Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Abita Evangelical Lutheran Church

Here's a look at the early history of the Abita Springs Evangelical Lutheran Church.

In Abita Springs after the turn of the 20th century, an unobtrusive Christian group of sturdy German descent, assembled on a bright October Sunday on the second floor of an old building known as Conrad's Hall for what was the first Lutheran religious service in the Ozone Belt.    

Click on the images to make them larger.

Afterwards Rev. A. H. Kaub was called as pastor, and preached his first sermon on January 16. Three months later on Palm Sunday, The Trinity Evangelical Luthern Congregation was organized with six voting members . 

The officers elected were Capt. H. Michaelis, President; Christian T. Schmaltz, Vice‑President; with John P. Rausch, as Secretary-Treasurer. The other charter members were Jacob Schadt, Fred Nagel, Charles Rausch and Henry Strubbe. 

The present trim little place of worship in Abita was dedicated in 1906. Rev. Kaub remained as pastor until 1908. He was succeeded by Rev. Paul E Wagner (1909-10) Rev. Martin Kuegle (1910-13) Rev. Christ Kuegle (1913-1915) and Rev. Oscar W. Luecke (1915-22), during whose pastorate the parsonage was erected. 



 He was succeeded by Rev. H.A. Bielenberg (1923-25) and last by Rev. A.H. Klampt, who continues to serve as pastor of both the Abita and Covington since that time. The Church of the Ascension, a small but attractive modern structure, was dedicated on Sunday.

According to the church's website, the first Lutheran service was held in Abita on October 23,  1904, and was conducted by Rev. Arthur H. Kaub who became Trinity’s first pastor.  

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was established on April 16, 1905, which was the date of the first official service. 

The founders purchased the current lot in 1906, the same year the present church building was completed. In 1917 the building on the north side of Trinity was originally built as the parsonage. The building was later named “The Brown-Leveson Hall” and today is used by the congregation for Sunday School and Fellowship.

In 1955 Trinity celebrated its Golden Anniversary, with Rev. Dittman was the guest speaker. Then, in 1980, Trinity celebrated its 75th Anniversary and twenty-five years later, in 2005, Trinity celebrated its Centennial Anniversary. 
The current parsonage, located on Pine Street, was constructed in the 1980s. 

 In 1919, lightning struck the church building. Seven year old Dorothy Schwartz held a penny party that raised $7.45 for purchasing the lightning rods that protect the church to this day. 

The church building as it looks today.

For a more detailed history of the church, visit the following website:
Here's a list of pastors who have served the congregation:
1904-1908           Rev. Arthur H. Kaub

1909-1910           Rev. Paul E. Wagner

1910-1913           Rev. Martin Kuegle

1913-1915           Rev. Christ Kuegle

1915-1922           Rev. Oscar W. Luecke

1923-1925           Rev. H. Bielenberg

1922 and 1925   Rev. R. E. Scaer, Supply Pastor

1926-1958           Rev. A. H. Klamt

1958-1960           Rev. F. Runge

1961-1965           Rev. D. Krabbe

1966                     Rev. D. Karloski

1966-1968           Rev. R. Klein

1968-70               Rev. P. Ronning

1971-1973           Rev. D. Weiser

1973-1974           Rev. P. Koeninger

1974-1975           Rev. John P. Meyer, vacancy pastor

1975-1985           Rev. James E. Werner

1982-1983           Rev. Dennis R. Bratz

1984-1992           Rev. Herbert C. Kuske

1992-1999           Rev. David Sternhagen

1999-2004           Rev. Edward Frey

2004-2007           Rev. Joseph M. Dietrich

2008-2014           Rev. Dustin A. Bergene

2014-Present      Rev. Patrick Freese