History and Heritage

Following the walkout at Concordia Seminary, several area churches left our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Many members of these churches moved to Salem Lutheran Church, Black Jack, which remained affiliated with the LCMS.

After a period of time, a move to establish a church nearer to many of these members’ homes was begun by Mell and Mabel Barry and other founding partners. Salem agreed to sponsor Salem Chapel as a new daughter church. Salem supported the new congregation with financial help and encouraged current members of Salem who lived in the new church’s area to attend services there, as well as assigning its vicar, Vicar Randy Haedge to serve the new congregation. Salem’s pastors would come to the new church to celebrate Holy Communion on the Sundays when the Sacrament was not celebrated at Salem.

1980

January 29 – The first meeting of what now has become Blessed Savior Lutheran Church was held.

August 3 – The first Worship Service was held in the cafeteria of Hazelwood Junior High School on Shackelford Road.

August 10 – The first Sunday School session was held this next week with a total of four classes.

1981

March 29 – Blessed Savior’s choir sang in our Worship Service for the first time.

August 30 – A motion was made to purchase our current 8 1/2 acre property on Shackelford Road at a cost of $75,000. This was accomplished with a grant from LWML of $10,000 for a down payment.

1982

May 3 – The State of Missouri chartered Blessed Savior as a Not-For-Profit Corporation.

June 22 – The Missouri District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod received Blesses Savior as a member congregation.

June 27 – New Concordia Seminary graduate, Randy Haedge was installed as the first pastor of Blessed Savior.

1984

July 16 – Symbolic walk by members from Hazelwood Junior High to new building, lead by cross. Ribbon cutting ceremony and thanksgiving to God for His blessings.

August – Worship services began in our church at our current location.

September 16 – The church was officially dedicated.

1986

February – Pastor Haedge accepted a call as Associate Pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas.

March – Pastor Paul G. Kiehl began serving Blessed Savior as Vacancy Pastor.

August 5 – The high steel cross in front of the building was dedicated. It was purchased and erected through special gifts received from members.

1987

Fall – Grading and seeding of the entire acreage was completed together with the enlargement of the parking lot.

1988_ Spring and Summer – The Family Pavilion was erected and equipped in memory of Elaine Meinecke with a gift from Gary and Jan Meinecke. The storage shed was completed to house the large and small tractors and other equipment for maintaining the acreage. Members of the Men’s Club created the softball field.

November 13 – The remodeled and refurbished sanctuary was dedicated along with the pews, carpets, sound system and two seven branched candelabras, made possible by special gifts from the members. The large Celtic cross was donated by Melvin Kelle, in memory of his wife Lorraine.

1989

October – The congregation voted to proceed with the construction of the new building addition supported by a loan from the Missouri District Church Expansion Fund.

1990

September 16 – Six years to the day of the dedication of the first building, the new building addition with its enlarged space for Christian Education and Christian Fellowship was dedicated.

1994

April – The Schulmench Campanile Carillon/Chimes were dedicated, a gift from Norman and Bernice Loebs.

1995

February – The beautiful 3-octave Malmark Handbell set was dedicated, a gift from members Norman and Bernice Loebs.

July 1 – Blessed Savior’s second vicar, Vicar Gary Schack was installed.

1996

July 14 – Pastor Gary R. Schack was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor.

1997

March – The Outreach Committee began a Welcoming Ambassador program of calling on and greeting new move-ins to the neighborhood.

June – New sign was placed on Shackelford Road, a memorial gift from the Robert Martin family.

1998

May – Pastor Paul G. Kiehl retired after 11 plus years of shepherding and caring for God’s people at Blessed Savior.

August 9 – Associate Pastor Gary Schack accepted the call to be Blessed Savior’s Sole Pastor and was officially installed on December 13, 1998.

December 20 – Pastor Paul G. Kiehl was given the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus in recognition of his faithful service, under God’s grace, to Blessed Savior.

2000

March – Voters decided to participate in the Vicarage program through Concordia Seminary.

July – Vicar Mike A. Iannelli, who went on to serve as Pastor at Shepard of the Grove Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, became the third vicar assigned to Blessed Savior.

October – New folding doors for the counter and door of kitchen in the Fellowship Hall were received and installed in memory of Earl Johnson by his wife Eunice and family.

December – Life sized Nativity designed and painted by the Outreach Committee and members of Blessed Savior, displayed for the first time.

2001

August – Vicar Carl Happ began his term as our church’s fourth vicar. Later, Pastor Happ answered the call to serve at Grace Lutheran Church in Central Islip, New York.

September-October – Blessed Savior received and evangelism grant from the Schwan Foundation to “Tell the Good News About Jesus”.

October – A team of three Harvesters for Christ arrived and worked with all committees to increase our outreach and evangelism efforts including an evangelism workshop for the entire congregation.

