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.
Another ministry held at Peace Lutheran is the Military Care Package outreach. Although the base is at Peace, the community is involved in donations, sorting, packing, and mailing packages to deployed military each month. The group meets the second Monday of each month at 8:30 am. The items are packaged, boxes packed, and mailed. Getting emails and letters from those receiving the boxes let us know how important this outreach is to the military.