Church of the Reformation - Lutheran  LCMS
Affton, Missouri


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. Louis, Missouri.

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 in 1978.

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 District.

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 catechism program.

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.

Church of the Reformation - Lutheran, 7910 Mackenzie Road, Affton, Missouri 63123
Phone: (314) 352-1355