The History of Angelica Lutheran Church

In the summer of 1947, a small group of Christian men and women realized the vast opportunities and the urgent need of another Lutheran congregation in the then-village of Allen Park, Michigan.

On the evening of August 29, 1947, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Fink. The Rev. Victor Halboth, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Redford and missionary at large for the English District of the Synodical Conference was invited to come to this meeting which was also attended by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bendick, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Engers, Miss Virginia Engers, and Mr. and Mrs. Fink. This proved to be the birthplace of Angelica – plans were drawn up to hold a first service in a good place. Through the efforts of Mr. Bendick and Mr. Fink, permission was given by the Allen Park School Board to use Sudman School for worship. On September 6, 1947, the Board granted this permission, and Angelica Lutheran Church was on its way.

September 21, 1947, was a red letter day in the history of Angelica for that was the day that first services were held in the Sudman School, at 9:00 a.m.

After the decision had been made to establish new mission in Allen Park, the men and women of the small group got busy immediately. Mr. Poneleit, Mr. Fink, and Mr. Bendick soon built a movable altar and lectern, which was set up every Sunday for services. The ladies secured altar cloths and vases. Candlesticks and a crucifix were loaned by Grace Lutheran Church of Redford, as were hymnals. The young mission was ready for its initial service on September 21st. Seventy-three Christians were in their seats as Pastor Halboth preached the first sermon. His wife played piano and lead in the singing of favorite hymns.

At its very beginning the new mission was called ENGLISH DISTRICT LUTHERAN MISSION OF ALLEN PARK. As the weeks rolled on various names were suggested. On December 4th, 1947, a name was chosen – the men and women decided to call and to name the congregation ANGELICA EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH of Allen Park, Michigan.

On October 15, 1947, the mission met for the purpose of organizing and becoming affiliated with Synodical conference. In the November 13th meeting a Constitution was submitted and accepted. Temporary officers were elected: Mr. Charles Engers, President; Mr. Ed Bendick, Treasurer; Mrs. Helen Engers, Recording Secretary; and Mrs. Kenneth Charles, Assistant Treasurer.

Everyone in the mission realized they needed a resident pastor to nourish their souls and so the search for a permanent pastor was on. The pulpit committee was chosen to present a list of candidates; Mr. Charles, Mr. Pitters, Mr. Bendick, and Mr. Engers served on the committee.

The Rev. Richard Jesse, Sr., Executive Secretary of English District, presided over the January 3, 1948, meeting at which a call was extended to the Rev. Victor Halboth to become pastor. On January 11, Pastor Halboth reluctantly declined the call. At the February 8, 1948, meeting, a list of candidates was reviewed. Pastor Hartenberger of Niagara Falls, New York, was selected to become pastor. Several weeks later word was received that he had also declined the call.

In the meantime, the first election was held. The results were as follows: Mr. Charles Engers, President; Mr. Harry Nagel, Vice President; Mr. Herman Kreit, Secretary; Mr. Ed Bendick, Treasurer; Mr. Emil Saneske, Elder; Mr. Demeter Pitters, Elder; Mr. Robert Silvey, Elder; Mr. Arlow Charles, Trustee; Mr. Larry Greyzck, Trustee; Mr. Fred Poneleit, Trustee; Mr. Kenneth Charles, Financial Secretary.

On February 28, 1948, these men and women and the rest of the officers signed their names to a call that was extended to the Rev. Elmer Beyer. Rev. Beyer informed the congregation on March 8th that he was ready to leave his duties at Valparaiso University and come to Angelica. Pastor Beyer was installed as the first pastor of Angelica on May 2, 1948 in special services held at Lapham School.

Soon after Pastor Beyer accepted the call, the officers of the congregation searched for a home for the Beyer family. The parsonage was purchased an McLain Avenue. After considering several homes, this was chosen because all future meetings would be held in the spacious basement. Before this, meetings of all organizations had been held in various homes of the charter members. The parsonage was now to be the meeting place.

On July 13, 1948, services were scheduled; Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and Divine Worship at 10:30 a.m.

During the summer months, the ladies of the Guild helped the pastor canvass the 3,200 homes of the village of Allen Park. Men, women, and children were invited to come to Angelica.

