25th Anniversary History written by Neva Wasson. published 1982
A special congregational meeting was held November 21, 1982. The congregation gave the Reverend Joseph A. Marting a unanimous call and he was installed January 15, 1983. Charter member the late Bob
Otto was chairman of the pastoral nominating committee.
A new organ -- a
890 electronic, was dedicated December 5, 1982 in memory of the Reverend David J. Rowland.
The Reverend Ray J. Walther, interim pastor, went to Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in December, 1982.
In 1983 the Presbytery of Elijah Parish Lovejoy was changed to Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy.
In the summer of 1983 Pastor Joe decided to give Vacation Bible School another try at Southminster and over 77 youngsters in the neighborhood attended.
On July 8, 1984 the session formed the GEM (Gifts, Endowments & Memorial) Committee -- the late Richard Claus, Gerald Smith, John Smith,
and William Johnson were elected to the committee. It’s goal was to reach $100,000 by 1997. After that milestone, all the interest received from the fund would provide funds for extraordinary needs outside the regular church budget.
We changed to increase the numbers of elected Deacons to 13 -- 11 to be adult church members with three-year terms, two for two-year terms coming from senior high age group.
Mark Schroeder, youth director, left in May, 1983 and Don Ellerman became youth director in August, 1983.
Two worship services were started in the fall of 1985. The membership had grown to 740 but dropped to 646 in 1986.
Stephen Shive became assistant pastor in September 1985. He was called in January 1987 and Sam Peters became interim associate pastor in March 1987. He left in April 1988.
The Crestwood-Sunset Hills Meals on Wheels program was begun in October 1985. Volunteers have prepared and delivered over 127,509 meals through May 2007.
The Church celebrated its 30th anniversary September 13, 1987 with a catered luncheon. Two hundred four attended.
was formed in April 1987 and 19 members were commissioned for the program on February 1988.
Dale Webb became an associate pastor in June 1988 and left in July of 1990.
At a special congregational meeting June 12, 1988 the members voted to support the concept and scope of the building expansion program as presented and elected a Finance Committee and Building Committee.
In January 1989 the Women’s Association began a Meal-A-Month program for the church.
In April 1989 the session changed the by laws to elect 21 elders, seven each year so three elders could serve on one of the seven commissions. The commissions are: Congregational Life, Christian Education, Evangelism
and Stewardship, Planning,
and Property and Finance. Any church member may serve on one of the commissions except the Property and Finance where they must be elected.
The congregation passed a resolution June 11, 1989 to move ahead with the expansion plan for the church’s new Christian Education building and
: cost not to exceed $!,025,000. A Ground Breaking Ceremony and pot luck lunch followed the Church services on October 8, 1989.
Longtime choir director John Jewell resigned in August 1990 and was replaced by Sylvia Stewart later in the year.
Dedication of the new facilities was held on August 26, 1990. Total cost was $1,026,463.55.
William Prichard was hired as Minster of Education and Youth in September 1990. He resigned in August 1994.
The hand bell or carillon choir was begun in June 1991 directed Sylvia Stewart Bowling who still directs the group.
Bill Warhover became Minister of Education and Youth in September 1994. Charlie Plant was hired as Parish Associate in January 1997.
Sylvia Stewart Bowling retired as minister of Music in April 1997. Bruce Walker was her replacement.
In 1995 the new
Church sign was put in place in time for Christmas. It was paid for with monies from two memorial funds plus an anonymous donation and Interest monies received on the funds in the GEM accounts. By this time the Committee had reached $50,000 or 50 per cent of its goal and could use half of the yearly interest monies.
volunteered her service as a pianist to the choir in 1996 following years of volunteer service by Ethel Koupal. The position became a paid one a few years later. Patti also plays the keyboard for the
Celebration service and is presently interim worship arts director.
The church celebrated its 40th anniversary September 21, 1997 with a special service featuring the Reverend Doctor Ken Hindman followed by a luncheon in the
for 270 members and guests.
On January 11, 1998 a reception was held in honor of Pastor Joe’s 15th year at Southminster. In 1998 the active member list was 666.
