Trinity Lutheran Church, Friedheim Missouri,
Notable Dates

Between 1830-1832 several members of this congregation settled in this neighborhood as immigrants from Germany, seeking a new home.  Although they found sufficient bodily sustenance, they did not meet up with a congregation of its confession, the Lutherans, in which and by which they could have the pure word and the unadulterated sacraments. These first members made use of Uniontown congregation, whenever they had children to be baptized, instructed, and confirmed. Here they also attended the public services and partook of Holy Communion.

About July 1843, Uniontown pastor, Reverend Theordor Carl Friedrich Gruber, of "the old Lutheran Church of Paitzdorf in Perry County came once a month, if weather and circumstances permitted, upon the request of the scattered Lutherans living in this territory, serving them with the Word and Sacrament. The services were held in the Bernhardt Gussenberg home, since the few families were not in a position to build their own church.

1847 - Called first Pastor - candidate of theology Friedrich Julius Biltz at the end of the year 1847.  Rev. F. J. Biltz was among the first pupils at “The Old Log Cabin,” the first Concordia built by the Saxon  Immigrants in 1839 in Perry County MO. 

1848 – Trinity congregation organized and the first parsonage was built. 

1848 - On the 12th of March, our first resident pastor, Rev. Biltz was ordained by pastor Golthod Heinrich Loeber of Altenburg and pastor T.C.F. Gruber of Uniontown, in the home of Bernhardt Gussenberg in an old log house called Dr. Erlein's place.  Because of the few members, which consisted only of approximately 20 families, and also because they were poor, Pastor Biltz was also asked to accept the position as a teacher and to instruct the youth.  One year later they built the church, which also included a classroom.  The church was built of logs, showing the poverty of its first members.  Because of these circumstances, the salary for the preacher and his family was not sufficient to make a living. The pastor had to use partly his own limited means to support himself and his family.  Many times he did manual work to provide for himself and his family's livelihood.  Little by little the congregation grew, mostly through immigrants from Germany of the same faith. Some, at the beginning, participated in the congregation. Because of the increase in membership the congregation was able to provide an increased salary for the pastor. In spite of better living conditions it was not possible for the congregation to release the pastor from the teaching position and to call a qualified man for this purpose.

1849 - First Log Church, School Room and Parsonage Built.

1853 - In the fall of 1853, Pastor Biltz received a call to Cumberland in Maryland. The congregation, after seeing in this call the will of God, released him with their blessing.

1854 - The pastor, Erhard Riedel, of Ebenezer congregation in Franklin county, Missouri, was called and on a Sunday in July 1854, was installed by Pastor Gruber of Uniontown.

1855 - In the year 1855 the congregation prepared a written constitution, which in addition to various regulations, according to which the congregation regulates its affairs, contained the present and future confessions.
For some time the congregation recognized the great need to possess a new, better, and larger church, since frequently in the winter season it had to seek refuge in the parsonage for its services as well as its school.

The first church building of the congregation was built of rough logs in 1849.  After overcoming many hindrances and difficulties the congregation finally agreed to erect a massive building of rough-hewn sandstone.  August and Michael Mueller took care of the masonry or stone work, properly mortaring inside and outside, including the two gable ends.  The wall was to be twenty-two feet from the ground up.  This work they did for the sum of $500.  The congregation furnished all building material.  According to Mr. Fr. Grossheider, a deceased former member, the erection of this building was quite a task.  The huge stones were hauled a quarter mile by the Ignatz family to the building site by a yoke of oxen, and if two could not haul them, they would take four.  The location where the sand stones were taken from, still shows the marks of that time.  The property is located southwest from the church on the right side of County Road 419. Approximately 100 feet forward thrust, where the rocks were located, was needed to get the necessary stones.  The stones themselves were put into place by planks being placed against the walls and long poles used to lift them into place.  This work certainly took patience and determination. It meant the working together of all members, who no doubt spent a number of days before completing this work.  Mr. Schmidt was given the carpenter work for the price of $175. Cabinet and other work was not included.

1857 - The cornerstone laying was held on May 6, 1857, with the following word and prayer: "May the Triune God, unto whom this house is to be dedicated, grant further courage, patience and willingness to sacrifice, to carry on and to complete the work begun. The same Triune God keep and protect also this house and let the light of the pure divine word not be taken away from us, so that among our descendants a congregation of the true faith be established and flourish, until the last day. Amen. " Dissen, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, May 6, 1857, by Erhard Riedel.  Rev. Gotthold Gruber was installed.

1864 - Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm John was installed.

1869 - Rev. Heinrich Harmening was installed.

1873 -.Rev. Heinrich Hunsicker was installed.

1875 - Rev. Otto F. Voigt was installed.

1875 - FIRST RECORDED MINUTES - The fourth quarterly Meeting November 25, 1875: Meeting was opened with Prayer by the Pastor Voigt. Heinrich Kester was chosen as President to conduct the meeting.  Minutes were read from the August meeting.  The following applied and were accepted as voting members:  Ernst Schulze and George Kester.  After some discussion it was decided that the Elders contact delinquent members on the work list, and have them cut and make fire wood for the winter's use for the Church and Parsonage.  The meeting was adjourned with Prayer by the Pastor.  Accepted by Elder Heinrich Kester and Pastor O. F. Voigt.

