003 – The 50th anniversary committee was organized and began
planning for the 50th anniversary celebration for April 25, 2004.