History

Our Beginnings
In the early 1950’s there was considerable debate about whether to  start a new Lutheran congregation in the Richmond/Rosenberg area, as there was one already in existence. With that debate ongoing, a group of 106 people met together in the old Richmond American Legion Hall on the first Sunday of May in 1955, to worship and open a new congregation.  
Dr. A. G. Wiederanders, known affectionately as Dr. Wiede, Vice President of the Texas District of the old American Lutheran Church and a professor at Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, officiated at that first worship service. It was Dr. Wiede’s help and able assistance that this congregation came into existence. Dr. Wiede suggested the name of Peace for our congregation with the hope and the dream that God’s peace would come out of the tensions of the time. The formal organization of Peace Lutheran took place under the direction of Rev. Richard Fenske, Deputy Executive Director of American Missions of the American Lutheran Church, on November 27, 1955.

The original church council of Peace Lutheran was comprised of Emil Dockal, Will Eckermann, Melvin Kurtz, William Lampe, Erwin Lingnau, Marvin Rinn, Otto Schramme, and Arthur Schulze. The officers were Herbert Tappe (President), William Rosenbaum (Secretary), and Robert Schulze (Treasurer).

The first worship services were held in the American Legion Hall on Thompson’s Highway in Richmond. Each Sunday morning, people would come early to arrange the hall for worship and Sunday School. The chores on Sunday morning also included removing empty beer bottles, hanging sheets over the beer signs, airing out the hall, and sweeping up the debris from the night before. (Martin Luther would have loved it!).

Our first choir director was Joyce Bortz (Gay), and Doris Lingnau (Grant) was our first pianist. Ida Schulze became our first Sunday School Superintendent.

Dr. Wiede continued to serve Peace as a supply pastor, coming each Saturday for worship preparation and staying in church members’ homes. On February 26, 1956, Rev. Bruno Gaskamp was installed as our first full-time pastor.

The dream to have our own land and building began to take place two years later when Arthur Schulze and Emil Dockal purchased and gave land to the congregation. The land was nothing more than weeds, briers, and brush at the time. A building committee headed by Fred Chaloupka, with Walter Ludwig, Gerald McCall, Erwin Muegge, Lester Newell, and Waldo Peschel began putting the plans together for a parsonage and church. On May 26, 1957, the parsonage was dedicated, and on July 14, 1957, the first unit of the church was completed. Worship began in the building that day.

In February of 1960 Pastor Gaskamp accepted a call to Sinton, Texas and concluded his ministry at Peace. Pastor A. L. Pfennig of Galveston was called to Peace and accepted the call to begin his
ministry on September 1, 1960. During his years at Peace, the congregation was able to reach a level of financial self-sufficiency and no longer needed funds from the Mission Board of the ALC. The loan to the American Lutheran Church was paid off. Then additional funds were raised to add an Educational Wing and a Fellowship room. These facilities were completed June 1963.

Pastor David W. Schulte began his ministry at Peace in August of 1983. During his ministry our present sanctuary was designed, built, and completed in 1987.

In the years of 2007, 2008, & 2009 Peace, with other workers, supported Habitat for Humanity to build the houses with generous donations raised from our “Chicken Fried Steak Dinners”.

Beginning in 2007 Peace initiated a”Noisy Offering” on third Sundays of the month. Through these donations, Peace has given an extra $12,000 to Ministry both in the community and around the world.

Peace continues to be very active in our community and has developed a closer relationship with St. Paul Lutheran. Together both churches donated over 6,000 pounds of food to Helping Hands.

We have the Dorcas Community Sewing Circle (quilting) which continues to provide over 300 quilts each year. Distribution of the quilts include Lutheran World Services, a mission project to Peru, Helping Hands, Luther Hill Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul Ministries, local families in need, and many other places.

Thanks to all the Peace Family who saw a need then stepped up and got it solved. They touched many lives.

And “Welcome” to Pastor Michael Giese! God has blessed us according to our needs.

2 thoughts on “History

  1. The first group of 106 people met in the old Richmond American Legion Hall on the Thompson Highway not the old Ft. Bend County fairgrounds. Doris Grant one of the 106

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