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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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