A new oil-burning Christ candle was dedicated, a memorial gift in memory of Andy Crutchfield given by his wife Clara Crutchfield and family. Oil-burning Advent candles were given by Clara Crutchfield in memory of her mother, Zora Anderson.

2002

February – A new tractor was purchased to assist with the grass cutting and upkeep of the softball field.

March – Two new oil-burning alter candles and 14 new oil-burning candelabra candles were purchased in memory of Evelyn Gross.

April – The Blessed Savior Men’s Organization received formal recognition and began their service to the Lord and His church at this congregation.

August – Our fifth vicar, Scott Patschke, was installed. Vicar Patschke was known for his dedication to serving the very young members of our congregation. Once ordained, Pastor Patschke accepted a call from St John’s Lutheran Church in Arnold, Missouri.

2003

August – Vicar Gary Ellul became Blessed Savior’s sixth vicar. Vicar Ellul performed many maintenance duties around the church, providing great relief to the budget. He was a big hit in the role of “Rick the Brick” at VBS that year, as well as sustaining Work Night volunteers with his “burnt offering” hot dogs. Pastor Ellul now serves as Sole Pastor at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jonesburg, Missouri.

2004

February – A new funeral pall, donated by Norman and Bernice Loebs, was dedicated.

June – The mortgage was happily paid off 6 years early and was celebrated by a mortgage burning ceremony at the annual church picnic.

August – Our seventh vicar, Kenneth Bunge was installed. During the year, Vicar Bunge and his family enhanced our worship services with their wonderful musical talents. Pastor Bunge now serves two congregations in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota.

2005

In 2005, a new sidewalk and awning over the office door was donated by Helping Hands using proceeds from their work at Busch Stadium. Matthew Voss, in order to satisfy his Eagle Scout requirements, built a brick base for the church sign that sits on Shackelford Road.

August – Scott Whittenburg became our eighth vicar. Vicar Whittenburg developed a new website for the church and taught a Greek language class. But, it is for Vicar Whittenburg’s outstanding performance during Pastor Schack’s illness due to a blood clot that earned him our deep gratitude. Pastor Whittenburg now serves as pastor at our neighboring church, Immanuel Lutheran Chapel, Florissant, Missouri.

September – The voters agreed to venture into the realm of child care with hopes of eventually building a school at Blessed Savior. Suzanne Helmich was hired to run Little Lambs Daycare.

2006

After prayerful contemplation, the voters decided to suspend the daycare program, due to low attendance. There are still hopes that in the future, the Lord will lead us to try once again to bring a Christian education program to the children of our area.

June – Mark Miller built a stockade fence to hide the unsightly air conditioner at the back of the church as his Eagle Scout project.

August 20th – After eleven years of faithful service to Blessed Savior, Pastor Gary Schack retired.

August – Our ninth vicar, Stephen DeSanto, was installed. Vicar DeSanto worked closely with our interim pastor, Dr. Timothy Dost, and with Pastor Roeglin. He contributed to that summer’s VBS. Vicar and his wife, Wendy accompanied our senior high youth to the Youth Gathering in Orlando.

Pastor DeSanto will be installed in his new church in Arizona the same weekend as our 25th Anniversary celebration in July, 2008

.

November 19th – Pastor Matthew Roeglin is installed as Sole Pastor of Blessed Savior. Pastor Roeglin and his wife, Karla are credited with swelling our Sunday School rolls, as our teachers gladly welcomed their five children into classes.

2007

April – A hymnal drive was a great success, culminating in the dedication of numerous copies of the new Lutheran Service Book.

May – The 72 Partners Along the Road, formerly known as Harvesters for Christ, held multiple seminars, for two weeks, teaching methods of sharing Christ with the community.

August – We welcomed Charles Schultz as our tenth vicar. Vicar Schultz headed up a project providing name tags for members as a way to better greet visitors. He is also credited with designing and building our new welcome center, and beginning the project to turn the nursery into a cry room, Vicar Schultz presided over a well attended Bible Study on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, focusing on the current Scripture readings, and along with his wife, Colleen, helped out at VBS.

December 7 – Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Paul Kiehl was called home to his eternal rest. Funeral services were held at Blessed Savior.

2008

Spring – Pastor Roeglin, with the help of his father-in-law, Pastor John Struve, sets members of Blessed Savior on a journey to develop a Mission and Vision Statement.

July – A joyous 25th Anniversary celebration is held, complete with a BBQ, games, and tethered rides in the LCMS “Lift High the Cross” balloon. The Anniversary Committee worked tirelessly to commemorate the church’s first quarter century and re-introduce Blessed Savior to the community. They are all to be commended for a job well done.

August – We look forward to the arrival of our eleventh vicar, Willis McCall.

Autumn – We are looking forward to the installation of the beautiful Brick Cross funded by the Buy a Brick fundraiser. Members have been given a chance to purchase engraved personalized bricks in thanks for the Grace God has shown Blessed Savior these past 25 years.