Honey Grove Preservation League

Saving and Documenting the History of Honey Grove, Texas

On November 10, 1963, an individual communion cup set was purchased, doing away with the use of the common cup for the Lord's Supper.

In 1964 the church roof was repaired and a church library was started, with Wayne Ryser, Mrs. Zumwalt and Pastor Luecke selecting the books.  In September of '64, Ernest Hoeldtke built a cedar closet for storing the altar paraments, thereby helping the ladies care for the altar covers.  The Walther League met on the same night as the Ladies Aid joining together for the opening devotion.

Although previously done by volunteers, in 1965 and 1967 respectively, the church organist and caretaker began being paid for their services.

December of 1968 marked the end of service by Mrs. Rufus Allen as Ladies

the early years of the church's organization.  Another improvement made in 1959 was the black topping of the parking area.

The Ladies' Aid rejoined the LWML in 1959 after dropping out for a few years and made plans to hold the Spring Rally at St. James in 1960.  The theme for the rally was "The Christ We Share."  The Rev. Wil H. Koenig was the main topic speaker.  It was held on May 6, 1960.  The lunch and business meeting were  held at the national Guard Armory in Honey Grove.  The ladies dressed up for the occasion in long dresses.  As you can see in the picture - they look pretty sharp.

In 1961 new front doors were hung and a front porch was added to the church.  Also in Jully 1961, P. J. Hintz suggested adding an annex to the church, 16 x 30 ft.  The motion carried and building began on November 15th that same year.  The annex included a kitchen and a Sunday School room.

In January 1962, a new constitution was drawn up and in April a Walther League group was organized.  A volley ball court was set up north of the church for the young group to enjoy.  In September the Communion chalice was refinished.  Pastor Snyder accepted a call in September that same year and his farewell sermon was September 23, 1962.  The dedication of the new education wing and the accepting of the new constitution were both held on that same day.

After serving as vacancy pastor for  nearly a year, the Rev. George Luecke was installed as pastor of St. James' in the summer of 1963.

paper Rev. Buenger conducted services each Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m. with catechism class following the service.  Private school was held 5 days a week.

Buenge was succeeded by Cand. Julius Hamm who remained until 1902.  After Hamm left, the church suffered a seven month vacancy.  However, the members didn't let this dampen their spirits, because during this time the church was relocated in the Allens Chapel Community, seven miles northwest of Honey Grove.  This church building was located about 1/4 mile east of its present day location, just a little southeast of the Alvin Loschke home today, 1984.  The church was finished and ready for dedication by September of 1902.

Finally, the Rev. F. W. Lammert accepted a call to St. James'.  He was installed and the new church building was dedicated on the same Sunday in September 1902.  Lammert remained until 1907.

During this period the automobile invention made possible the merger of many smaller congregations with larger ones.  Also this period of history includes the years of the First World War and of the unbelievable hysteria directed against Americans of German descent that came with it.  Immigrants from Germany and their descendants who still spoke the German language were suspected of Anti-Americanism and of impeding the war effort.  Thus, Honey Grove was one of the several congregations forced to close their Christina Day Schools.  Fortunately, the duration of the actual hostilities was less than two years and with the coming of peace the hysteria also began to subside,  Thus, this explains who for many years St. James' was referred to as "that old German church" and why the children were treated differently by the children of non-German descent. 

Honey Grove by Pastor Ruhlan during the time Wacker served as vicar.  Our former pastor, the Reverend Doctor Walter Synder (1958-1962), who is the grandson of the late Reverend H. D. Wacker, provides us with a close-up look at Vicar Wacker's years, having obtained some of his information from the late Mrs. Mary Bauer, who was a member of St. James at the time of Snyders pastorate here.

Herman Wacker arrived in Honey Grove sometime in early June 1887.  He was taken out of the Michigan Prairie settlement northeast of Honey Grove to the home of Michael Bauer.  Mr. Bauer was a young man only two years older than the vicar.  He and his new wife boarded the young vicar for the first six months.  For the following eight months of his stay he was boarded among several other families.  Transportation was either on foot or with a borrowed horse or mule.  Longer trips were made by train as passes were free for pastors.

