By Sandi Latimer
Give some 100 people a square of material and ask them to decorate it with something that will pay tribute to the past 125 years. Results of their work will be showcased in a memory quilt for the St. Paul Lutheran Church on Pasadena Avenue anniversary dinner Oct. 30.
Squares can exhibit a family name, a cross, scripture designation or flowers. Boy Scout Troop 426, which meets at the church, made a square featuring the Boy Scouts of America emblem. Another lists the six founding members while one, made by 93-year-old Wilma Koncar, resembles a family tree, working its way from one of the founders, her great uncle, Henry Weber.
In the center, taking up the space of four squares is the celebration’s theme – 125 years anchored in Christ.
The dinner is the high point of the year-long observance that started in January. Displays periodically in the church focused on old-fashioned items, antiques and photos of weddings in the church over the years.
In 1891, six families made up a congregation and worshipped in a red brick school house on Fisher Road, a road named for two of the six founding fathers, John and Andrew Fisher. Other founders included Henry Weber, Matthew Schatz, Christie Phillippi, for whom Phillippi Road was named, and Herman Haueisen.
Church records show that this small congregation built a white frame church on the corner of Fisher and Rome-Hilliard road. Services were held there from 1893 until 1922 when the church was sold for $200.
A larger facility was built on the present site, 55 Pasadena Ave., in 1922 at a cost of $26,776. Steps led up to the front door. A basement was added in 1950 and an upper level in 1956. The building underwent a complete remodeling, renovation, and a reconstruction between 1966 and 1968.
The year 1995 brought about the addition that included a kitchen, multi-purpose room, an elevator and classroom and office space, at a cost of $1 million.
While some church ladies are working to finish this special quilt, others, like Koncar are working on quilts to be donated to the Lutheran World Relief. Meeting two days a week, they’ve made 169 quilts and have 11 more to go. The 169 are boxed and ready for shipping. This exceeds last year’s output of 163.
After this year’s local church celebration, the church will join with other Lutheran churches worldwide to observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Pastor Bill McKee is in negotiations with two other churches to determine how the three can collaborate with one another during this church celebration.