Organization Page

St. Luke's UCC, Jeffersonville, Indiana

(1860—1920)

St. Luke's was founded in 1860 by the German Protestants of the city. Having celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2010, St. Luke's is looking towards the future. Having successfully engaged the congregation and its friends in the Foundations Capital Projects Campaign, enough money has been raised to remodel the basement, kitchen, and other spaces to meet the needs of the growing congregation.

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Pictures & Records (67)

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ChurchonMarket.JPEG.jpg
ChurchonMarket.JPEG.jpg
The St. Lucas congregation was formed in 1860. The following year, the council authorized the purchase of the old Presbyterian Church on Market Street, shown here, across from the old courthouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
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parsonage.1870.jpg.jpg
Housing was not provided for the pastor's during the first years of the church. In 1872, money was set aside to build a parsonage for the church, pictured here. Many of the early marriages of the church took place in this building. This parsonage served until 1915.
Schimpf.CharlesA.jpg.jpg
Schimpf.CharlesA.jpg.jpg
Charles A. Schimpff joined St. Lucas on September 18, 1874. He served as an officer of a church, and was for many years Sunday School teacher and superintendent. Born on March 18, 1847 in Scheyer O/Rhenish Bavaria, Germany. He was married to Alweine Rossler on October 3, 1872 by the then minister of St. Lucas, Pastor Christian Baum. Charles A. Schimpff passed away on February 11, 1916.
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Anne.Steidinger.Chr.cert.jpg
Anna Maria Steidinger Confirmation Certificate. Anna Maria Steidinger was confirmed at St. Lucas Church on March 21, 1880 by pastor C. F. Fleiner. Other certificates of the era were written in German. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 15, 1867.
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women.c1895.jpg.jpg
A woman's group around 1895. The picture was found in the church attic by Ed Watson in the 1990's. On the back the following people were identified. Mary Kuntz with the dog, Mayme Ettel Volmer (behind Mary Kuntz), Mrs. Catherine Groher (last row, last person on the right), Emma Ruehl (2nd row, 6th person), Rosie Capehart (2nd person 3rd row), Mrs. Zaun/Zahn (3rd person, last row), and Mrs. Geinger (5th person, last row).
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Lahr.jpg.jpg
Frank E. Lahr served as pastor of St. Lucas Reformed Church from April 1, 1911 to September 15, 1917.
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sanctuary.c1914.jpg.jpg
The sanctuary of St. Lucas Reformed Church circa 1914. on the left hand side is the chart showing funds being raised for a new building. The photo was taken sometime in the fall.
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CharlesSchimpf.card.jpg.jpg
Look in the stories for a further explanation of this celebration of Charles A. Schimpff's service to his church.
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Church.1915.jpg.jpg
The new St. Luke's Church at the corner of Walnut and Maple in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The April 15, 1915 dedication pamphlet told of the new sanctuary,pastor's study, 5 Sunday School classrooms, a kitchen, assembly hall, modern drinking fountains and toilets.
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DSCF7194.JPG
At a meetin on June 13, 1911, it was voted to discontinue the ringing of the church bell for the time of day, weddings, and funerals. The bell was recast into 100 small table bells, three of which are in the Heritage Room of the church.
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DAWinter.JPEG.jpg
Pastor David A. Wiinter was known as the "War Minister". WWI took place during his tenure. He and his wife, Ivy, sent 3 sons to war. He served from January 15, 1918 to 1931.
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DSCF1342.JPG
A Gift of Sunday School Class No. X.
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DSCF3349.JPG
Sanctuary Stained Glass over the "Amen Corner". Knocking on the Door was given in Memory of Andreas Bauer, Charter Member
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DSCF1343.JPG
A gift of the The ??? Sunday School Class III
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Gift of Class No. I
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DSCF1345.JPG
The Lord Is My Light Stained Glass window was given by The Kings Volunteers Class V
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DSCF3339.JPG
Stained glass over the front door of St. Luke's United Church of Christ demonstrating that the church grew out of the German Reformed tradition.
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DSCF3727 016.JPG
Gift of the Ladies Aide Society
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DSCF3728 017.JPG
Gift of the Sunday School In honor of Chas A. Schimpf Superintendent
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DSCF3729 012.JPG
Gift of the Women’s Missionary Guild
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DSCF3730 013.JPG
wfLahr.jpg.jpg
wfLahr.jpg.jpg
Rev. Walter Franklin Lahr served from 1931 to 1941. He served the congregation through the re-building after the 1937 flood. After his retirement, he returned to St. Luke's and was named Pastor Emeritus and served as an interim from 1979 to 1980.
sanctuary.c1935.jpg.jpg
sanctuary.c1935.jpg.jpg
A postcard circa 1936 shows the sanctuary interior just a few years before the 1937 flood destroyed the church.
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DSCF7174.JPG
Christening robe for William Dietrich Benner. Born 1900 and confirmed as a member of St. Luke's on April 5, 1914. The robe is in the Heritage Room of the church.
sanctuary.Easter1937.jpg.jpg
sanctuary.Easter1937.jpg.jpg
church.1940.jpg.jpg
church.1940.jpg.jpg
The church as it appeared in the 1940 Anniversary program.
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sanctuary.1940.jpg.jpg
The sanctuary as it appeared in 1940.
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altar.1940.jpg.jpg
A close up of the altar at St. Luke's in 1940.
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parsonage.1940.jpg.jpg
The parsonage as it appeared in the 1940 Anniversary program.
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Youngen.JPEG.jpg
Rev. J. Eugene Youngen who served the congregation during the years of World War II and beyond. His dates of service were from October 7, 1941 to October 15, 1958.