Membership classes and instruction classes for children soon began. On April 10, 1949, the first confirmation class was accepted into membership, five adults and six children were listed: DiAnn Commire, Delores Frommert, Mary Louise Frommert, Beverly Slavik, Robert Stancer, Toby Wood, Mrs. Katherine Dragos, Mr. Gordon McIntosh, Mr. Robert Nelson, Mrs. Gladys Saneske, Mr. Kenneth Turner.

On October 20, 1947, the women of Angelica held their first meeting at the home of Mrs. Engers. Temporary officers were Mrs. Helen Engers, President; Mrs. Norma Mahanke, Vice President; Mrs. Lydia Poneleit, Secretary; Mrs. Elsie Fink, Treasurer. These ladies served until the first election was held in January, 1948. Each Sunday morning they said, and kept their promise, that they would be on hand to prepare the altar furnishings for worship. They bought the altar cloths, visited the sick, called on new members…all joined in to help.

At first the organization was known as Women’s Guild of English District Lutheran Mission, but on June 2, 1948, they formally adopted the name Angelica Women’s Guild.

After the final results were in for the first election, the following persons served as officers: Mrs. Pauline Charles, President; Mrs. Helen Engers, Vice President; Mrs. Lydia Poneleit, Secretary; Mrs. Isabel Nagel, Treasurer.

Shortly after the new year of 1949, the following officers were elected: Mrs. Lillian Kreit, President; Mrs. Hilda Bendick, Vice President; Mrs. Eleanore Hopgood, Treasurer; Mrs. Irene Silvey, Treasurer; Mrs. Pauline Charles, Financial Secretary and Auditor; Mrs. Woods, Auditor. Immediately, the Women’s Guild began a program to raise $1,000 for chimes in the new church.

Late in the fall of 1947, Mr. Edward Bendick was appointed as Superintendent of the Sunday School. On November 7, 1947, Angelica Lutheran Sunday School enrolled its first student. The first teachers were Mrs. Irene Silvey, Miss Virginia Engers, Mrs. Arline Greyzck, Mrs. Mary Ann Brueggeman, Betty Nelson, Jean Saneske, Mr. Charles Engers, and Mrs. Eleanore Hopgood. Marilyn Fink held the job of secretary and Charles Silvey was the treasurer.

The original Constitution of Angelica Lutheran Church of Allen Park, Michigan, was written on November 13, 1947. The preamble states:

“We, the members of the church of Christ, sensible of our spiritual needs and mindful of our Christian duties, have decided to form a congregation and to adopt the subjoined constitution as a statement of common rights and covenant of mutual duties in order to maintain a discipline which shall aid in preserving purity of doctrine, righteousness of life and the peace and growth of the church.”

In February, 1949, the Angelica Ladies Choir was organized under the direction of Clara Mae Cochran, pianist for the church services. The Choir greatly enhanced the worship services. The charter members were: Irene Beyer, Wilma Likschat, Helen Engers, Virginia Engers, Eraine Witzke, Gladys Saneske, Thelma Pitters, Joyce Havenstein, Mildred Malcolm, Betty Nelson, Leona Fisher, and Carol Kessey.

In the fall of 1948 the young people were organized and were under the leadership of Miss Beverly Wood, President; Roger Doty, Vice President; Joyce Bock, Secretary; and Betty Nelson, Treasurer.

In the August, 1949, meeting a building committee was selected to begin plans for the new church building. The following men were selected: Mr. Herman Kreit, Mr. Bernard Likschat, Mr. John Kwasniewski, Mr. Otto Schlacht, Mr. Arlow Charles, Mr. Demeter Pitters, Mr. Kenneth Turner, Mr. Alfred Fink, Mr. Harold Saneske, and Mr. Edward Bendick.

To quote from the second anniversary book:

Wherever Angelica builds, it shall build to glorify God alone. The church was founded and has been built upon God’s Word. The members aim to be a light unto all men and the church…the new house of worship will be a haven of rest to weary sin-stained souls.

