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Spiritual Spotlight: Lutherans to mark 50th anniversary

Faith Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, 382 W. Cedar St. in Sequim, will celebrate “50 Years of Faith” Aug. 15-17. Anniversary events include the following:

• 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at Faith Lutheran, there will be a celebration of music led by John Meier, guest organist. He is associate director of music at The Church of St. John The Divine (Episcopal) in Houston, Texas. His first music teachers were Thelma McCoy and Patricia Churchley of Port Angeles and he served as organist at St. Matthew Lutheran while in high school. The public is invited.

• 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, the community is invited to attend an open house/ice cream social. There will be guided tours, a display of the church’s history and a children’s museum with activities.

• 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, an Anniversary Celebration Worship will be held. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Paul Linnemann, president of the Northwest District, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Congregational history

In 1937, a few families of like beliefs, joined together after moving to Sequim from the North Dakota dust bowl, seeking to make a new start in the Sequim Valley during the Depression. Realizing there was no Missouri Synod Lutheran church in the area, this pioneer group formed a small mission church which began holding services in the VFW Hall in July 1937, under the pastoral care of the Rev. A. Eichmann of Mount Vernon.

In October, the group decided to meet in Port Angeles which offered greater growth opportunity. A year later, the small church had a constitution and a name: St. Matthew.

 

Growth did, indeed, continue, but since driving the round trip to Port Angeles became prohibitive, the

Sequim contingent re-

turned to Sequim to worship in the rented sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church. St. Matthew became two congregations worshipping in separate places.

 

In spite of wartime hardships, both churches became self-sustaining in 1944. A Sequim groundbreaking ceremony was held in 1956 at the present location of Fourth Avenue and Cedar Street, and the church was dedicated in 1957. Much of the labor was completed by charter families such as the Kettels, Wilbers, Brueckners, Joneses and Schumans.

In 1964, the Sequim congregation became independent, approved a constitution and chose the name Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Rev. Daniel Parshall was Faith’s first full-time pastor. He was succeeded by Pastors Walter Huth, Michael Kasting, Steve Moser and Shawn Hazel. Faith Lutheran is presently served by Pastors Steve Eaton and Roger Stites. A new sanctuary was dedicated in 1975. The years since have seen two additions and preschool facilities.

 

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