Morenci Lutherans celebrate 60th 05.19.10

Written by David Green.

Members of Morenci’s Trinity Lutheran Church observed the 60th anniversay of the church Sunday, with former Pastor James Bartz serving as guest speaker.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” –2 Timothy 3:16.

Pastor R.W. Scheele of Grace English Lutheran Church in Tecumseh preached on those words during the first Lutheran service in Morenci on April 28, 1946.

Pastor Scheele had canvassed Morenci during the summer of the last year of World War II.

Attendance at the first service was 40. Together with Pastor C.H. Schmelzer and his son, Edwin, who was then still a seminary student, Pastor Scheele continued to conduct exploratory services both in Morenci and Hudson, until Sept. 22 when they suspended “until further notice.”

Pastor A.H. Baer of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church later resumed the exploratory services, but only for the Morenci area. From that first service, worship was held in the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Stephenson Street until Trinity dedicated its own chapel 20 years later.

From 1947 through the summer of 1948, Pastor Theodore Thurow, a recent seminary graduate, served the joint Morenci-Hudson area as the first resident pastor. When he left for service elsewhere, Pastor Baer served as the vacancy pastor until Rev. Adolph Walter Hueschen was installed.

Rev. Hueschen served the church for 15 years, presiding over 35 weddings, 22 funerals, 121 baptisms and 75 confirmations.

Pastor Larry Pautz followed Rev. Hueschen’s retirement and presided over the cornerstone-laying service for the present church building.

The construction of the education/fellowship wing came during Pastor Mark Lenz’s tenure (July 1969 to July 1972). He was followed by Edward Fredrich (July 1973 to July 1978), Lynn Hukee (July 1978 to Jan. 1981), James Langebartels (June 1981 to April 1990), Arnold Kunde (Aug. 1990 to Jan. 1999), James Bartz (May 1999 to April 2004), James Heffner (Aug. 2004 to Sept. 2007) and Ralph Stuebs (Jan. 2009 to present).

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
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    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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