In July 1998 Stephanie Knopf was chosen as Director of Christian Education. Charlie Plant left Southminster in January 1999 and Bill Warhover resigned in July 1999 to attend
Dubuque Presbyterian Seminary.
In November 1999 the Reverend Dr. Karen L. Blanchard became a Parish Associate and Elizabeth (Beth) Damsgaard became Minster of Youth and Hands-on- Mission in August 1999.
Into the next century 2000
, one of Pastor Joe’s twin daughters, accepted a summer internship with Southminster.
The stained glass window in the back of the sanctuary was dedicated at both services in April 2000. It is a memorial to Mildred Burkhart.
In September 2000, The Reverend Carol Keating replaced the Reverend Blanchard as Parish Associate.
On Sunday, September 16, 2001 the Contemporary Service was started in the Christian Life Fellowship Hall and moved to the sanctuary in May 2002.
In January 2001 membership totaled 686.
On December 10, 2001, the session adopted the following to be our official Vision Statement to lead our church in to the year 2020. “To be a valid, vital, and victorious church for Jesus Christ in the year 2020, we believe our church must become a church for all ages.”
James Earl “Chip” Thompson, Jr. became Minister of Youth and Hands-On-Mission in February, 2003 to replace Beth Damagaard Rodriquez.
The church celebrated Pastor Joe’s 20th anniversary as our pastor on February 23, 2003.
Stephanie Knopf, Minister of Christian Education, resigned in April 2004 to attend seminary and was feted at a reception. Forty-plus-year organist Marge Schroeder resigned in May 2004 and she too was given a warm reception.
became the interim minister of Christian Education in May 2004.
In February 2005 Chip Thompson left his position as minster of Youth and Hands-on-Mission and Bill Thomas was hired as interim Minister of Youth and Hand-On-Mission.
In March 2005 the session approved the final revision of the position of the Co-Pastor for Emerging Ministry and mailed it to the congregation. At a meeting held April 17, 2005 the congregation approved the position . A Pastoral Nominating Committee was chosen with
On Sunday, September 25, 2005 a reception was held for Parish Associate Carol Keating who had taken a full-time position.
An Appreciation reception was held for Seminary Intern
who had been working at Southminster 10 hours a week for the past year and for Interim Minster of Youth Bill Thomas and Interim Minister of Christian Education
on September 10, 2006.
The Reverend David Garrison became the Co-pastor at Southminster on October 1, 2006. He was installed on November 12.
Minister of Music Bruce Walker resigned in October, 2006 and was replaced by
. La Nita Vogt accepted the position of Volunteer-in-mission for “Hands on
On January 7, 2007 the contemporary worship service time was changed to 10:55 a.m. and the name changed to
’s Ministry Intern, Jenny Frederich, came aboard in March 2007.
Charter member update
In July 2007 eight charter members out of 178 are still on the roll book - - Betty and James Bowers, Aimee and Lawrence Breuklander,Carolyn and Wes Finke, Ruth Honer and Gloria Otto.
In 1986 Southminster received the deed from Presbyterian USA General Capital Loan Program on the American
Donation Grant #262 for the original property. The initial loan has been repaid in full to Presbytery.
In 1996 the GEM Committee reached its $100,000 mark and began spending all interest on church related projects not covered by the budget. To date it has funded along with other memorial contributions to over 40 projects.
In 2006 following a survey by the Presbytery of Giddings/Lovejoy Southminster was 8th in membership of the 99 churches that are served by the Presbytery. Southminster came in Fourth in the fastest growing category and second in “top growing churches by net gain” - +42.
has thrived over the years -- last year we had 140 youngsters and 95 volunteers.
The nursery school was replaced by the Mother’s Day Out program in late ‘80s. The program reaches out into the community to provide Christian care for children, including preschool, and provides a service for the parents in the area.
This group meets throughout the year for regular fun nights, special activities, service projects and an annual mission trip in July.