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Stories

Charles A. Schimpff Commemorative Card

Jeffersonville, Indiana

CharlesSchimpf.card.jpg.jpg

This card was found in a copy of the Heidleburg Catechism at the church.  Charles A. Schimpff served for over 30 years total as a Sunday School teacher and then Superintendent of the Sunday School. He was born Carl August Schimpff in Scheyer, Bavaria, Germany and emigrated to the United States. He was a faithful member and leader in Jeffersonville's German Protestant community.  The card has 6 faces and is printed in German. 

The Ark of the Nursery Classroom

St. Luke's UCC

DSCF7192.JPG

From Karen Thompson Blankenbaker:  Twenty plus years ago, while teaching the nursery class, I discovered the Ark with two and a half wheels. Not only would this ark not float, it wouldn't roll either. I took the ark home to put new wheels on this very old toy.  The ark was put in a closet for safekeeping. Like everyone else with children, my life was very busy and the ark was forgotten.  Months later we sold our home and packed everything up.  Not everything was unpacked in the new home.  After the death of my husband I sold our home and once again put everything in storage.  When I moved again, I unpacked and there to my surprise was the ark.  I put new wheels on it and returned the ark to its home at St. Luke's.  This poor, little broken boat has been a toy at St. Luke's for at least sixty-eight years, possibly longer.  If all the little hands who have touched this arek left fingerprints, it could tell us truly how old it is.

Sausage Supper Saves Sanctuary

Jeffersonville, Indiana

This story comes from Ethel Woehrle Cundiff and an article by Dibbs Harting (members of St. Luke's).  The 1937 Ohio River Flood was devastating to St. Luke's.  The church and sanctuary flooded and destroyed and many of the members had lost their homes.  The members worked together and were able to hold Easter services in the badly damaged sanctuary (see photo:Sanctuary 1937) but there were concerns about how they could fund the restoration.  The Same family stepped forward and donated their piano.  Members, good friends, and farmers, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob (Ethel nee Knipe) Woehrle, Mr. & Mrs. John (Lulu) Roederer, Mrs. Gruber, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Schneider put their heads together.  In the basement of the Woehrle home, what was to become the annual sausage supper began. The first supper was held in February of 1938 and was called a Sauerkraut Supper featuring hand-made sausage, German potato salad, and desert. That tradition continues today. Through the years roast beef, and then fish were served as alternatives.  About 1985 lunch was added and delivery provided to local businesses.  Now funds from the supper help the church and are used for local missions.  A fine tradition in downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana

Easter after the Flood, 1937

Jeffersonville, Indiana

"Our people in the Ohio flood area were weary and fatigued.  It was out of that experience that our 300 worshipers came, seeking the risen Lord in our ruined Church. Where once was fine new carved pulpit furnture, new pipe organ, pews, and carpet, we faced ruin.  The pipe organ was replaced by a used piano; Reformed Church hymnals by used song books; pews, by flood worn chairs; and the carpet by a bare floor. All Sunday School facilities were unusable.  The scene about us represented discouragement and disappointment, gloom and disaster.  Yet, despite these physical handicaps, our worship led us to experience a "deeper Easter". We are not prepared to meet this emergency loss, but we have the courage to go forward."

by Rev. W. Franklin Lahr. in the 80th Anniversary program of St. Luke's Evangelical and Reformed Church.

Christmas at St. Luke's 1900-1905

Jeffersonville, Indiana

From Kohlhepp, Frances Howard. Scenes from Memory; A Happy Childhod, 1900-1910. 1991. Courtesy of the Howard Steamboat Museum Bd. of Directors, 2009.

“One Christmas morning, Mother wakened us very early – long before daylight, it seemed. We dressed amid whisperings and, ignoring our bulging stockings hanging by the mantel, went quietly down to the empty pantry where she poured us a cup of hot cocoa from a thermos bottle. Then we hurried out into the shivery air. A few snowflakes were floating down and a little daylight had come. We went along Division Street to Maple and turned down it for several blocks. The houses were dark and all the people in bed. We were the only ones out in the crisp, grey early morning.  Soon we came to the little white Lutheran church all alight and with heavenly music coming forth.  Inside it was filled with people singing. Candles were burning, casting a golden light, and the singing was like that of the herald angels.  The notes poured out in the clearest soprano with glory seeming to come straight down from heaven.  Afterwards we went out into the real world again.  There were lights in houses; people were awake now, up and starting Christmas Day. Al the way home and for years later Frances cherished the Christmas vision she had felt and seen that early morning when the Christmas miracle had come so close to her.”

I wanted to build a fire...

Jeffersonville, Indiana

After the 1937 Flood "I wanted to build a fire to dry out the church, but I couldn't - there was a puddle near the furnace door because a drain was stopped up.  I looked for a hose to foce the water through, but the spigot was frozen.  I decided to go home for a blowtorch to thaw the spigot. My car wouldn't start.  A friend gave me a ride so I could go home and ge the blowtorch to thaw out the spigot, to use the hose to unclog the drain, and then use the furnace to dry out the church." 

Related by W. Franklin Lahr to Ann All "Local man celebrates 60 years of Serving God"  The Evening News Lifestyle Section.

Millard Fuller: Habitat For Humanity gains support

Jeffersonville, Indiana

In 1979, Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity was invited to speak by Pastor Ken McHarg.  He spoke from the pulpit of St. Luke's at an evening service to a packed sanctuary.  As he talked he told his own story of himself and another college buddy, young men who became millionaires by selling cook books.  Fuller went to Africa and taught people how to build houses with mud bricks. When he returned to the United States, he created Habitat for Humanity.  From it's small buildings, great things have evolved.  Members of St. Luke's combined with other churches in the area to sponsor the building of homes in the United States and around the world.  A group of Sellersburg-Speed residents were in attendance that evening and the churches in that community worked together to build homes in Zaire as a result of that meeting.