While waiting for the day to build, Angelica members devoted themselves to raising funds for the new house of worship. Each Sunday, Mr. Charles Weiss brought his miniature church and invited people to throw in their spare change for the building fund.

On August 13, 1950 the ground breaking ceremony was held, and on May 5, 1951, construction began on the new house of worship.

Great, regular lines of buff brick and rugged limestone trimming form the interesting and beautiful exterior of this house of worship designed and constructed by John B. Ebert and Sons of Detroit. The design is modified Gothic style of architecture and the construction is of substantial brick and block. Erected at the intersection of two main thoroughfares, it covers an entire city block. Attractively landscaped, this new church occupies a strategic spot in the community.

The date of June 22, 1952 marked the day of dedication of the new house of worship of Angelica Lutheran Church. The congregation gathered at the high school for the Valedictory Service, and then assembled before the doors of the new church at 10:00 a.m. The Rev. Elmer E. Beyer was the Dedicatory Officiant; The Rev. Arne Kristo was the Officiant, and the organist was Miss Clara Mae Cochran. The dedication sermon was given by the Rev. Richard Jesse, Sr. Executive Secretary of the English District, Mission Board. Dinner was served in the parish hall from 12 noon until 3:00 p.m.

The Afternoon Service began at 4:00 p.m. The Officiant for this service was The Rev. George Rehkopf, with the Festival Sermon being delivered by The Rev. Victor Halboth, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church. The organist for this service was Mr. Frederick Schwass. Dinner was then served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Order of the Vesper Service was held beginning at 8:00 p.m. The Rev. Erwin Kurth, Pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Detroit, delivered the sermon. The Officiant was The Rev. Arthur Beyer. The choir from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Taylor, sang an anthem, and Mr. Erwin Fechner played the organ for this service.

The dedication of this house of worship continued on Tuesday, June 24, 1952, at 8:00 p.m. with the organ dedication service. Pre-service music began at 7:45 p.m., and included, “Introduction and Toccata” (Wm. Walond); “Whatever God Ordains Is Good” (Kellner); “We All Believe in One True God” (Scheidt); and “Prelude and Fugue in C Major” (Boehm). Other organ music played in this dedication service, performed by Prof. Victor Hildner, was “Toccata and Fugue in D Major” (Bach); “Deck Thyself, My Soul, with Gladness” (Brahms); and “Carillon” (Vierne). The speaker at this service was The Rev. Erwin C. Beyer, and the Officiant was the Rev. John Streit.

Thursday, June 26, at 8:00 p.m., marked the date for the order of the Service for the Dedication of the Parish Hall. The Rev. Kenneth Roehrs was the Officiant for this service, with The Rev. Kenneth Runge, Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, delivering the sermon. Mr. Willis Bredehoft was at the organ.

The first meeting of the Altar Guild was held on September 22, 1952, at which time officers were elected and a constitution adopted. October 8 was the second meeting, when the name “Mary-Elisabeth Altar Guild” was formally adopted. This name was chosen because Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth is the cousin of Mary. Both of these women are examples of the ideals of service for which the members of the Altar Guild strive. The motto chosen was “Take my hands and let them move, at the impulse of Thy love.” That love motivates these ladies to do all things to the glory of God, preparing the Sanctuary for all worship services.

In the spring of 1953 the Altar Guild was given permission to plant and maintain areas around the church building. These duties were then taken over by the Garden Club. The Altar Guild sponsored a Sunday evening Bible hour in October of 1953. During the fall of 1953, a Junior Altar Guild of teenaged girls was formed to take care of and maintain the altar for Sunday School opening services.

To this day, the Altar Guild continues to work with the Pastor, Elders and Ushers to strengthen the worship atmosphere for all worshipers, whatever the church season requires. The members of the Altar Guild present a candle and baptismal napkin to the parents at the baptism of their child, and gives a Bible to each confirmand. They have purchased a Christmas tree for the lounge and have made Chrismons to decorate it. The members of the Altar Guild have also made banners (Reformation, Confirmation, etc.) for special occasions which are placed in the chancel. A twice yearly project of the Altar Guild is to sell plants to beautify the altar for both Easter and Christmas.

