Growing Up in the Midst of Change

Christoph Heinrich Loeber was born on October 11, 1828 in Germany.  During those really formative years before becoming a teenager, the times around his birthday were times of great transition.

Christoph Heinrich Loeber
Christoph Heinrich Loeber

In 1838, when Christoph was turning ten years old, his family was about to go through the most drastic change to occur in his lifetime.  That October, his family, which consisted of a father, mother, sister, and brother, were packed up and ready to make a journey halfway around the world to a new home in the United States.  In fact, his father, Rev. Gotthold Loeber, was one of the pastors in a leadership role in guiding about 700 German Lutherans on this pilgrimage.  It must have been both an exciting and frightening experience for this young boy.  That journey involved a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on a  sailing ship which took several months.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

One year later, after the family had successfully arrived in America, Christoph’s family was now living in Perry County, Missouri.  By the time of his birthday in October of 1839, a home was being completed for him and his family.  In fact, that parsonage was going to be used a place of worship for his father’s congregation for several years before his congregation would build their first church sanctuary.

Probably the most significant thing which was taking place when Christoph turned eleven years old was the building of what was going to be his next school.  A log cabin was being constructed by some friends of his family, Johann Friedrich Buenger, Ottomar Fuerbringer, and Theodore Brohm.  These three would not only be the builders of that cabin, but they would also become teachers in that school.  This Log Cabin College would be the place where Christoph would receive the training he would need for his future occupation.  He would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pastor.

Log Cabin College trivet

In the fall of 1840, as was the case the previous two years, Christoph’s twelfth birthday would bring more change into his life.  Two of his teachers had recently made decisions to move away from Perry County.  Johann Friedrich Buenger moved to St. Louis to become a teacher there.  Ottomar Fuerbringer moved to Elkhorn Prairie, Illinois to become the pastor of a new congregation there.  That left only Theodore Brohm.  In order to continue operating the school effectively, Christoph’s father took over some of the teaching duties.  Now, not only did was his father in charge of Christoph’s confirmation instruction, but he also became one of his everyday teachers.

These were turbulent times in those early days of settlement in Perry County.  Thankfully, Christoph was surrounded by very outstanding men with great leadership qualities.  Christoph would himself go on to be a very renowned leader in the early years of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


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