He was a faithful servant of Christ, holding services at Honey Grove while visiting other areas around Sherman and Denison and the Indian Territory as a citcuit rider.  In November, 1887, young Wacker added to his duties the task of schoolmaster with a student body of 14.  The school was conducted at the church in town which meant a seven mile walk to town and back each day.  The school term was from November to April for this was cotton country and the children were needed in the fields for planting, chopping and picking cotton.  The curriculum of the little school was reading and writing English which caused concern among the members.  They felt teaching their children the English language wouldlead them astray; however, Wacker was able to convince them that the children needed to learn the language to prepare them for the business world and for dealing with their neighbors.  Both Wacker and Ruhland left the area in the summer of 1888.

In 1887, a stone baptismal font was carved for the congregation of J. Fein, a Roman Catholic stone mason who was responsible for many of the tombstones of this area.  He was assisted by Fritz Hoffman, one of the founders of the church.  This baptismal font is still a part of the church today, 1984, perhaps the only thing still used in the church from its beginning.

Not until the fall of 1889 was Pastor Ruhland replaced at Zion, Dallas,  He was succeeded by the Reverend J. Heyer.  St. James', however, installed its first resident pastor already in the summer of 1888, Candidate M. A. Donner.  He servied until the beginning of 1891, conducting services in Denison and up into Oklahoma, as well as here at Honey Grove.  Donner was succeeded by Candidate E. Polster.  He remained at St. James' until 1893, when he accepted a call to Millwood, Kansas.

Meanwhile, Pastor Heyer of Zion had found it necessary to request the help of his father-in-law, retired Pastor H. Schmidt, to come assist him in Dallas.  This move later became a blessing to the congregation in Honey Grove, for following Polster's departure in 1893, retired pastor Schmidt was called to serve St. James', where he continued until 1895.  Due to his advance age, he was unable to serve the Oklahoma stations started by Donner and Polster.  Therefore, they were lost.  During this time, Pastor Heyer of Zion also helped out at Honey Grove as is evidenced by a newspaper article provided by Honey Grove Historian, Miss Alma Braudrick.  The 1893 account tells of the marriage of Mrs. and Mrs. G. M. Ohr at the Lutheran church by Pastor Heyer.

For one year, 1895-96, St. James' was served by Rev. G. P. A. Kirschke.

In the summer of 1896 Cand. John Buenger was installed at St. James' and served until 1898.  According to a clipping from a Honey Grove News-

On June 15, 1884, the Lutherans of Honey Grove met to consider the organization of a congregation.  Pastor Kohn gave a brief talk on the purpose of a Christian congregation and presented a constitution of four paragraphs.  Twelve men signed it that day:  Michael Ohr, Jacob Ryser, Fritz Hoffman, George Ankele, L. G. Meyer, John Edelhauser, Fritz Stiegleiter, John Lohse, H. Vorholzer, H. Hoback, C. Fleischmann and F. Hohenberger.  Give days later others signed: Michael Bauer, Andrew Messerer, C. Begdolt, J. Welhoffer.  Shortly thereafter it was also signed by Christian Loeschke, Valentin Drohm and Engelhartdt. 

Other prominent names that still have active ancestors in the congregation today, 1984, are names such as the Stoehners, who joint the group around 1897, the Hintzes around 1902 and the Poecks around 1912.

Pastor Kohn held the first confirmation in the newly organized congregation August 23, 1885.  Those being confirmed on this date were Martin T.

Photo from the Allens Chapel Scrapbook

St. James Lutheran Church,  Allens Chapel

For a listing of Deaths, Baptisms, Confirmations and Marriages, click HERE.

William Hintz and two of her brothers, and by Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Poeck in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Poeck.

The Guest Register Book in the vestibule was given in 1970 by Bob and Frances Tredway and children in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Poeck.

The Lutheran Liturgy books on the altar was donated in August, 1963, by the Herman Ryser family in memory of their daughter, Katie Marle.  Others giving memorials for for this also were the Ernst Hoeldtke family, Mr. and Mrs. Newt Jones and Mrs. Lottie Miller.

The two 3-branch candelabras on the altar were donated by Ralph Deyhle.  The Gold Cross on the altar was donated by Paul Loschke.  The two beautiful cut glass vases, sued for flower arrangements, were donated by Irene Baker in memory of her parents.

