Christ's Lutheran Church in 1956

[ The program for the 150th anniversary ]

Pastor Olney E. Cook, conducting services. On May 6, the church celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding. (To enlarge this picture of the program of the celebration, just click it.) Taking part in the celebration, along with Pastor Cook, were former Pastor Walter Frederick, 80, who had conducted services at the church five decades earlier, and former Pastor Carl (Karl?) H. Yettru, whose pastorate had followed Pastor Frederick's. Reverend Yettru delivered the afternoon sermon. The morning sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Paul C. White of New York City, Secretary for Religious Education of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England.

The following article was in the May 3, 1956, edition of the Woodstock Press(1):

Cited in Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], pp. 223-25. (Close)

Christ Lutheran Church Notes 150th Anniversary

The 150th Anniversary of Christ Lutheran Church will be celebrated in a fitting manner next Sunday, May 6, with special services in the morning and afternoon, plus a fellowhip dinner at noon.

It will be a double celebration for the pastor, The Rev. Olney E. Cook, for it was just 14 years agon on the first Sunday in May of 1942 that he assumed the pastorate of the church.

Taking part in the observance, along with Pastor Cook will be eighty year old Rev. Walter Frederick who was pastor of the church when it observed its 100th anniversary in 1906 and The Rev. Carl H. Yettru who succeeded Pastor Frederick in 1909 and served until 1911.

The Rev. Mr. Yettru will preach the sermon at the 3 p.m. service Sunday. The Rev. Dr. Paul C. White of New York City, secretary for Religious Education of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England will give the sermon at the morning worship.

Also taking part in the afternoon service will be four members of the Shultis family who sang at the 125th anniversary in 1931. They will sing "He Leadeth Me." They include: Mrs. Percy Croswell, Mrs. Robert Evory and Mr. Edward Shultis, all of Kingston and Mr. George Shultis of Bridgeport, Conn. They are brothers and sisters.

Pastor Cook has disclosed that invitations have been extended to The Rev. Harvey I. Todd and family of the Dutch Reformed Church and The Rev. Garnett M. Wilder and family of the Methodist Church to attend the Fellowship Dinner which will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Deanies.

The Lutheran Church in Woodstock was first organized on May 1, 1806 when a group of residents named trustees and chose the name "Christ Lutheran Church." The first edifice was erected on a ledge on Saugerties road about three quarters of a mile [east] of the present site. A new building was erected in 1842 and thirty years later underwent extensive repairs. However some 22 years later the present site was acquired and the church now standing was built, during the pastorate of The Rev. B. Q. Hallenbeck.

The Rev. Mr. Cook is the 22nd minister to hold the pastorate of the Christ Lutheran Church.

The present Church Council includes: Trustees--Harry Horgan, Victor Lasher and Robert Stoutenberg; Elders--Ernest Holumzer, Arthur and Ray Snyder; Deacons, Charles Klothe, Fred Thaisz, Senior and John Wolven.

Mrs. Edna DeWitt is secretary and Miss Florence Peper, treasurer.

This is the order of service for the Morning Worship at 11 o'clock: Preloude, selected: Processional, Hymn 199. Service, Page 9; Anthem, "The Church in the Wildwood," combined choirs; Hymn 301; Sermon by The Rev. Paul C. White, Ph.D.; offertory; anthem, "Sabbath Bells," choir; prayer; Hymn 197; Benediction; Doxology; Choir--Prayer; Postlude.

The afternoon program includes: Prelude, selected; Processional, Hymn 198; Psalm 46; Greetings; quartet, "He Leadeth Me," by Shultis Family; A "Bit" of History; Duet, "The Church by the Side of the Road," Mrs. J. Wolven and Mrs. E. Holumzer; Recognition of Gifts and Memorials; Hymn 129; Sermon, "The Church" by The Rev. Carl H. Yettru; Offering; anthem, "God's House," choir; Prayer; Benediction; Doxology; Choir--Prayer; Postlude.

[ Interior of the church at the anniversary ]

Above is a picture of the interior of the church during the anniversary celebration. To enlarge the picture, just click it. Church historian Mark Anderson has provided some details and observations(2):

From ibid, pp. 173-76. (Close)
Almost overwhelming the front of the church in this photograph are the four paintings commissioned by Edgar Shultis, in memory of his parents, by the Woodstock artist Paul Arndt. They include The Nativity, The Sermon on the Mount, The Entombment, and The Ascension of Christ.… With the paintings, it seems almost as though Edgar Shultis and the congregation sought to remedy the lack of representational art in the stained-glass windows. Also prominent in the photograph are the new fluorescent light fixtures casting their glow throughout the church.

Only after taking in these large features does one begin to notice the smaller and more significant changes. The windows of the apse bring daylight to an altar and cross, which have replaced the pulpit and table as the central feature of the sanctuary. [For comparison, see the more Calvinist arrangement of the sanctuary in 1906 or in 1932, where the sermon pulpit dominates.] The old pulpit has been moved to one side, to the place where it remains today. The sanctuary arrangement makes clear the renewed emphasis on the centrality of the Eucharist to Lutheran worship in the second half of the twentieth century. To the left of the pulpit is the baptismal font, completing the sacramental furniture for the space. Flanking these, on either side of the chancel, are the instruments of music: a piano on the left and a new (1955) Hammond electronic organ on the right. Clearly visible, the book racks in the pews now hold sufficient copies of the hymnal for everyone to participate.

[ Our congregation at the 150th anniversary ] Here is a picture of the congregation taken outside the church during the 150th anniversary celebration. (To enlarge this picture, just click it.) Pastor Cook expressed his appreciation for the work done on the anniversary celebration.

Pastor Cook later had these reminiscences of his ministry:(3)

From Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. (Close)
During that time a Sunday School was organized starting with one pupil but began to grow until we had forty. A junior choir was also started and our Christmas Pageants were enjoyed by many people. Our missionary society was one of the highlights of my ministry in Woodstock, and I always found the members to be very helpful and to be interested in the church work.
Perfect attendance awards were presented to 19 Sunday School students.

Pastor Cook resigned in November to accept a call to St. Paul's in Kingston. His was the longest pastorate of our church in the twentieth century, although it was not continuous.

The congregation needed to pay $25 per service ($175.75 per service in 2006 dollars) for supply pastors. In December, Deacon Charles Klothe extended a call to Rev. G. Oliver Sands, from St. Mark's Church in Guilderland Center, NY, to be the new pastor at our church. Reverend Sands was offered an annual salary of $2,080 ($14,622), a month's paid vacation, and utilities and moving expenses paid. Life insurance was to be provided, and the congregation was participating in the pension system of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA).

Organists for the church included Anna Eignor, Charles Klothe, Elsa Holumzer, and Marilyn Wolven. Lydia Russell, 77, was "honorary organist."

The annual benevolence fund for the Synod was raised to $150 ($1,055 in 2006 dollars).

At Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, a woman was an influential teacher of sociology.

The Woodstock Region in 1956

This is a placeholder for information on our region during this year. The information will come soon. The footnote at the end of this sentence is also a placeholder; please don't click it.(2)

This is a placeholder footnote. (Close)

The United States in 1956

[ Dwight D. Eisenhower ]

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican) was President. The 84th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $7.03 in 2006 for most consumable products.

This is a placeholder for information on the United States during this year. The information will come soon. The footnote at the end of this sentence is also a placeholder; please don't click it.(3)

This is a placeholder footnote. (Close)

The World at Large in 1956

This is a placeholder for information on the world at large during this year. The information will come soon. The footnote at the end of this sentence is also a placeholder; please don't click it.(4)

This is a placeholder footnote. (Close)


The copyrighted material cited on this page comes under the definition of "Fair Use."

See also the general sources.