Today’s story is not really connected to Perry County, Missouri, but it is one which tells an interesting story about an LCMS church and an LCMS President. And it’s about Christmas. I am going to let the story be told by other people today. I will do that by providing links to other sites on the internet that help share this story in several ways.
Rev. Heinrich Schwan was the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio in 1851. He attempted to introduce the Christmas tree into his church sanctuary and ended up with quite the controversy. Later, Rev. Schwan would become the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod from 1878-1899.
Wikipedia has a brief biography of Rev. Schwan found here:
In 2011, this article titled, America’s ‘First’ Christmas Tree, was published in the Lakewood Observer about Rev. Schwan’s Christmas tree. Lakewood is a suburb of Cleveland.
Here is an article written by a former director of Concordia Historical Institute, Rev. Martin Noland. I understand that he also was a great supporter of our museum during his term as director. This link also contains a video that was produced in 1956 about Rev. Schwan’s tree. If you have 25 minutes to watch it, I think you would find it fascinating.
Here is another article that contains some additional information:
This story has apparently had a huge impact on our museum. We have over 50 Christmas trees in our annual Christmas display this year. They can be viewed on a daily basis between now and January 15, 2017.