Pastor Schaefer – Tennessee’s Spirit-maker’s Son

Not long after the beginning of the twentieth century, a future pastor was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Missouri.  Heinrich Herman Schaefer was born on June 12, 1902.  His parents were Heinrich Carl and Josephine Tennessee (Telle) Schaefer who lived in the town of Old Appleton, just south of Uniontown.  Here are photos of the parents.

A post was published titled Tennessee Telle and Her Tale that told the story of this child’s mother.  The 1910 census shows Heinrich Carl working as a manufacturer at a distillery in Old Appleton.  He died in 1916, and in the 1920 census, we find young Henry living with his mother and grandmother in Old Appleton.

Henry would attend St. Paul’s College in Concordia, Missouri from 1916-1922.  St. Paul’s was a Lutheran boarding school that was especially designed to train workers for the church.  After attending St. Paul’s, Henry went on to study at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  Here is a photo of Henry.

Henry Herman Schaefer
Henry Schaefer

It was during his time there that the Seminary was moved to its new campus in Clayton in 1926.  A black-and-white silent movie was made when the Seminary was dedicated.  It can be found at this site.  I have to believe that Henry was one of the 75,000 people who attended this event.  I have viewed this video several times over the years and am still amazed at the crowd that showed up for this occasion.  Good luck finding Henry in the crowd.

Henry was in the first class that graduated at this new campus.  It was also during his time as a student in St. Louis that Henry met his future wife, Marcella Koenemann.

Marcella Schaefer
Marcella Koeneman

They became engaged in 1927 when Henry graduated from Concordia Seminary, but it would not be until 1929 before they were married.  In the meantime, the new pastor received his first call to become pastor at a Lutheran Church in Citronelle, Alabama.  That is a city near Mobile, Alabama.  It was there that he was ordained in a member’s home where the ordination was done by Rev. William Wedig.  Pastor Wedig was highlighted in the post, Wedig Wedding.  He also had Perry County connections.

In 1929, he returned to St. Louis to get married.  Here it gets a little confusing.  On the one hand there is a city directory that is supposed to be from 1929 from the city of Monroe, Louisiana that shows this new couple living there and Henry as a Lutheran pastor.  However, the 1930 census also shows them living in Citronelle, Alabama.

We do know that Henry was pastor in Monroe and the couple had several children in Louisiana.  Monroe is close to the home of the folks from Duck Dynasty.  Then in 1937, the Schaefers moved to Bourbon, Missouri where Henry became pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church.  Pastor Schaefer served this congregation until 1972 when he retired.  This is a photo of the church, school, and parsonage that was utilized by that congregation during several of the years that Rev. Schaefer was there.  In the 1950’s, they built a new church.

Concordia Bourbon MO

Concordia Lutheran Church says on their website that one of their present buildings is called Schaefer Hall.  I have every reason to believe that this building was named after their long-time pastor.  Henry died in 1976; Marcella died one year later in 1977.  They are buried together in Our Redeemer Cemetery in the St. Louis area.

Henry and Marcella Schaefer gravestone

Henry started out as the son of a man who made distilled spirits and ended up as a special servant of God who helped people recognize the gifts they had been given by the Holy Spirit.  He is included in a rather large group of people from Perry County who have gone on to serve their Lord by becoming full-time church workers.


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