Lutheran Church Of The Living Christ

picture of the Lutheran Church of the Living Chrsit Church
Lutheran Church Of The Living Christ

(Information shared by Linda Stehman, congregation president; edited by Donald Schulteis)

25th Anniversary Booklet+: On 18 August 1966 the American Missions board of the Lutheran Church in America sent Reverend A. Armond Simone to Germantown to survey the community for the prospect of establishing a mission congregation. By 4 October 1966 Reverend Simone had contacted sufficient interested persons to hold an official organizational meeting at the Germantown Fire Station. This was followed 12 days later on 16 October by an Interest Meeting held in the Germantown Fire Hall. Twenty-one families came to hear Dr. Raymond Wargelin, regional secretary of the Board of American Missions. At this time the church had its first official baptism for Paul Geisthardt. With the consent of the Germantown School Board, worship services, Sunday School classes and after service coffee were held in the gym and hallways of County Line School. Each Sunday the altar, chairs, tables and coffee pot were set up and taken down. The first service was held on 30 October with 99 adults and children present and there started a tradition of after service coffee. The first Sunday school session was held on 13 November with 8 teacher and 32 children in attendance.

Continued evangelism and door to door survey of the community led to Charter Sunday on 19 March 1967 when 73 adults and 77 children signed their pledge to become members of the church. The charter is now hanging [1992] on the wall east of the front entrance. On 4 June 1967 signers of the charter were formally received as members and the first elected council was installed.

First Elected Council

Rev. A. Armond SimonePresident
Gerald BogartVice-President
Gerald GeisthardtTreasurer
William FuerstSecretary
Roger NeumannFinancial Secretary
Charles JohnsonMember
Rudolph StapelfeldtProperty
Hilbert WagnerPublicity
James StegnerMember
Kenneth HahnMember

Reverend Simone identified in a letter to the congregation in 1992 that there had been three reasons for choosing the name "Lutheran Church of the Living Christ".

  • The name proclaims who we are, identifying the congregations commitment that Jesus Christ lives.
  • The name identifies that the Christian fellowship has a mission that is relevant today.
  • The name indicates this Fellowship of Believers envision themselves not committed to a building but long to be the servant church of Jesus Christ in the community.

At this time things began to occur in rapid order. On June 4, 1967 Organization Sunday was celebrated and after worship service a stewardship dinner was held at the Carrousel restaurant; June 21 the congregation constitution of the LCA was adopted and the first official council was installed; July 9 a special meeting of the congregation was called to approve the purchase of a five acre site on Pilgrim Road; and on November 19 the congregation's first pastor A. Armond Simone was installed by Dr. Theodore Matson.

In June of 1968 total congregation membership was at 84 members with 97 child members. Average attendance at services was 92.

The next logical progression was to have a structure, a physical church, for the members were already the living church. Building committee members were Pastor Simone, Bob Hutchison, Rosemarie Matheus, Gary Smith, and Jim Stegner together with architect William Wenzler shared ideas and dreams before the designing of the building began. Ground breaking was on 23 March 1969. On that windy day 60 were in attendance. The congregation had struggled against the Mission Board's plan to build the church on property adjacent to Catie Vistae on Highway 145 and thereby established themselves as a congregation with self goals, self direction, and self leadership. The summer of 1969 had not only the construction crew busy, but Rudy Stapelfeldt was also busy building the altar and cross for the new structure.

The structure was complete on 14 December 1969 when was dedicated to the worship of the Lord. Dr. Matson, President of the Synod officiated. Architect Wenzler remarked the "design of the building reflects the attitude of the congregation. The church as the body of Christ is not only relevant to life today, but is the very center of it. This center lies in the lives of its members supported by the institution and served by the building, a building that reflects the qualities of that life: humility and honesty. The building is a community of spaces in relationship to each other as life must be lived in brotherhood with all man; a simple structure that says life is real when it is lived openly as a search for God and His love."

One of the intents of the design was to allow seating so that worshipers were not spectators but participants. The plan called for "no veneer for worship, but a forthright, honest representation." In so doing the congregation believes they followed the psalmist directive, "except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."

The structure's intent was to give physical evidence of this community. It was built to be open, not closed to the community and to others. It's original purpose was to remind the congregation through its design and space of their relationship to God and His world.

The new church was used the following Sunday to confirm the congregation's first confirmation class: Ginny Bogart, Jim Geisthardt, Mark Hutchison, and Mark Simone.

