There must have been a great sense of joy around the Altenburg community in October of 1967. The air was still full of the glory of the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series in the 7th game of the Series on October 12th. The Cardinals had traveled to Fenway Park in Boston to play the final two games of the Series against the Boston Red Sox. The 7th game featured two pitchers who had already won two games in the Series…..Jim Lonborg and Bob Gibson. Bob Gibson outdueled Lonborg that day, even contributing with a home run of his own during the game. Yes, the loyal local Cardinal fans were still in a celebratory mood.
Then came Sunday, October 29th. It was Reformation Sunday. It was also a day to celebrate two other special occasions……the 450th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517……..and the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the 1867 church building in Altenburg. To commemorate that event, Trinity must have decided to have a few photos taken. Here is one of them.
Here are some of my observations about this photograph.
- This was taken before the recent refurbishing and repainting of the interior of Trinity. There are two replacement paintings for the sacraments on each side of the pulpit, and the new ones depict the church’s own Communion chalice and its own baptismal font now.
- The baptismal font was then located on the left side as you view it facing the altar. Now it is kept on the right.
- One of the proofs that this was a Reformation service is the fact that the first hymn is listed as #262. In the 1941 hymnal which was used at that time, that was “A Mighty Fortress”. And back then, the only version of that hymn in that hymnal was the syncopated version.
- The other hymns listed are as follows:
- #639 – “For Many Years, O God of Grace”
- #463 – “For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest”
- #283 – “God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage”
- There are a lot of suits being worn by the men, and a lot of hats worn by the women.
- The pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in 1967 was Rev. A.F. Kuring. I do not know what he looked like, but if I had my guess, the pastor in the pulpit in this photo looks like Rev. Walter Loeber. I could be wrong about that though. Maybe someone could set me straight. It would make sense to have a descendant of Trinity’s first pastor, Rev. Gotthold Loeber preaching that day though.
Here is another photo taken on that day taken from the pulpit.
Here are some more observations I have about this view.
- The choir used to sing from the balcony. Now it sings in the front of the church. Those are also choir robes that are no longer used.
- Back in those days, children who had not been confirmed yet would often sit on the left side (as seen from the pulpit) of the balcony. After you were confirmed, you moved over to the balcony on the right. There is some evidence of this in this photo, but there was such a big crowd that you also see many adults sitting in the balcony.
- I wonder when was the last time we had such a big crowd that folding chairs had to be set up in the center aisle.
I have a request today. As a member of Trinity, I would like to think that our congregation might utilize this photo next year when we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1867 church building. I ask that you help us identify as many people in this photo as possible. This blog post will be shared on Facebook. If you are on Facebook, you could identify people by commenting there. You could also send any input to us by e-mailing us a email@example.com. You could also leave your comments here on this blog post. I also ask that Facebook users share this post there. And many of these people in the photograph are now quite elderly and probably do not use the internet. Please show this photo to them and get their input.
I do have one closing question. Why is Kathy Schlimpert wearing sunglasses in this photo? Was she trying to go incognito? Just wondering.