Angelica’s 50th Anniversary

The 50 years of Angelica Lutheran Church were celebrated with two separate worship services during the year 1997. The first celebration was on September 28th when The Rev. Victor Halboth Jr. preached at both services. The service began with a special piano and organ duet, Andante Religioso, by Clara Mae Prince and David Hufford. Both the Choir and Handbell Choir played special music for these services, under the direction of current Director of Music, Mr. David V. Hufford. A potluck dinner was held immediately following the second service, sponsored by the Anniversary Committee. Many members and former members joined in this celebration.

On Sunday, November 2nd, a second worship celebration was held. Two of Angelica’s own – The Rev. Robert Bruer and The Rev. James Gullen – preached at the worship services. An Anniversary Banquet was held at the Crystal Gardens in Southgate that afternoon. The Rev. Dr. W. Leroy Biesenthal was the special guest speaker. Special musical entertainment was provided by Ms. Tori Anderson, harpist; Mrs. Clara Mae Price, piano; and James Holls, guitar. The cover of the Anniversary Program matched the beautiful banner designed and assembled by Mrs. Mildred Malcolm for Angelica’s anniversary year.

Because he was unable to attend in person, Pastor Elmer Beyer sent the following message to the members and friends of Angelica:

October 25, 1997

Pastor Joel and all members of Angelica,

Congratulations to you on the celebration of your 50th anniversary. Thanks for your invitation to join you in person, but due to a stroke which has handicapped me, plus the distance and money involved, I will not be there in person on this happy occasion. I celebrate with you! I am reflecting upon my time with you!

I believe that the greatest event that ever happened in the city of Allen Park was the establishment of a mission church by the English District Mission Board in 1947. This was served at first by Rev. Victor Halboth Sr., Rev. George Rehkoph and other local pastors until yours truly was called and installed as their first pastor in 1948. By the close of 1947, it was named, “Angelica Lutheran Church.” Mt. Hope Lutheran had been struggling, but by 1960, both congregations numbered more than 1000 communicants. In 1952, the initial church was built and dedicated on June 22, 1952. A week later, 52 teenagers and 3 adults were Confirmed. This was the largest class I had the privilege of confirming in my 33 years of serving as the pastor. Under the very capable leadership of Ralph Smith, who was superintendent, our Sunday School had 700 children by 1960. The Lord had richly blessed us!

Secondly, I believe that the greatest event that happened in the congregation took place when the Board of Elders established what was called “The Theological Student Fund.” This fund provided annual financial assistance to any young man or woman who wanted to serve the Lord in the Lutheran Church. The requirements were that the individual attend one of our synodical schools and study and apply themselves to the best of their ability. Thus Angelica, was trying to carry out the Great Command given by Jesus in Matthew 28:20, “GO YE, INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE!” As a result of this program, 11 young men became pastors, 5 young women became parochial school teachers, and one, a full time deaconess. The young men who became pastors were:

  • Rev. William Duey, Jr
  • Rev. Robert Bendick
  • Rev. Larry Stier
  • Rev. Mark Beyer
  • Rev. James Beyer
  • Rev. Robert Rowland
  • Rev. Steve Srock
  • Rev. Timothy Beyer
  • Rev. Philip Beyer
  • Rev. Robert Bruer
  • Rev. James Gullen

The young ladies who became parochial school teachers were:

  • Ruth Ann Kwasniewski (Haskell)
  • Carolyn Lichtenwail
  • Dorothy Malvitz
  • Carole Schnieder
  • JoAnn Thomas
  • Cheryl Huntley, Deaconess

So as you move forward in 1998, these young men and women represent you and help you continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All across our land, north, south, east and west, they are telling the Good News that Jesus Christ died at Calvary and rose on Easter to pay the penalty of our sins and guarantee eternal life in heaven to all who believe and trust in it. They are all happy to be your ambassadors and, I am sure, are grateful for your help, prayers, and support through that great “Theological Student Fund.” What a great day it will be when we all gather at the throne of grace in heaven to thank and praise the Lord and celebrate FOREVER!

In the faith of the Resurrection,
Rev. Elmer E. Beyer

The Women’s Guild hosted an Anniversary Tea on October 18, 1997, to commemorate the 50 years of blessings bestowed upon the Angelica congregation. This group also gave a stained glass window pane in honor of this milestone. The Altar Guild asked for special recipes from all members and friends of Angelica, and compiled a special 50th Anniversary Cookbook. They also provided Anniversary mugs as favors at the Banquet. The Usher’s Club made available commemorative license plates as their contribution to the anniversary celebrations.

The 50th Anniversary Committee recommended, and the Voters approved, the installation of a chair-lift at the stairway leading to the fellowship hall. The funds for the chair-lift were given by the generous members and friends of Angelica as special memorials and gifts specifically for this anniversary project.

On Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998, the choir anthem was Now Raise A Song Unto The Lamb, an original hymn composed by our Director of Music, Mr. David V. Hufford. The hymn-tune, Angelique, was named in honor of Angelica’s 50th Anniversary.

The Congregational Officers for the 50th Anniversary Year of 1997:
President: Kip Flood
Recording Secretary: Mildred Malcolm
Treasurer: William Hurst
Financial Secretaries: Larry Davis & Betty Walker
Board of Christian Education:
Sue Holbrook
Carole Vettrus
Mary Makielski
Elizabeth Gahry
Melanie Flood
Elmer Jaffke
George Knight
Bruce Sondys
Dale Eising
Thomas Allsteadt
Gary Ott
Angelica Foundation:
Larry Davis
Ellen Comisso
William Hurst
Audrey Penwill
Edward Gregg
Michael Makielski
Earl Bullis
Finance Committee:
Esther Gullen
Kim Congdon
Thomas Marshall
The Organizational Officers for the 50th Anniversary Year of 1997:
Over 50 Group:
President – Mildred Malcolm
Vice President – Virginia Smith
Secretary – Iva Wallis
Treasurer – Iris Westphal
Women’s Guild:
President – Michele Dragos
Vice President – Virginia Phillips
Financial Secretary – Jeannette Mullen
Treasurer – Iva Wallis
Garden Club:
President – Robert Ruetz
Vice President – Alberta Burt
Secretary – Ellen Comisso
Treasurer – Betty Nixdorf
Altar Guild:
Co-Chairpersons – Ruth Knight & Suzanne Fraser
Secretary – Barbara Lindemeyer
Treasurer – Mary Schlacht
Senior Youth Group:
President – Kristyn Flood
Vice President – Kelly Congdon
Secretary – Angela Malcolm
Treasurer – Rebecca Flood
Advisor – Kip Flood
Junior Youth Group:
Advisor – Laura Scaggs