At the beginning of the centennial year St. James' had 83 baptized souls and 70 communicate members.

This brings the history up to the present, Sunday, October 14, 1984, the date set for our Centennial Celebration.

The Rev. Delmar Brack of Wichita, Kansas, former pastor of St. James', is scheduled to be the guest speaker.  Other former pastors planning to be in attendance are Pastor Walter Snyder of Flint, Michigan, Pastor George Luecke of Dallas and Pastor Herman Hiegert of Van Alstyne.

church in memory of her beloved husband, Rudolph.  Pastor Brack accepted a call and preached his farewell sermon on August 27, 1976.  Dedication of the new addition was also held that same day.

The faithful Reverend Herman Hiegert again came to our aid and filled-in as vacancy pastor.  However, at this time it was evident that Grace, Denison had grown to the point of discontinuing the dual parish situation with Honey Grove.  Thus, an important decision had to be made:  consolidate with another small congregation, such as Bonham, or try to stand alone.  The voters decided to extend a call to Pastor Hiegert, who was planning to retire soon from other employment in Dallas.  By God's grace, St. James' would try to stand alone.  Pastor Hiegert accepted the call, but remained in Dallas until he and his wife built their new home in Van Alstyne.  The Reverend Herman Hiegert was installed on August 12, 1977, by Dr. Carl Heckmann, then president of the Texas District of the LC-MS.  As a single parish under Pastor Hiegert's guidance, the time for worship service was set at 10:30, preceded by Sunday school at 9:30.

Perhaps it was the enthusiasm mustered by this turn of events that moved the Ladies' Aid to plan a church homecoming.  The date was set and the first homecoming was held Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 1978.  Pastor George Luecke, former pastor of St. James', was the guest speaker.  Its success prompted the ladies to vote that the homecoming would be a regular event every three years;  Thus, the 100th anniversary celebration would the third homecoming. 

During this same year, the pews which had been purchased almost 50 years ago, became a topic for the Ladies' Aid.  It seemed they needed to be refinished or replaced.  However, the

chancel and make Sunday school rooms on each side.  The altar was also remodeled.

On July 16, 1950, the Reverend Donald Vetter was installed as pastor of Grace and St. James'.  After a few more years without a resident pastor, the parsonage was sold to Osie Logan for $1000 on February 21, 1954.  That year the mission board had asked Denison/Honey Grove to do self-supporting.  Pastor Vetter also accepted a call to Houston that year.

The Rev. Marcus Lang was installed as pastor on December 19, 1954.  In January of 1956 the 5 acres north of the church were sold for $950.00 with $545 of it being used to pay on an organ.  In October of that year, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ryser donated light fixtures for the church.  A year later, October 1957, Pastor Lang accepted a call to Abilene and the Rev. Herman Hiegert of Dallas began hi first of many years of association with St. James' as he filled-in as vacancy pastor.  On July 27, 1958, the Rev. Walter Snyder was installed as pastor of St. James' and Grace Lutheran, Denison at a service held jointly in Denison.

In February of 1959 the church voted to hold Easter Sunrise services at 6 a.m. which continues to be a church tradition even now.  This also marked the year that the church bell as brought out of retirement.  Although it had not been rung for several years, beginning with Easter Sunday, March 1959, the bell has been rung before every church service since.

Beginning its 75th Anniversary in 1959, St. James' decided to put a stained glass Gethsemane window behind the altar, 2' x 5' for the sum of $295.00.  It was to be installed by October 25th, which was the date set for the

Electric lights were installed in our church that year on on April 14th Sunday School was organized with Willie Hintz being elected its first superintendent.

In 1944, the debt owed the Church Extension Fund was paid off for the church property and fund for a new

1932.  In 1933, the Ladies Aid paid $40 down on new pews and later contributed $15 more for them, while the old pews were sold for 50 cents each.

The ladies' means of making money during the depression for their endeavors were by piecing and quilting quilts for sell, selling eggs and donating a setting of eggs to the Bach hatchery for baby chicks to be sold.

The church celebrated its golden anniversary in the all of 1934 in a worship service which also served as Mission Festival.  The offering was given to the mission fund.

In 1935 the old constitution and by-laws were revised and adopted April 26, 1936.