In September, 1952, the Senior Mixed Choir was organized, directed by the church organist, Miss Cochran. The following men were added to the already active Ladies Choir: Ed Bendick, John Kwasniewski, Howard Lemke, Gerald Stephenson, Lewis Koppitch, Carol Lange, Ralph Smith, Jack and Richard Meyers, Art Malnofski, and Bob Williams. The following ladies also joined the group at this time: Geneva Gregg, Dolores Dragos, Mildred Schlacht, Arline Greyzck, Myra Charles, Florence Werner, Donna and Janet Herbert.

Angelica’s Usher’s Club reorganized in September of 1952. The purpose of the Ushers is to promote and assist the Pastor and the Elders in conducting orderly worship services. The Ushers also act as hosts for God, not only in expressing the Church’s welcome, but also in looking after the comfort and needs of all the worshipers and visitors. The Usher’s Club sponsored a Square Dance, with all proceeds going to the lounge refurbishing program. These men have also hosted Mother/Daughter Banquets and Pancake Breakfasts, and have held golf outings. In recent years, the Ushers have hosted an Oktoberfest dinner in the fall and Breakfast each Easter Sunday morning, and have purchased new robes for the Acolytes. The Usher’s Club continues to be an extremely important part of Angelica Lutheran Church.

On February 18, 1953, the Junior Choir was organized under the direction of Clara Mae Cochran. The first eager members were Ruthann and Lois Kwasniewski, Betty and Charlotte Duey, Kathy and Nancy Nelson, Marilyn and Freddie Maynard, Karen Bendick, Jimmy Miller, Michael Turner, Bobby Gatherum, Marnie Calvird, Laura Burns, and Karen Spomer. The Choir rapidly grew to forty-five members, and the congregation dearly loved the children who sang two-part harmony to the glory of God.

In 1955 an “Armed Service Committee” was formed to keep in touch with members in the military. Also in 1955, the Elders recommended that two Sunday services be held, due to the “overcrowded condition in the single Sunday service.” Worship services were then held at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.

November 11 through 15, 1956, marked the dates of an Evangelism Mission. This mission program included guest speakers each evening at 8:00. Visits were made to the unchurched in the area. Both the Senior Choir and the Children’s Choir sang at these services. The “Venture of Faith” committee was formed to enlarge and strengthen the stewardship program at Angelica.

Mr. Ken Turner served as the first chairman of the Board of Elders. The primary concern of the Elders is the spiritual welfare of the congregation. They are the men who work with the Pastor to build up and edify the congregation through the use of the Word of God and the Sacraments.

Over the years, many of our young men were ordained into the ministry. This list includes:

  • William E. Duey, Jr. – June 18, 1961
  • Larry E. Stier – June 21, 1964
  • Robert Bendick – June 13, 1965
  • Robert C. Rowland II – June 30, 1974
  • Mark E. Beyer – June 20, 1976
  • James D. Beyer – June 19, 1977
  • Steven Srock – September 9, 1979
  • James K. Gullen – March 21, 1982
  • Robert L. Bruer – June 20, 1982
  • Timothy P. Beyer – July 10, 1983
  • Philip J. Beyer – July 10, 1983
  • In addition, Cheryl C. Huntley was consecrated as a Deaconess on June 29, 1980.

The 50 and Over Group was organized in 1975. The sole purpose of this organization is for Christian fellowship. Members donate $10 a year for a “No Bake” Sale for contributions to charities. This group continues to meet twice a month in Angelica’s Fellowship Hall.

On April 17, 1977, a very special service was held…a mortgage burning service! The Treasurer, Chairman of the Board, Pastor Beyer, and the entire congregation celebrated the liquidation of Angelica’s mortgage.

By 1977 it was obvious that the congregation had outgrown the current building. Expansion of the current building was necessary. As a result, Project ‘77 became a reality. The goal of Project ‘77 was to raise $350,000 over three years in cash and commitments. The campaign objectives were (1) to build an addition to provide for more effective work and fellowship; (2) to improve and beautify the church interior; and (3) to redecorate and update the parish hall and kitchen. Weekly contributions were given by members and friends of Angelica, and on September 25, 1977, the Groundbreaking Service and Refurbishing Service was held.

