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40th Anniversary Celebration–

Gethsemane Ev. Lutheran Church

Saginaw, Michigan

Gethsemane Ev. Lutheran Church was organized on November 5, 1959 by members who had left the WELS, under the leadership of Pastor Otto J. Eckert, because of the false teaching concerning termination of church fellowship. There were 27 communicants. For three years services were held in rented facilities. In 1962 a worship home was dedicated to the glory of God, and in 1967 a three-bedroom parsonage was built and dedicated.

In April 1974 Pastor Eckert was delivered from this vale of tears to his heavenly home. Karl Brandle filled the vacancy for five months until Pastor David Schierenbeck was installed in August.

In 1978 a new church was built and the old church was renovated into a parsonage. On June 10, 1979 the new church building was dedicated to God’s glory.

In December 1981 the congregation resolved to begin a Christian Day School. Gethsemane School opened its doors in the fall of 1982 with Mr. Ross Roehl as its principal and only teacher. Enrollment was 14 students.

In June 1983 Pastor Schierenbeck accepted a call to Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Pastor Mark Bernthal was called and installed in August. A teacherage was built and dedicated on November 11, 1984, the 25th anniversary celebration of the congregation.

In 1991 a new three-classroom/bathrooms/principal’s office/storage room addition was built.

In 1994 Mr. Roehl accepted the call to be principal/upper grade teacher of Luther Memorial Lutheran School in Fond du Lac, Wis. Mr. Dan Barthels was called and installed in August as our new principal/upper grade teacher.

In February 1995 Assistant Pastor Karl Brandle was called to his heavenly home. Mr. Kurt Koenig was called as lower grade school teacher in the fall of 1995. In 1997 he accepted the call to be lower grade school teacher in Fond du Lac. Mrs. Debi Leinberger is our present lower grade school teacher and Mrs. Pam Reames is our kindergarten teacher. Other teachers of our school over the years have been Mrs. Lynette Roehl, Mrs. Elsie Godsey, Mrs. Ardith Zimmerman, and Mrs. Sherry Wielinski.

During the past 16 years the congregation has supported Pastor Bernthal in outreach preaching stations at Tawas, Reed City, Cadillac, and Flint, Mich. as well as in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio.

Today Gethsemane congregation numbers 255 souls and 200 communicants. There are 24 students in its Christian Day School.

“We thank and praise our Savior God for all the undeserved blessings which He has showered upon us as a congregation and as individuals over these past forty years. We look forward to His undeserved blessings for the future as we continue to serve the Lord and spread His Word of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.”

–Pastor Mark Bernthal reporting