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).

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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