Work progressed steadily, and on September 24, 1978, Dedication Services for the renovated church and the new addition were held. This day of dedication marked not only the 31st anniversary of the founding of Angelica, but also the 30th year that Rev. Beyer served as pastor. The Liturgists at the morning services were The Rev. Robert Sielaff (Angelica) and the Rev. Victor F. Halboth, Sr. (Emeritus Pastor, Grace, Redford). The Lectors were The Rev. Robert Sielaff and The Rev. Erwin C. Beyer (Emeritus Pastor, St. Paul’s, St. Clair shores). The Preachers were Major Robert Bendick (Chaplain, U.S. Army) and The Rev. George W. Bornemann (President, English District). Angelica’s Choir sang, and Mr. Carl Lohrmann played the organ. The Dedication Officiant was The Rev. Elmer E. Beyer. The commemorative banner was made by Mrs. Mildred Malcolm.

A Vesper Service was held that same evening at 7:00, to dedicate the rebuilt organ and stained glass windows. At this service, the Liturgist was The Rev. Lance Jennings, (Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills, Auburn Heights). The Lectors were The Rev. James Beyer (Pastor, St. Peter’s, Fort Wayne, Indiana) and The Rev. Paul Teske (Pastor, Gethsemane, North Jackson, Ohio). The Preacher was The Rev. Eugene Beyer ( Pastor, North Scottsdale Mission, Arizona and 4th Vice President of the Southern California District). Angelica’s Choir again sang beautifully, and Mrs. Lois Drake was at the organ. The Dedication Officiant was The Rev. Elmer E. Beyer. The Soloist for this service was Mrs. Rivers Teske from North Jackson, Ohio. The members of Angelica’s Male Choir were Mr. Ronald Bendick, The Rev. James Beyer, The Rev. Mark Beyer, Mr. Timothy Beyer, Mr. Kip Horvath, Mr. Keith Huntley, Mr. Carl Lohrmann, and Mr. Gary Ott.

In 1978, it became necessary to rewrite Angelica’s constitution. The Constitution was rewritten and updated again in 1989.

Angelica’s Garden Club began in 1980. The purpose of the Garden Club is to encourage Christian fellowship, encourage better use of the talents God has given to our members, and to care for and maintain flowers in the gardens of Angelica. The efforts of these members in the re-landscaping of the front of the church resulted in Angelica receiving an award from the Allen Park Beautification Committee in 1985. The Garden Club continues to enhance the outdoor appearance of our property. They also take care of the courtyard, maintaining its beauty throughout the year. The Garden Club has hosted very popular and much anticipated Ice Cream Socials during the summer. In addition, the Garden Club purchased a wireless microphone for the pastor’s use during worship services, and hosted a “Healthy Home” workshop in 1997.

On May 2, 1982, the Pony Express debt reduction program was initiated to reduce the debt on the new addition of the church. A stained-glass panel was designed to commemorate this program. It hangs on one of the windows of the lounge, to be a constant reminder of what we, as a congregation, can accomplish.

In October of 1982, a reception was held in honor of the 40th anniversary of Pastor Beyer’ministry.

The very first midweek Advent service of 1982 consisted of an Advent tour. Each Angelica organization or group had an activity to explain the meaning of Advent. Tour guides advanced their group every fifteen minutes to different stations. For example, the Altar Guild explained the Chrismons and the Youth Group made wreaths. This Advent Tour was organized by Karen Call.

On January 29, 1983, under the direction of Dorothy VanSteenkiste, the first of seven mini-retreats was held at Angelica. The theme of the retreat was “Joy in Spite of it All.” The quest speaker was Mr. Richard Korthalis of Arcadia, Michigan. Mr. Korthalis, among other credits, taught at Concordia (Ann Arbor), was Dean of Students at Concordia (River Forest), and wrote a book entitled, “Agape Evengelism.” Music for the retreat was provided by Karen Call, Pam Cyrus, and Clara Mae Prince.

