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Anniversary Celebration

Ninety Years Of Grace

On October 3, 1999 St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lemmon, South Dakota celebrated its 90th anniversary. After the church dinner there was a short program on the history of the congregation. This was followed by a special worship service with Rev. Norman Greve from Eagle Lake, Minn. as speaker. Pastor Greve is the son of former St. Luke’s pastor Vernon Greve.

St. Luke’s came into existence about the time the railroad was opening up the country in 1909. The congregation began with a family on the way to Lemmon desiring to have their young son baptized. Pastor Scherf was unavailable in Roscoe, and when he heard of the need, he and Pastor Keller from Bowdle came to Lemmon to perform the baptism of Roy Freking. Seeing the need for the Lord’s work to be done in Lemmon, they sent for a vicar from Illinois. So the congregation was born.

The first services were conducted in homes. A church building was built in 1910. That building served until 1963 when the present church building was constructed. Until 1918 worship services were held completely in German. English was used sparingly until 1950, at which time services were exclusively in English.

On March 8, 1959 synodical fellowship with the Wisconsin Synod was severed for doctrinal reasons.

The Lord has blessed St. Luke’s with eighteen pastors. They include the following: Julius Lenz, William Pankow, Henry Hopp, Herman Kuether, William Haar, C. A. Hinz, Donald Rossin, R. E. Blume, E. C. Kuehl, Helmuth Rutz, W. A. Schumann, E. W. Rische, William Winter, R. E. Pope, V. E. Greve, A. F. W. Geiger, David Koenig, and Walter Schaller. The present pastor is Timothy Wheaton.

From 1974 until 1985, the congregation also enjoyed the blessing of a Christian Day School. Serving as teachers through those years were the following: Erma Maier, Debi (Gurgel) Ude, Sharon (Seibel) Kurtzahn, Ted Quade, Lola Lyndgaard, Karl Olmanson, and Pastor Koenig. A number of members assisted in the training of St. Luke’s children by filling the positions of band director, aide, and substitute.

God has truly blessed the members of St. Luke’s during the past ninety years. He has provided faithful leaders and faithful members. It is the congregation’s prayer that the Lord would continue to bless them in the years to come with faithful stewards of the Word.

–Submitted by Pastor Timothy Wheaton