1878 - In the month of October 1878 the first steeple, 70' high from roof gable, a bell, and 12' high cross were completed and dedicated.  At the same time the congregation celebrated their mission festival.  Fr. Grossheider, Heinrich Kester and  Christian Brune made possible the purchase of a bell. 

1879 - The confirmation class of 1879 presented the congregation with an Altar Bible and agenda.

1880 – The confirmation class of 1880 gave a gold framed picture of Christ on the cross.

1883 - Rev. Franz Meyer installed. First Christmas tree.

1884 - Second parsonage built.

1889 - The interior of the church was painted white with gray trimmings around the altar and pulpit. The ladies of the church purchased pulpit and altar coverings.

1895 - Introduced teaching of English in school.

1898 - The 50th Anniversary was observed and celebrated.  Even though we have no further notes, it is quite probable that this was a great event for the members of the congregation.  Rev. August H. Gassner was installed.

1902 - Second balcony was built and church ceiling was covered with tin and painted blue. It was resolved to take down the steeple. 

1903 - New school was built.

1906 - A second steeple was built 75 feet high and 8 feet wide in front of the church.  The second steeple was 75 feet high and 8 feet wide, where the bell is placed.  It was made of pine wood, covered with galvanized shingles, and milk-glass windows.

1912 - Rev. W. C. Borchers was installed.

1913 - First English church service held once each month.

1918 - A new bell, weighing 600 pounds, was purchased. It arrived here April 30th and was placed May 1st and dedicated May 5th.  (still in use).

1919 - Revised our Constitution.

1920 - Rev. Ernst K. Scharlemann was installed.

1923 – A wood furnace was placed under the church.

1925 - Rev. John H. Deye was installed.

1926 - Church roof was shingled; the organ was repaired, and a number of benches were bought from the disbanded Lixville congregation.

1927 - The tin ceiling within the church was replaced with sheet rock.  The walls were repaired and painted.  And the church was wired for electrical lights.

1928 - On October 25th the Ladies Aid was organized.

1935 - Church donated land for the new Farm to Market road to be built through Friedheim.

1936 - Present parsonage was built.

1937 the steeple was rebuilt and the top part of it removed, and in 1938 completed.  Old tin ceiling in church replaced with sheet rock.  First telephone was installed.  Church was wired for electricity.

1938 – The 90th Anniversary brought people together in great num¬bers. The congregation celebrated this day on the last Sunday in May 1938. The Jackson Bureau of The Missourian took note of this event and wrote on May 27, 1938: "On Sunday the placidly contented village of Friedheim will be host to a number of Lutherans and others who will gather to attend the all-day services in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the organization of the congregation. The remodeled and redecorated church edifice has been furnished with new, heavy oak pews but its ancient walls of rough sandstone will not hold the greater part of the crowd that will assemble if the weather is anything like favorable. Services will begin at lO am and at this service Rev. G. W. Hafner of Frohna will be the speaker. At the afternoon services, beginning at 2:30 Rev. John Gassner of Lockwood, son of a former pastor at Friedheim, Rev. Au¬gust Gassner, will deliver a sermon. And at 7:30 that night, Rev. Martin Cook, great grandson of a former pastor will speak. "  The pastor during the 90th anniversary was the Rev. John H. Deye.

1941 - Sound system installed.

1942 - The Garnett Furniture Company sold us new benches.

1944 – The school bus purchased.

1946 - We installed a New Kilgen Harmonic Ensemble Organ. 

1947 - Discontinued with German church services.  Rev. William O. Schmidt was installed.

1948 - 1OOth Anniversary Celebration. It certainly was commendable and praise-worthy that the congregation resolved to observe in a special way the 100th anniversary of its existence. In behalf of this observance a booklet entitled "Centennial Anniversary 1848- " was printed. Under the heading "Centennial Services" we read: "According to the records the anniversary date is the first Sunday in May or the month of May. However, on account of a number of delays beyond the control of the commit¬tee, the renovations planned could not be completed any sooner. Hence the celebration took place on the second Sunday in October, the 10th. "

By resolution of the congregation, this was also the annual fall mission festival. The speakers were: The Rev. G. Meyr, son of pastor Franz Meyr, a former Friedheim pastor; Rev. E. Scharle¬mann, one of the former pastors; and pastor John H. Deye, who had left Friedheim in November 1947 to accept a call to Knob¬noster, Missouri. Many memorial and special centennial gifts were made by members, church organizations, and former mem¬bers. A dedication of new church fixtures, altar pulpit, baptis¬mal font, etc., took place in the morning service conducted by the late Rev. Wm. O. Schmidt, who was the pastor at that time. A mixed chorus consisting of 16 voices rendered several selec¬tions for the Centennial service, among them the song entitled, "Bells of Friedheim," composed by the Rev. Norman V. Abbott. He is a son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. C. Kester. This song was set to music by Prof. E. V. Nolte of Northwestern University, a member of the faculty in the music department. He is a son-in-law of the late Rev. and Mrs. Wm. O. Schmidt, a former pastor of Friedheim. Today, we are quite fortunate, not only for the fine church fixtures in our church, but also for the "Bells of Friedheim," that remind us of God's call into His presence.