In late 1937, it was resolved that begging with the new church year the first and third Sunday's sermons would be in German and all other services would be in English.  And the next year, English services were held in the evening on Sundays when German sermons were appointed.

A dual parish was established in January of 1940 between St. John's of Clarksville and St. James' of Honey Grove.  At this time the new dual Parish proclaimed itself independent of district or synod help.  The pastor was to live in Honey Grove and services would be held every other Sunday at each place.

Following Pastor Lammert the Rev. C. H. Proehl served here briefly from about Easter 1908 until some time in 1909 when he resigned because of poor health.  Later that same year the Rev. H. H. Huge came to St. James'.  He explored the extreme eastern corner of the state, in such places as Clarksville and Texarkana.

Unfortunately, by this time, the handwriting was on the wall for Honey Grove - the congregation hadn't grown enough to support its own full-time pastor.  When Pastor Huge left in 1917, the congregation appealed to the District Mission Board for financial aid.  The Mission Board placed Rev. J. M.

Ohr and Eva Maria Hoffman.

It was decided that arrangements should be made for a permanent house of worship.  Property was procured on West Main Street in Honey Grove.  (The exact location is not known, but some say it was just west of the present day Crockett Park on West main).  As the people were very poor, Pastor Kohn began soliciting money among his friends in Chicago and Milwaukee.  They were able to raise $250, and the remaining $50 of the cost of this frame structure was contributed by the people of Honey Grove themselves.  Construction was begun.  In the meantime, Kohn moved on to another field in 1886.  Pastor Trinklein also moved on, this leaving the entire North Texas field vacant.  The mission board sent Rev. Wischmeyer to tour the field early in the spring of 1886.  This resulted in there being two candidates, J. Barthel and H. Ruhland, sent to fill the vacancies.

The church building was finally finished and dedication was held the second Sunday of October 1886 with Pastors Ruhland and Wischmeyer officiating.  The first confirmation held in the new church building was that of Marie Bauer on November 27, 1886.  Unfortunately a picture of this structure is not to be found.

Pastor Ruhland was ordained at Zion, Dallas, in August of 1886.  He records that he preached monthly at Honey Grove.

In the spring of 1887 the congregation submitted a call for a resident pastor, but did not receive one.  They did, however, receive a student pastor to live here and care for the congregation, H. D. Wacker.  Complete records were not kept or have been lost of Wacker's pastorate.  It is assumed that Wacker was directly responsible to Pastor Ruhland in Dallas, for the official acts of St. James congregation for 1887-88 are recorded in the church records of Zion, Dallas.  It is assumed that the Communion services were conducted at

History of the St. James Lutheran Church

In 1878 a member of the Lutheran church in Peoria, Illinois, Jacob Ryser, moved to Honey Grove.  Some months later, Mr. G. L. Meyer arrived from Michigan.  Strangely enough these two men did not meet, although both lived in Honey Grove and both were members of the Missouri Synod, until a group of Lutherans arrived from Bavaria, Germany.  Then Ryser, Meyer and all the Bavarians got together and wrote to the Rev. Stiemke, president of the Southern District, who in turn asked the Rev. Gotthilf Birkmann of Dallas to serve them.  However, after calling on Honey Grove on a number of occasions, Birkmann left his pastorate at Zion Lutheran in Dallas.  The first known church service at Honey Grove was conducted by Pastor Birkmann on October 6, 1882.  At this time, the Rev. J. Trinklein, a missionary-at-large for North Texas, also make his visits to Honey Grove.

On September 26, 1883, the Rev. Theodor Kohn, newly installed pastor of Zion, Dallas, made his first visit to Honey Grove.  Upon his arrival there, he inquired concerning the whereabouts of the German Lutherans at the store.  Two Germans, Hoffmann and Wellhofer, were in the store at the time and at once directed Kohn to Michael Ohr.  The news spread through the town and 7 miles out into the country, where most of the Germans had settled in an area known as Michigan Prairie.

Service time was set for 3 p.m. on the appointed day and many were there already at 1 p.m. for they were so starved for the Word of God to be preached in their own language.  Ohr and Ryser led the pastor to an abandoned Methodist church, where they had to chase out the pigeons, sweep the floor and dust tables and benches before holding service.  When the service began there were 35 in attendance, most with their own hymnbooks.  Pastor Kohn reported that the singing was good.  After spending the night with the Rysers, the pastor returned to Dallas the next day.

