OBSERVING 175TH ANNIVERSARY 1841 – 2016
THE STORY OF SOLOMON – HISTORICAL STORY #8
AS TIME GOES BY…..The year was 1941 and the Centennial Observance started with an Inaugural Organ Recital in mid-November as Solomon now had a magnificent three manual instrument built by the A. J. Schantz Company of Orrville, OH. The cost of the organ was $46,000, an enormous sum to raise in the 1940s. Centennial services observing 100 years of ministry were held on Thanksgiving Day with one service in the German language and another service conducted in English.
In 1998 the organ was restored by Muller Pipe Organ Company at a cost of $217,410. The entire organ was removed from the church during a two week long process. Scaffolding was required to hoist the largest 16 foot long pipes, windchests (the largest weighing close to 1,000#) and the console to the floor of the church.
Dr. Paul W. Nesper’s ministry began in 1947 and Solomon was now completely an English speaking congregation. For many years the need for a Parish House and Educational Building had been discussed, and was delayed because of World War II. In 1948 a Study and Planning Committee was once again appointed. After much planning, the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the present Educational Building was held on a very cold day in January 1951. The cornerstone was laid in May 1951 and by February 1952 the building was ready to house school children. Moving Day was on a snowy day in February in 1952 when the children and teachers carried their books from the school building on College Avenue to the present school building.
The basement of this new building was open and the kitchen was on the west end (space now used as the Art Room). The women served many, many large banquets for H. J. Heinz Company, Woodville State Bank, and Sandusky County Cattle Feeders. Their efforts helped pay the mortgage! For many, many years Solomon women served weekly dinners for the local Kiwanis Club.
Twenty plus years later and after several attempts, the congregation approved the building of a multiple-use facility attached to the educational building. Groundbreaking was once again on another wintry day in February 1973. The dedication of Cronenwett Hall in March 1974 was the fulfillment of a dream which the congregation had nourished for almost fifty years.
The sanctuary was redecorated in 1951 and several Sunday services were held in the former American Legion Building. We had an Easter Parade that included fashionable finery from the 1950s as well as vintage clothing from Victorian Days and the turn of the century. The most recent redecorating was in February 2006 in the pallet style retaining the Gothic look of the sanctuary.
In this series of stories, much has been said about bricks and mortar – all very important in the retelling of highlights of a church and ministry spanning 175 years. And so the journey continues in an ever-changing world, and we realize that THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION IS JESUS CHRIST, HER LORD.
The following is a listing of the pastors whose ministry has led the congregation. Solomon has a rich history and there are many, many stories that remain untold and are held in our memories and have shaped our spiritual journey.
PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED THE WOODVILLE AREA & SOLOMON LUTHERAN CHURCH
- – Rev. Herman Blohm 1913 – 1922
- – Rev. Peter Langendorf 1904 – 1912
- – Rev. Julius Bauch (Interim) 1903 – 1904
- – 09-19-1840 German Reformed Lutheran Church purchased Lot #31 from Amos Wood at the corner of College and Perry Streets
- – Lutheran Missionary & Circuit Riders who made occasional stops in Woodville area
- – Rev. J. J. Beilhartz 1840 – 1841
- – Rev. Adolph A. Konrad 1831 – 1840
- – Rev. Geo. Cronenwett (1st sermon 3rd Sunday Advent 1841) 1841 – 1888
- – Rev. Dr. William Steinmann (Interim) 1887 – 1888
- – Rev. Paul Raether 1888 – 1903
- – Rev. William Nordsieck (Interim) 1922 – 1923
- – Dr. Henry Lindemann 1923 – 1947
- – Dr. Paul W. Nesper 1947 – 1960
- – Dr. Otto Gerbich (Interim) 1960 – 1961
- – Rev. Carl Schneuker 1961 – 1984
- – Rev. Sheridan Widmark 1961 – 1962
- – Rev. Raymond E. Orth 1962 – 1974
- – Rev. Dr. Theodore O. Dockter (Interim) 1984 – 1985
- – Rev. David A. Thomas 1978 – 1985
- – Rev. William J. Duty 1985 – May 2011
- – Rev. Mark Honeck Sept 1986 – Nov 1989
- -Rev. Stephen S. Bull 1991 – 1996
- – Cindy Getzinger (Lay Director of Pastoral Services 2002 – 2005
- – Rev. Karl Ribbeck (Assistant for Pastoral Services) 2005 – 2011
- – Rev. Henry Seibert (Interim) June 2011 – Sept 2012
- – Rev. Kristina Ahlman Sept 2012 –
“The Story of Solomon” articles have been put together by Mary Lou Busdiecker in honor of Solomon Lutheran Church’s 175th Anniversary. We thank her for her diligence in research for, and organization of, this special time in Solomon’s life!