Spanish-American War Veteran, J. Henry Meiboom

Havana, Cuba

Meiboom, John Henry

John Henry Meiboom enlisted possibliy on June 30, 1898 as he worked at the Jeffersonville, Indiana quartermaster's depot until that date.  He served in the 161st Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, led by Captain Lewis C. Baird.  He participated in the liberation and occupation of Havanna.  Known as J. Henry Meiboom, he was confirmed at St. Luke's in 1887 by Rev. Chris Fleiner.  He was the son of Pastor H. Gregovius Meiboom, a native of Emden Ost Friesland, Holland, who served St. Luke's from September 1874-July 1876. J. Henry Meiboom's father passed away in July of 1876 and the Meiboom family remained in Jeffersonville, Indiana. His mother was Caroline S. Fuehrer Meiboom.  This information was gleaned form Baird's History of Clark County, Indiana.

Before St. Luke's in Jeffersonville

Louisville, Kentucky

From an oral interview on October 21, 1980 with Helen Kopp, Rose Hunter, Irma Schaper, and Emma Johnson. "Grandpa and Grandma Schmidt, before we ever had a church here, they used to meet Grandmap and Grandpa Dietrich down at the Boat Dock and went (across the Ohio River) to Louisville and went to church at Clay and Market."

Keystone Moved

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Keystone

From: oral interview with Ladies Aid - Helen Kopp, Rose Hunter, Irma Schaper, and Emma Johnston on October 21, 1980.   "In 1915, St. Luke's moved from the original building to the new one on Maple Street.  Anna, Anna Schimpff, and I (not identified) were visiting Mary Lyon and saw them tearing down the old building.  We walked over and in the yard, Mrs. Stiles, who owned the corner property, had the keystone on the ground with a flower, an urn on it.  Anna and I saw it and thought we should rescue that and so we called, I think it was... Bob Eby or someone on the council, Bob and Carl Kurtzman, and... Clutch Kluski called the men, the rehab people who were taking care of that, asking if we could have it and they said they would be glad for us to come and get it and they were even so nice as to, I think they furnished conveyance or something for us to bring it up to St. Luke's and put it in front of the building, and that's what they did, and we still have the keystone in front of the building."

 

Organization Details

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1959-1965:
Rev. Clifford Scholey 1
1966-1976:
Rev. Louis W. Grossen 1
1977-1979:
Rev. Kenneth McHarg 1
1980-1989:
Rev. Clifford John Janssen 1
1989-2003:
Rev. Bruce Allen Strotman 1
2005-:
Rev. Jennifer Mills-Knutsen 1
1891-1901:
Rev. John George Reess 1
1901-1904:
Rev. William G. Lienkaemper 1
1905-1908:
Rev. Julius F. Vornholt 1
1908-1910:
Rev. Benjamin Lienkaemper 1
1911-1917:
Rev. Frank E. Lahr 1
1918-1931:
Rev. David A. Winter 1
1931-1941:
Rev. Walter Franklin Lahr 1
October 7, 1941- October 15, 1958:
Rev. Eugene Youngen 1
1866-1870:
Rev. Carl Becker 1
1870-1873:
Rev. Christian A. Baum 1
1873-1874:
Rev. Hermann Rieke 1
1874-1876:
Rev. Gregory Meiboom 1
1876-1880:
Rev. Chris Fleiner 1
1881-1890:
Rev. Heinrich M. Gersmann 1
1862-1863:
Rev. Hartley 1
1863-1863:
Rev. J.E.W. Brasch 1
1864-1864:
Rev. Johann Balthasar Jud 1
1864-1866:
Rev. John Wiehle 1
1861-1862:
Rev. John F. Grassow 1
Frauen-Verein:
1868.Frauen-Verein begins annual 4th of July picnic fundraiser 1
Building Purchased:
1861.Church Building purchased in January on Market Street in Jeffersonville. 1
Communion:
1909.Individual Communion Service Begins 1
Revised Constitution:
1920.Constitution revised in English for the first time. 1
New Building:
1915.New Church Building Dedicated 1
Church Bells:
June 13.1911. Last time church bells pealed June 13th 1
Location:
1909. Lot at Walnut St. & Maple Street purchased 1
Language:
1919.1st English Language Service on November 1 1
Founding:
1860.Founding of the German Protestant Church 1

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  1. Contributed by ekuhlens
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