Pastor Kohn visited Honey Grove again on October 22-23 and November 24-25.  At this latter date a New Year's Day Service was planned.  However, the train which Kohn was to catch from Sherman to Honey Grove never arrived.  Finally, after waiting all day he caught a train back to Dallas and later informed the people at Honey Grove by mail what had happened and made arrangements to visit at a later date in March and April.

across the road from the church on an acre of land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Loschke for this purpose.  It would be September before the new pastor would arrive and the parsonage was to be finished by that time, which it was.

The Rev. Tom Olson was installed at St. James' as their pastor on Sunday, September 4, 1983, at 3 p.m. by Rev. Marvin O. Koch, Circuit Counselor and pastor of Grace Lutheran in Denison.  Other pastors helping with the installation were the Rev. Herman E. Hiegert, retiring pastor of St. James' and the Rev. Rudy C. Herbrich.

In December of '83, new red carpet was installed in the church in time for Christmas.  This was donated by Clara Yoakum in memory of her departed husband August Stoehner, her sister, Lydia Stoehner, and her two brothers, Fred and Herman Ryser.

Also one of the Sunday school rooms was made into a Pastor's study and office in the all of '83.

Thus, in the 100th year of the organization of St. James' they have a new beginning, in that they now have a resident pastor, living and working amongst the members of the church.  One is able to see the results of his fruitful work every Sunday morning, when the church sanctuary is almost full for worship services.

By the generous donations of several of the members, new church pews are being installed this year, perhaps by the 100th celebration in October.

Other lovely memorials that have been made to the beautification of our church is the hanging stained glass cross emblem as you enter the church.  This cross was given in memory of Mark Loschke, who died December 17, 1978, by her children, Alvin Loschke, Lillian Helms, Ruby Anzur, Frances Ryser, Paul Loschke and Katherine Fox.

The Eternal Light was given this year in memory of Hilda Hintz, who died June 15, 1983, by her children and spouses, Mrs. and Mrs. Martin Jacob, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Lingnaw, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hintz, Mr. and Mrs. Red Tarken, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hintz and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Yarbrough.  This can be seen in the photo top of next page, along with the two flags which stand on each side of the altar.  These flags were donated in 1970 as memorials given by Rosa Hintz in memory of her parents, Mrs. and Mrs.

that he would accept our invitation, the date was set for May 31, 1981.  Again the Homecoming was a great success with many former members and relatives attending and enjoying the day.

In August 1981, Pastor Hiegert notified the congregation of his desire to retire from the ministry, as soon as the congregation could find someone to replace him.

The Voters started their search for someone to replace Pastor Hiegert during '82, however, since Pastor Hiegert had agreed to stay until anew pastor accepted the call, things went on as normal.  This same year new vinyl siding was installed on the remainder of the church build, the front having been done a few years prior to this.

Again at the end of '82 Pastor Hiegert urged the congregation to get someone to replace him so that he could retire.

The voting assembly also voted to purchase a new organ in April, 1983.

In 1983 the Voters began sending calls for a pastor and finally in June of '83, the Rev. Tom Olson of Mankato, Minnesota, and a graduate from Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, met with the voters for an interview.  Following the interview he indicated that he would accept the call and that confirmation would be coming in a week or two, which it did.

The Voters then got busy and started the building of a church parsonage to be located 

project was too large for the ladies a this time.  The matter was tabled.

The main accomplishment in 1979 was the installation of central heat and air, doing away the window unit air conditioners, which was a great improvement to our worship service, the window units being so noisy.  The organ room now located in the front of the church was remodeled also.  The beautiful stained glass cross window was installed in the east end of the church sanctuary as a memorial to our departed members, the money in the Memorial Fund being used to purchase the window.

In January, 1981, the ladies began making plans for the second homecoming.  It was decided to invite Pastor Albers' son, Victor, to be our guest speaker.  After receiving confirmation

Lutheran Church began being advertised before the public eye when the Ladies' Aid voted to report (their meetings or the church news) to the Honey Grove Signal-Citizen.  The ladies also encouraged the purchase of new hymnals that spring through memorials to loved ones, thereby replacing the old blue hymnals with the new red ones, and a Memorial Fund for the church was established with Mrs. Bob Tredway as the first chairman.