The second mini-retreat was held on January 14, 1984, with the theme, “ The Best Thing in Life is Free.” Dorothy VanSteenkiste again directed the mini-retreat. The quest speaker was Dr. Erwin Kolb, Executive Secretary of Evangelism Services at the Lutheran International Center in St. Louis. Musical selections were again provided by Karen Call and Clara Mae Prince.

For the third year in a row, a mini-retreat was held at Angelica. The date was January 26, 1985, with the theme being, “New Horizons through God’s Love.” Dr. Paul L. Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and campus chaplain to Lutheran students, was the guest speaker. Karen and Jon Call, Clara Mae Prince, and Keith Huntley directed the music for this retreat, and Dorothy VanSteenkiste chaired the event.

Pastor Beyer retired from his ministry at Angelica in 1984. Rev. Robert Kavasch was installed as Angelica’s pastor on September 22, 1985.

“What’s in a Name” was the theme of Angelica’s fourth mini-retreat, which was held on January 25, 1986. Dr. Jean Garton, chairman of LCMS President’s Commission on Women, was the guest speaker. Dorothy VanSteenkiste invited Joy Birdsall to be the musical soloist, with Clara Mae Prince, Karen Cal, and Jean Whittle providing musical selections.

Over the years, the youth of Angelica met and participated in the congregational life of this parish. They helped in many ways, including serving at Easter Breakfast and holding paper drives. The Youth Group reorganized in 1985 under the leadership of Elmer and Karen Jaffke, Barbara and Susan Schilke, Keith Huntley and Pastor Allman. Mike and Kathy took over in 1988. Unfortunately, the Senior Youth Group disbanded in 1989. A Youth Group was again started in 1995 under the direction of Mr. Kip Flood. A Junior Youth Group met briefly during 1997. The Youth Group has served Angelica in many ways, including leaf raking and snow shoveling, assisting at dinners, and providing fellowship opportunities for the young people of our congregation. In August, 1997, the first youth-led worship service was held. Our youth participated in this service as greeters, ushers, lay readers, and musical accompaniment to the service. This has become an annual event, allowing the youth of our congregation to show their love of our Lord during worship.

In 1986, the Board of Christian Education was established. Mr. Edwin Frosheiser and Mrs. Mary Jo Nicholls were the first who were asked to serve on the Board.

The second mortgage burning was held on October 19, 1986.

On January 31, 1987, Angelica again hosted a mini-retreat. Mike Wickett, a motivational speaker and consultant, spoke on the theme of “Finding the Joy Within.” Once again, Clara Mae Prince and Karen Call lead the music, with Joy Birdsall the guest soloist. The day’s events were directed by Dorothy VanSteenkiste.

Marva J. Dawn, a professor, director of youth education, special ministries, and teaching & writing ministry, was the guest speaker at the sixth annual Angelica Mini-Retreat held on January 16, 1988. Ms. Dawn spoke on “Light in our Life.” Music was provided by Clara Mae Prince and Arthur Rauh, and Craig Kukuk was the guest soloist. This retreat was chaired once again by Dorothy VanSteenkiste.

In September of 1990, the practice of sending Baptism Birthday cards was initiated. Special cards are sent to members of Angelica in recognition of their baptism.

On October 21, 1990, a Recognition Celebration was held at the Fairlane Manor, in honor of Pastor Kavasch’s thirty-five years in the ministry.

In January of 1991, Pastor Kavasch met with Edward Gregg, William Hurst, Florence Dubke, Larry Davis, and Audrey Penwill, and established The Angelica Foundation. All monies donated to the Foundation are invested through Lutheran Brotherhood. All gifts placed in the fund remain there and only the interest, or ordinary income, is used each year for mission activity, above and beyond the congregation’s annual budget. The Foundation gives recommendations for the mission project at the February Voter’s Meeting, and the congregation then decides the recipient.

On January 26, 1991, the seventh and last mini-retreat was held at Angelica. The theme for the day was “Bringing Life to People” featuring Rev. Walter DeMoss and his wife, Helena, missionaries in West Africa. Clara Mae Prince and Arthur Rauh again led the musical worship, with Joy Birdsall appearing as a guest soloist. Dorothy VanSteenkiste again showed her talents being the chairperson of this retreat. Mildred Malcolm made a banner for this mini-retreat, as she had for all the previous retreats.

