Founded in 1867 by Wendish families from Serbin, Texas, United Lutheran Church in Swiss Alp is celebrating 150 years.
Here’s some more background on the Swiss Alp and “Swiss Alp Church.” http://www.fayettecountyhistory.org/swiss_alp.htm
Just south of LaGrange, United is the westernmost congregation in our synod,
United Lutheran Church’s history goes way back to the 1860’s when pastor C. C. Rudi moved from Serbin to Swiss Alp, gathering German immigrants together for worship and schooling. He taught children out of his home.
Philadelphia Lutheran at the time, organized and built a church in 1867. By 1889 it was too small, so they built a new building for the unbelievable price of… $975. Sixty years later, the transepts were added.
United Lutheran Church merged from 3 churches in 1967: Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church, Black Jack Springs Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Salem Lutheran Church of Freyburg. They have been served by Lemae Higgs (2003-present), Walt Hildebrandt (1995-2002?), Arlyn Hausmann, Clements Richards and many others.
They have produced two pastors, Clarence Hagens and Brad Otto (Messiah, Cypress). They supported Pastor Jen Kindsvatter through seminary.
They supported Dr. Don Just as he teaches in seminaries at Papau New Guinea. They have also supported Dr. Murray Greenwood, pastor and pediatrician in Ecuador, and a missionary to Malawi.
Next week Pastor Brad Otto will preach.
Pastor Lemae Higgs:
I see my visit made the paper, just under marijuana arrests. 🙂
Founding pastor C. C. Rudi’s grace in the church cemetery.
Former pastor Walt Hildebrand:
Coffee and kolaches with the bishop at the gazebo on a beautiful day.
The stairs to the organ loft appear to be a harrowing experience.
Nora Otto, Pastor Brad Otto’s mom, welcoming the troops.
Swiss Alp Church in 1910.