Pastor Simone's last day was Christmas 1969. He was followed on 7 January 1970 by Pastor Tom Spencer who remained until 31 July 1975. Next came Pastor Michael J.A. Shaw on 1 November. The tenth anniversary of the signing of the charter was held on 20 March 1977. The worship service was held in the County Line school gym. A dinner of celebration was held at the church after worship. December 13, 1979 saw Pastor Shaw depart and on 15 Jul 1980 Reverend John Ellertson took office as pastor. On 31 May 1982 he resigned and on 15 September Reverend John Worth arrived. On 12 December 1984 the 15th anniversary of the church building was celebrated. As the building did not have a cornerstone, so a stone with the date 1969 was placed near the church entrance. Goals for 1994, complied by church members were placed in a box which was stored on the church rafters. The box was to be opened ten years later in December 1994.

The twentieth anniversary of the church was celebrated on 22 March 1987. Reaffirmation of the charter was part of the worship service. Seventy-three charter members remain active church members. On 22 March 1992 a celebration was held in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the church organization and signing of its charter.

The years 1992 to 1995 saw the congregation add onto the church creating a new worship space and additional classrooms. The additions were completed and celebrated in December of 1995.

In June of 2001 Paster Worth retired. In August of 2002 Pastor Spies conducted his first service. He moved to Germantown from Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Barbie and their four children Ryan, Anna, Kristen, and Michelle.

Mission goals in 2002 identify the congregation as child and youth centered, family oriented, outreached to community motivated. The congregation numbers 280.

Adult Charter Roll
(signed 19 March 1967)

Darwin Brandow Kenneth J. Hahn Nancy Mattson Patricial Treichel
Helen Brandow Carol Hennarichs Roger J. Neumann Gertrude Wagner
Helen Cincera Charlotte Hertig Salena Neumann Herbert J. Wagner
Jerome Cincera Norman J. Hertig Daniel W. Price Keith J. Wagner
Herbert Cup Helen Hutchison Edna Reimer Warren W. Wagner
Loretta Cup Robert Hutchison Frank J. Rimer Arnold Weise
Norma Doering Charles Johnson Howard Schmidt Lu Ann Weise
Paul W. Doering Janet Johnson Linda Schmidt Arthur W. Wilke
Gerald Bogart Arline J. Kanies Carol Siira Jeanette Williams
Kerry Kanies Kerry James Helen L. Simone Louis Williams
Ruth S. Bogart Lonnie Kanies Pastor A. Simone Diane J. Witzel
Patricia DuBrana Robert Kanies Kathleen Stapelfeldt James F. Witzel
Virginia G. Fuerst Harry J. Kautz Rudolph Stapelfeldt Doris J. Wolke
William H. Fuerst Judith A. Kauth James Stegner Joyce Yeager
Alice Geisthardt Harlow Kreitzman Marlene Stegner Phillip C. Yaeger
Gerald Geisthardt Mina Kreitzman Janice Sundeen Elaine Zotcavage
Judy Gilles Jerald Matheus Ronald E. Sundeen
Neil Gilles Rosmarie Matheus Blaine M. Swarthout
Bonna Mae Hahn Carl Mattson Jeffrey Treichel

Children Charter Roll
(signed 19 March 1967)

Lori Bogart Janet Hertig Rebecca Mattson Jay Treichel
Jeff Bogart Judy Hertig Terry Mattson Jill Treichel
Patricia Bogart Zandra Hertig Jim Mews Cindy Williams
Robin Bogart Dan Hutchison Caryn Neumann Donna Williams
Virginia Bogart Jay Hutchison Mark Neumann Gary Williams
James Cup Mark Hutchison Nicholas Price Ronnie Williams
John Cup Marcia Johnson Fred Rimer Craig Witzel
Kathleen Cup Mark Johnson Linda Reimer Mark Witzel
David Doering Dale Kanies Becky Siira Michele Witzel
James Doering Jack Kaines Mary Siira David Wolke
William Fuerst Steven James KautzMark Simone Jean Wolke
David Gelsthardt Suzanna Kautz Tim Simone David Yeager
James Geisthardt Kevin Kreitzman Laurie Stapelfeldt Debra Yeager
Mark Geisthardt Lori Kreitzman Werner Stapelfeldt Mark Yeager
Paul Geisthardt Andrew Troy MatheusDaniel Stegner Jeffrey Zotcavage
Todd Gilles Chris Matheus Steven Stegner Karen Zotcavage
Tracy Gilles Leslie Anne MatheusCindy Sundeen Renee Zotcavage
Jospeh Hahn Paul Edward MatheusRhonda Sundeen
Murrian M. Hahn Carla Mattson James Patrick Swarthout
Tari Hennarichs Paula Mattson Kelly Lynn Swarthout