From 1961-1969, the senior high groups spent about a week each year visiting Presbyterian Colleges. From 1976 to 1982 the group participated in some form of work at Presbyterian camps and churches.
work and trips in June became a part of its function in the mid eighties and continues today plus service projects and food, fellowship, fun and laughter.
This fellowship group of young adults of college and career age focuses on expanding and sharing their faith and plan a yearly mission trip in late May.
Southminster has had six adults graduate from church seminaries: Jodie Blood Robbins (who was the first and is retired), Cheryl Armstrong, Clark Vincent, Bill Warhover,
and Stephanie Knopf. Kelly Standing is studying at McCormick Theological Seminary in
. Except for Jodie Robbins all the others were influenced and guided by Pastor Joe.
As a reflection of God’s love and grace, members of Southminster offer time and talents in God’s Service by participating in various hands-on- missions.
Annual fall toy assembly: Chris Taylor, in 1997, began a program for the men of the church. Chris and Martin Diertrich and
Zohner cut, sand and finish the wood pieces for 150 each of doll cradles, toolboxes and chalkboards. The men assemble them to be distributed by the BRO organization, which gives them to children at Christmas.
Pilgrim Soup Kitchen: The Pilgrim Congregational UCC on
Blvd., started preparing and serving lunch every Wednesday to the less fortunate in the community in 1982. For the past seven years our volunteers have served lunch to 80-90 people the last Wednesday of each month.
Isaiah 58 Food Pantry: Established in 1968, the Isaiah 58 ministries serves the low-income families in the
area. Southminster donates food through the “Get Off You Can” program, formerly Meal a Month, which asks members to donate two cans of food a week. The Mission Commission supports the program by donating $250 per month to purchase food items. Volunteers purchase food and deliver goods three-four times a month and then stock shelves and prepare bags of food. Ronald McDonald House: Volunteers from various groups prepare and serve dinner to 25-30 residents at the house on West Pine on the third Tuesday of each month.
In May 1987 Pastor Joe called Barbara Dietrich, Joan Huisinga and Gerald Smith to take part in a two-week leadership training program for Stephen Ministers. Later that fall and into the next year nineteen members took a 16-week training session to be Stephen Ministers. The church has continued to have training sessions for new ministers and in 2007 there are 14 active members in the ministry program.
Care, Share and Coffee
This group was begun in 2002 to meet periodically to share with each other the joys, problems and emotions they were experiencing as they cared for love ones. The group enlarged its focus to the congregation to provide caregiving help to others and to provide information and resources on caregiving. The group started Care Teams in 2003. Each team of trained volunteers help church members during life- challenging times. Each team works together in a coordinated plan to offer hands-on practical, emotional and spiritual support. At Southminster Care Teams have helped members through recovery periods after surgery, transitions from home to assisting living or nursing home facilities and caring for triplets.
The longest active group within the church has been the Women’s Association. It was organized in the fall of 1957 with Elaine Stienkemeyer as its first president. In the beginning there were six circles that met monthly for fellowship and Bible study. However, because more women joined the work force the number of circles has dropped to three. The association also has regular monthly meetings and invites all women of the church to attend.
giving is encouraged in the circles through Two Cents A Meal, Thank Offering and Fellowship of the Least Coin. Funds to support the association programs are raised by the annual rummage sale, cookbook sales and the bridge marathons. The rummage sale began in 1985 by Mary Ann Donohoe and has been its main fund raiser ever since. The Bridge Marathon was started years ago by
and has continued to be a great source of fellowship and fund raising. The association has published four cookbooks over these 50 years and numerous recipe cards and publications that have funded many projects. The latest cookbook was published two years ago and is still available.
In January 1989 the Meal-A-Month program was started, headed by Gloria Varnum, and it still going strong. However, it is now known as “Get Off Your Can” program.
Alice Miller has supervised the kitchen for many years and keeps track of what it needed and makes sure the circles do kitchen cleaning, etc. The association is responsible for any funeral or wedding reception held at the church.
Each fall the group sponsors a Women’s Retreat that is well attended.
Including present president Jean Prichard there have been 24 Women’s Association Presidents who have served the congregation faithfully.