Although discussion of adding new Sunday School rooms had taken place already in October of 1973, it was not until December of 1975 that the idea was approved, following the remodeling of the church sanctuary.  In January of the next year, the 22' x 26' addition consisting of three Sunday School rooms and two rest rooms was added north of the kitchen behind the church sanctuary.  Alvin Loschke and Carl Ryser provided most of the labor for this project with other members helping when and where they could.  About this time, new white altar covers and drapes for the church annex were donated as memorials by Mr. and Mrs. Lehtinen and the Hintz family (in memory of Ida and Rosa Hintz).

The Ladies' Aid had hit an all time low in active membership during 1975 (there was even talk by the four or five members of disbanding).  However, the group bounced back in 1976.  By the year's end, there were ten members.  Due to their small numbers and limited activity in LWML, the ladies did withdraw from that organization.  Their work at home continued though,a s they began a drive to collect money for a new kitchen range.  Memorial by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Helms in memory of Bill Helms and by the Fein children in memory of their mother, Mrs. Jake Fein, along with special collections and other memorial donations enable the purchase of the range in September, 1976.

In July of that year, St. James' entered the electronic age.  Mrs. Esther Poeck donated a P. A. system to the

Aid secretary.  She served for 28 years beginning in March 1940.  Although still a member, Mrs. Allen presently resides in Denison, Texas.

With the year 1969, came lots of activity at St. James'.  In March, church member Larry Franklin was welcomed home after year of active duty in Vietnam.  In April, Pastor Luecke received a call to Redeemer Lutheran, Hazardville, Conn. and left in June.  Pastor Hiegert again served as vacancy pastor until December when the Rev. Delmar Brack accepted a call to Grace, Denison and St. James', Honey Grove.

In October of 1970, Pastor Brack started a mission church in Bonham.  Several members of St. James', the Zumwalts, the Hoeldtkes, Mrs. W. L. Brewer and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Grable, helped form the new church, Zion Lutheran, which held services at 6:30 p.m. each Sunday.  The following October, discussions were held over the possibility of getting a vicar to assist Pastor Brack with the three churches, Denison - Bonham - Honey Grove.  Nothing came to pass.  However, as it worked out, the Bonham mission decided to go on its own and thus Pastor Brack was relieved of the third congretation.

For Christmas of 1971, the Sunday School purchased a life-sized lighted nativity scene to add to the beauty of our decorations each year.  That next spring, another tradition was added to our Easter worship service.  An Easter breakfast was planned to follow the Sunrise service.  It was a big success and an annual affair for the years to come.  Also in 1972, St. James'

75th celebration.  A Diamond Jubilee book was also printed for the celebration.  The Rev. Walter Synder was the speaker for the occasion.  He was chosen even though he was the pastor of the church at this time, because the members thought it very appropriate he be the speaker since his grandfather, the Rev. Wacker, had served St. James' while a vicar during

The Ladies' Aid Society was organized March 23, 930.  Charter members were Mrs. Charles Loschke, Mrs. Fred Ryser, Mrs. Paul HIntz, Mrs. Hass, Miss Rosa Hintz, Miss Martha Ogerly, Miss Elsie Ogerly, Miss Mary Ryser, Mrs. Arnold Ogerly, Mrs. Henry Hintz, Mrs. George Stoehner, Mrs. Leo Poeck and Mrs. Albert Ryser.

The first slate of officers were Mrs. Leo Poeck, president; Mrs. Charles Loschke, Vice-President; Miss Rosa Hintz, Secretary; and Miss Mary Ryser, Treasurer.  Dues were 10 cents per month.

During these first years, the Ladies' Aid Soceity played an especially important role in supplying necessary items for the church and school.  Everything from curtains, altarcovers and rugs to church and year cleaning.  They even helped the church meet its Church Extension Fund obligations in 

Streckfuss into Honey Grove in 1918.  He resigned in 1919.

Another lengthy vacancy followed.  Late in 1920 Rev. G. C. