Christ's Lutheran Church in 1974

[ Pastor Walter Kortrey ] Pastor Walter Kortrey, pictured here, conducting services. According to church historian Mark Anderson(1),

From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 135. (Close) the pastor
was very aware of the great difficulties that had ensued at Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock. He set about healing the congregation with great attention to the wide variety of opinions held not only within the congregation, but also among the townspeople in general. The story of his pastorate is the story of a slow but certain involvement of the congregation with the pressing social needs of the town.

The congregation painted both the parsonage and the shed.

In June, Pastor Kortrey reported that he had bought his own home on Ohayo Mountain Road and so would not be needing the parsonage. They moved out in August.

Here are excerpts from "A Planning Study for Christ['s] Lutheran Church, Woodstock NY, 1973," by Charles Thorne, Strategy Consultant, Metropolitan New York Synod, published in June of this year(2):

Unless otherwise indicated in a footnote, excerpts from church records, including studies such as this, or from The Scroll are cited in ibid., Chapter 9. (Close)
During the last two decades (1953-1973) the Town population doubled. The population in adjoining Hurley tripled. The hamlet of Woodstock is mostly populated by older people while the districts to the south are much younger with a large population of school-age children.

Nearly half of the people over 25 have had some college education while one in eight has had graduate work. Within the County, only the Town of New Paltz has this percentage of educated people.

Most members live outside of the "Village," mostly to the south. 39% of the congregation live between 2 and 3 miles from the church.

The congregation has been growing with the community. Baptized membership has grown (1962-1973) from 172 to 244. Active confirmed membership from 73 to 173. Sunday School pupils from 54 to 91.


  1. This congregation needs a mature, experienced pastor who can appeal to educated people.
  2. The church should develop its ministry to older people in cooperation with the rest of the community, if possible.
  3. The church council should build a strong program fo evangelistic recruitment, based upon two age levels:
    1. The children in neighborhoods to the south should be continually surveyed to find any who are not receiving religious instruction.
    2. Adults of all ages, not actively attending some other church, should be diligently sought.
  4. The pastor should develop opportunities for his lay leadership to discuss the assimilation of new members.

Over 100 children were registered for Vacation Church School, and a plea went out for teenagers to sign up to help teach, demonstrate the crafts, and organize games.

Under Pastor Kortrey's leadership, the congregation started a series of popular music concerts held in the church. Here is an excerpt from the summer issue of The Scroll entitled "Celebrations of Light--Saturdays in July":

There's another new poster around town these days--it tells of Christ's Lutheran Church's new venture in communication with the Woodstock community. Pastor Kortrey has held meetings with some of the artists who will share in "Celebrations of Light--Woodstock Artists in Concert" every Saturday night in July. Some of the concerts will include: Marc Black and the All-Stars; Eve Otto, Harpist; Warren Bernhardt, piano; Choir of the Church on the Mount (Father Francis).

The following is from the annual congregational report at the end of the year:

Mark Anderson was hired as sexton for the church at an annual salary of $1,000 ($4,240 in 2006 dollars). This was to increase to $1,560 ($6,614) with the parish house added to the duties. Aluminum siding was installed on the church [this covered over the two double-hung windows of clear glass on either side of the apse; drapes were installed on the inside to hide the windows] and new carpeting in Fellowship Hall.

The junior choir had 15 members and the senior choir had 24 members. The choir was provided with new vestments. The choir presented a concert version of the musical "Godspell" at both services and as an evening concert [to an audience of 150 people]. The Sunday School enrollment was 110 children. The teaching staff of 14 included 5 men. Cottage studies were presented during Lent and an adult Sunday School Class was led by Pastor and Mrs. Kortrey.

The Christian Day Nursery School adopted a formal constitution and a new teacher (Judy Sykes) was hired for the Tuesday and Thursday classes. The Sunday Church school had grown so large that the church, Fellowship Hall, and parish house [after the Kortreys moved to their new home] were all being used for classes.

The average weekly attendance during the year waws 140; there were 334 attending at Christmas, 289 at Easter.

The church budget was $32,000 ($135,680 in 2006 dollars).

[ Historic pipe organ ] During the year the congregation was still adjusting itself to the pipe organ it had obtained 3 years before (click the picture to enlarge it), originally built in 1885 by Hook & Hastings for the Baptist Church of Hopkinton, NH. According to historian Anderson(3):

Ibid., p. 156. (Close)
The Hook and Hastings organ is almost perfectly matched to the acoustic and architectural space of the church building. It is a small, single manual (keyboard), and pedalboard instrument, with a tracker action (direct mechanical linkage), and with a limited number of stops. It was built in Boston in 1885, just ten years prior to the dedication of Christ's Church.
Our Hook and Hastings organ has been placed on the register of historic American pipe organs. Unfortunately, however, there was a problem:
Over the years and even in the beginning, we were a little disappointed in that we felt the organ was capable of producing better results than we were getting. We had great difficulty in finding competent tuners.(4) Quoted in The Scroll, November 1979. (Close)
According to Anderson:
What was not known when the organ was purchased… was that the instrument is pitched nearly a half tone higher than standard tuning. It is not possible to add lengths to pipes and so it will always remain at that high pitch. This can be a challenge for tenors trying to sing high parts! It was also quickly learned that wind instruments (clarinets, trumpet, oboes, etc.) could not tune high enough to play with the organ.(5) Quoted in Anderson, For All the Saints, op. cit., p. 156. (Close)
It would be more than 5 more years before the organ would be brought up to its full potential.

The Woodstock Region in 1974

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The United States in 1974

[ Richard M. Nixon ] [ Gerald Ford ]

Richard M. Nixon (Republican) was President, succeeded during this year by his Vice President, Gerald Ford. The 93rd Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 94th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $4.24 in 2006 for most consumable products.

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The World at Large in 1974

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