2016 © St Luke’s Lutheran Church, Albury, NSW, Australia.

PREPARED FOR THE 75th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED 13th OCTOBER, 2013.

EARLY DAYS.

After the 1st World War and after the persecution of the German Lutheran faith had subsided there were a good number of Lutherans in the Albury township of approximately 10,000 and its surrounds.

So just prior to Christmas 1926 the first service was held and on the 22nd February 1927 Pastor Stolz presided over the inaugural meeting of the new congregation. Services were held in various locations over the coming years. These places included a hall near Hoyts Theatre, The Church of England Sunday School Hall (both in Olive St.) and the Presbyterian Church for special occasions. The first mention of building a church was at a meeting 25th July 1928 but with the onset of the great depression the project came to an end.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ST. LUKE'S CONGREGATION.

In 1935 a building fund was established and during the first weeks of 1938 the then serving pastor, Pastor Linke, undertook a town of collection tour in N.S.W. which was well responded to. And so with the building fund standing at £1200 the decision was made in spite of the depression to go ahead with the building of a church. On the 23rd August the same year the contract for 1408 pounds was let to F.W. Lemke.

The foundation stone for St Luke’s Church was laid on the 28th September by Pastor J.H. Linke, and the dedication service was held 18th December 1938, Pastor Stolz officiating.

EXPANSION OF THE CHURCH PLANT.

In 1945 the first definite steps were taken to build a hall at the rear of the church. In February 1948 A.B. & M.A. Chick commenced the building of the hall at a cost of £1600. The job was delayed somewhat due to a shortage of materials as a result of the Second World War. However, on 6th November the hall was dedicated by Pastor B. Muelzelfeldt assisted by Pastor C. Scheer.  The cost was £1600. On 11th September 1963 extensions to the hall were commenced, much of the work being done on a voluntary basis and overseen by Mr N. Jacob. The cost was estimated at £5000.

MANSE CONSTRUCTION.

In 1949 the Albury Parish Council decided it was time to provide a manse for the pastor. Consequently the block of land adjacent to the church was purchased for 1200 pounds (which was generously donated by a parish member). Construction commenced on 31st May 1954. The contract having been awarded to W. Vickers for £5300. Once again due to the shortage of materials the manse was completed in April 1955.

THE AMALGAMATION OF ELCA & UELCA.

With the amalgamation of the two Lutheran Churches, (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia & United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia) it was decided to enlarge St. Luke's Church in Guinea St. The extension to St. Luke’s to  the south commenced in October 1966. In the interim most

services were held in Trinity Lutheran Church in Swift St (home of the former E.L.C.A.) with special services e.g.1966 Christmas Service in the Red Cross Hall in Dean St. Extensions were completed and with cost of the extra pews amounted to $14,874. With substantial donations this left a deficit of $9617. The dedication of the extensions to St Luke’s was held on 11th March 1967 Pastor E. Sabel presiding with Pastor Sander as guest preacher.

FURTHER UPDATES AT ST.LUKE'S.

During the following years St Luke's purchased the house on the corner of Macauley and Guinea St. This is called St.Luke's House and is used as the church offices. Following this the house next door in Macauley St. was purchased with the view of further expansion. This property is currently leased to tenants.

The other major updates were carried out around 2000.  These included the erection of a covered area on the Western side of the church with the covered walkway linking this area to the hall. At the same time the floor in the porch was levelled with the removal of steps and an area at the back of the church now part of the porch set aside for parents with small children. The dividing timber wall was decoratively carved with biblical figures by Pastor Bartel with the upper half plain glass panels. Access ramps were also built to the church and hall for wheel chair access. Kitchen modifications have also been carried out and inside invalid toilet and a parent's room have also been provided in the hall area. The stage area in the hall has also been removed and the entire hall floor carpeted.

In 2014, with generous donations by members, both the church and the hall received make-overs.  They were both repainted, new carpet laid in the church, the altar area uncluttered by removal of the large pulpit, new projector and screen, and air conditioning installed.

SERVING PASTORS SINCE THE SYNOD AMALGAMATION.

Pastors:-Ern Sabel 1965-1969; Doug Tscharke 1969-1977; Norman Jaensch 1977-1984; Peter Lockwood 1984-1988; Dean Zweck 1985-1996; Lyle Bartel 1997-2005; Geoff Kuchel 2006-2012; David Grulke 2014 – present.

CONCLUSION.

St. Luke's Congregation give thanks to God for the abundant blessings which have been shed on it since its inception after the 2nd World War. The members have lived through persecutions handed out to the German residents during the war years; through the great depression years:-floods fires and other catastrophes over the years, Over all these years faithful members driven by their love for God have given time, talents and money to St Luke's. This would not have been possible without the support, advice and sometimes the admonition of faithful Pastors – our spiritual shepherds.


TO GOD BE THE GLORY.


(Information for this article was taken from The History of St. Luke’s Congregation researched by Mr. Given Friedrich)


CONCISE HISTORY OF ST. LUKE’S LUTHERAN CHURCH

Given Friedrich, a member at St Luke’s, wrote a much more detailed history, which you can access clicking on the button to your right.

Detailed History of St Luke's