New sanctuary and church furnitures were purchased and extensive repairs made on the  interior of church.  Gifts included: Cross Crucifix, candle holders, lectern bible, Baptismal font, vestry chairs and Last Supper picture, a new agenda or prayer book, a kneeling has¬sock, a new hymn book, micro¬phone, a vestibule circulator.  A neon cross was donated and installed.

In preparation for the 100th Anniversary Celebration the congregation had been planning repairs.  Mr. and Mrs. Paul Brune had some time previously set aside a certain amount of money to be used for a new altar and pulpit, so the congregation widened the scope of the repairs to include additional improvements.  The committee's suggested taking care of the interior of the church, to include a suitable chancel for the new church fixtures.  In addition, it was found advisable to remove the plaster from the walls down to the rock and replace it. The floors were sanded, the benches were waxed, and the vestibule was repainted. The work was done by the following: Architect for the fixtures, Rev. Hilmer of Barnhardt, Mo.; the interior decorator, Wm. Pepmueller of Washington, Mo.; the plasterers, Hunt and McCully of this community, (Perryville and Daisy); the carpenters, Hy. and Rudolph Sewing of Jackson, and Fritz Moeller, one of the members; the painting of the exterior, sanding of floors, waxing of benches, etc., by John Kaiser, a member. The committee is entitled to special thanks for its efforts, in particular, Mr. R. Thomas, who spent much time and effort in order to bring this renovation project to a successful conclusion.

1950 - English church services completely replaced the German services.  Rev. W.F. Krahn was installed.

1951 - First board of trustees elected.

1952 - Trinity Lutheran Sunday School was officially started under Rev. W. Krahn.

1953 - Rev. Arthur Rasch was installed.

1956 - Congregation incorporated.

1958 - Present school built.

1962 - Rev. Keith Kiihne was installed.

1967 - Rev. Walter Schmid was installed.

1968 - The 120th Anniversary was observed on May 5, 1968. Two services were held. In the morning service the Rev. W. Krahn from Jackson, Mo., a former Friedheim pastor, spoke on the topic, "To God Alone All Glory," based on Ps. 115:1. The afternoon service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Wiederanders, First Vice President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He spoke on the theme, "For Such A Time As This," Esther 4:14. A 120th anniversary thank offering fund was launched with the goal of $5,000. This money was used to renovate the inside of the church and to make our place of worship more comfortable according to today's requirements. A special anniversary plate with a picture of the church on the front and important data on the back was made available by the Parent Teacher League of Trinity Lutheran School. Serving the congregation as pastor during this time was the late Rev. Walter Schmid.

In observance of our 120th anniversary in 1968, the entrance to the church was repaired; the ceiling lowered; the entrance wall paneled; and new flooring and carpeting in the vestibule and church installed. The outside door of the church was replaced. New and larger concrete steps were poured over the old ones leading into the church. To give protection to the entrance of the church, a new canopy was installed. The church benches were sanded and refinished to a beautiful natural look. The inside walls of the church received a new coat of paint. A new gas furnace replaced a wooden furnace making it more comfortable and convenient.  Parent-teacher league organized.  The Christian Day School was closed.

1969 - Beautiful art glass medallion picture windows replace the old milk-glass windows in the church and colored glass windows in the steeple. With the exception of one window, all were donated as an appreciation in memory or honor by either individuals, families, or an organization.

1971 - Church school closed on permanent basis.  Rev. Adam Mueller was installed. 

1973 - The 125th Anniversary was observed on May 6th. A bronze plaque was place on the front of church.  The church floors were refinished and carpet installed and central air conditioning installed. 

1980 - The baseball field was constructed.

1982 - New Lutheran hymnals were purchased. 

1983 - 135th Anniversary observed.  A new piano was given as a memorial.

1987 - A patio 15' x 48' was constructed on the north side of parish hall.

1991 - Granted permission to translate church records from German to English. 

1992 - Rev. Wayne Palmer was installed.  Rev. Palmer began children's messages.  A wheel chair ramp and steps were constructed.  Permission was granted to have printed "Baptism-Confirmation-Marriages and Deaths 1848-1992" book.  Trinity Lutheran Church-Friedheim joined the Altenburg Circuit.

1993 - First Pictorial Directory was produced.  Installed a new 5' x 10' cross and the old cross was placed in the cemetery. 

1997 - Second pictorial directory was made. 

1998 -150th Anniversary observed. 

1999 - November 21 Rev. David M Burge installed as pastor.  Rev. Burge started Saturday evening services

2005 - July 17, Rev. Roger Steinbrueck installed. 
New pictorial directory made.

2007 - May 6, The 150th year of our church building was celebrated with President Ray Mirly as the guest preacher. 

2007 December 1, New hymnals, LSB, dedicated.  All the hymnals were donated by parishioners. 

2008 – May 4, Celebrated the 160th Anniversary

New: An Oral History: Stories of Bygone Days by Our Members and The 160th Anniversary Booklet