On May 25, 1994, Pastor Kavasch wrote a letter to the Angelica Congregation announcing his retirement. A call committee was formed, and on September 3, 1995, Rev. Joel M. Holls and family were welcomed into the Angelica family of faith. Pastor Holls continues to lead this congregation today. In 1996, Pastor Holls joined the Allen Park Chaplain Corps, to serve our community as well as our congregation.

Since their inception in 1947, the Women’s Guild has been a vital force in the history of Angelica. The ladies of this group have raised money to purchase the carillons, a new dishwasher for the kitchen, to assist in refurbishing the lounge, and to purchase a new stove for the kitchen. They have given aid in decorating Pastor’s office and the ladies lounge, and have helped to purchase handbells. The ladies of the Women’s Guild have hosted various receptions, and prepare and serve funeral luncheons. Fundraising activities continue today with the sale of See’s candles at Christmas time, and Rada knives throughout the year. The members of the Guild participate in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) and make available to the congregation mite boxes to collect monies for LWML missionary projects. In addition, the women participate in the Council of Lutheran Women, each year selecting one women to represent Angelica as Women of the Year at the annual luncheon held in January.

The purpose of Angelica’s Choir is to assist the congregation in the singing of the liturgy and of the selected hymns during worship services. Further, the Choir enhances the preaching of the Word of God by signing anthems which are selected in accordance with the Lessons for the Day so that God’s message can be preached and heard in yet another way. In September of 1958, the Senior Choir made it possible to upgrade two ranks on the organ (16’ flute and 16’ Leibleich Gedech swell shutter). The members of the Choir have gone Christmas caroling to shut-ins, and have given Christmas concerts (1983 and 1984). They have also purchased handbells.

The Choir has been directed by numerous individuals over the years, including Clara Mae Cochran (Prince), Lois Beyer (Drake), Carl Lohrman, Karen Call, Arthur Rauh, and Cheryl Rolfs. Currently David Hufford is Angelica’s Director of Music. The goal of the music ministry at Angelica is not to entertain the congregation, but to lead and add beauty to the worship and praise of the congregation. Other individuals involved with the music ministry at Angelica were Bryant Brewer, Pam Cyrus, Lois Drake, Clifford Halter, Lois Kaarre, John Schuman, and Jean Whittle.

Bible Classes for adults have been held throughout the years, to glorify God, for the advancement of His Gospel, and to savor His precious Word.

An Acolyte Program began in 1980, and continues today. The acolytes help the Pastor and the Elders by lighting the candles and in any other way possible for smoothness of worship in our church.

Since its beginning in 1948, Angelica’s Sunday School continues to bring the news of salvation through Christ to the young boys and girls of our congregation. Classes are held for children in preschool through 8th grades. Beginning in September of 1997, high school-aged students – Youth Group members – assisted in each classroom, giving their unique input and “realness” to the lessons taught by the teachers. Over the years, Sunday School membership has been up, and it has been down. That has never deterred the teaching staff in their mission of telling young people the Good News of Christ Jesus. Virginia Huntley stayed with the Sunday School for twenty years, teaching the preschool children about Jesus! The children have presented their annual Christmas Program, most recently during the 11:00 a.m. worship service the Sunday before Christmas. The students and staff also participate in mission projects, such as Samaritan’s Purse. Mrs. Margaret Ferguson, Sunday School secretary, maintains the records and coordinates the Tracky Savings Stamp Program.

The entire history of Angelica has been marked with blessings despite our many weaknesses and shortcomings. Literally, hundreds have received blessings of faith, friendship, love, joy and peace through congregational membership. Thousands have found contentment, personal growth, and rewards through these hallowed walls where God’s Word prevails.

Above all, all our worshipers who have stood at out altar have heard the Savior’s blessings, “Your sins are forgiven! Go and sin no more! Go in peace! Go preach the Gospel.”

The future will make increasing demands upon us all as we set new goals to reach to glorify Christ. Trusting in the work of God’s Holy Spirit upon the hearts of their fellow men, the members of Angelica are confident that God will bless the efforts of pastor and people as they move into the new millennium.