In 2006 long time faithful and devoted board member Mary Jo McQuality, the only two term president, was given the title of ex-offico board member.
The Promise Keepers, a men’s early morning Bible study meets with Pastor Joe every Thursday during the fall, winter and spring at 6:30 A.M. Gene Bowling started the group in 1994.
Also, a Men’s Retreat is held annually at Mound Ridge Camp and Conference
in April. They put in a day’s work on Saturday and use Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday morning for spiritual concerns.
Adult Fellowship Groups
Empty Nesters was formed in 1970 to promote friendship an others. It was later disbanded and other groups were started.
The 30+/- : These members get together for a number of social events each year -- some activities are for members of the group and some for members and their children.
Boomers: This group ranges in age from 45 to 60 and meets once a month for social activities.
In Betweeners: The members in this group are generally age 60+. They plan a variety of special events yearly.
Church 50th Anniversary Steering Committee
In May 2006 the Session approved a 50th Anniversary Steering Committee to plan for Southminster’s Golden Jubilee in September 2007. The committee was headed by Helen Smith, church historian; and included Neva Wasson, Crestwood historian; Linda Willman
, Property and Finance;
, technical knowledge and drama experience; Joan Huisinga, co-chair Presbyterian History Team and Dorie Trotter, GEM member. It met regularly for over a year and its plans and efforts were well received. The biggest project of all was the planning, implementing and funding of the stained glass window at the front of the sanctuary. The committee would like to thank everyone who is participating and taking part in this celebration. The window, which is a memorial to both current and former members and their loved ones, will be enjoyed for many, many years to come. It was dedicated on Sunday, September 16, 2007.
William E. Butler ---- “state of supply” Sept. 1, 1957 - Aug. 15, 1960
Kenneth E. Hindman ----Dec. 11, 1960 - April 15, 1969
David J. Rowland ---- Mar. 8, 1970 - Aug. 22, 1981
Ray J. Walther ---- interim minister Nov. 1981 - Dec. 1982
Joseph A. Marting ---- Jan 15, 1983 - present (became Co-pastor Oct. 1, 2006)
David Garrison ---- Oct. 1, 2006 - present (Co-pastor)
Robert Clary ---- Jan. 1, 1968 - Dec. 1, 1969 (called)
Walter Smith ---- Sept 28, 1972 - July 31, 1975 (called)
Stephan Shive ---- Sept. 1985 - Jan. 1987 (called)
Sam Peters ---- March 1987 - April 1988 (interim) (called)
Dale Webb ---- June 1988 - July 1990 (called)
Charlie Plant ---- January 1997 - January 1999
Karen L. Blanchard ---- November 1999 - September 2000
Carol Keating ---- September 2000 - September 2005
Mark Schroeder ---- August 1979 - May 1983
Don Ellerman ---- August 1983 - January 1985
Ministers of Education and Youth
William Prichard ---- September 1990 - August 1994
Bill Warhover ---- September 1994 - June 1998
Directors of Christian Education
Stephanie Knopf ---- July 1998 - April 2004
---- May 2004 - September 2006 (interim)
Ministers of Youth and Hands on
Elizabeth Damsgaard Rodriquez ---- Aug. 1999 - Dec. 2002
James “Chip” Thompson ---- Feb. 2003 - Feb. 2005
Bill Thomas ---- Feb. 2003 - Sept. 2006 (interim)
for Hands of
La Nita Vogt ---- October 2006 - present
Jenny Frederich --- March 2007 - 2008 (Intern)
Clerks of the Session
Mary Jo McQuality
Sylvia Stewart Bowling
Marge King Schroeder
Dr. Rex Brown
94 members have served as Trustees
259 members have served as Deacons
279 members have served as Elders
278 marriages have been performed plus 11 renewals
2902 persons have signed our membership roles as of May 2007
The first child baptized in our church was Scott Finke, son of Charter Members Wes and Carolyn Finke
March 1958 158 Charter Members
January 1967 754 Active Members
January 1978 667 Active Members
January 1989 748 Active Members
January 1999 652 Active Members
January 2006 624 Active Members
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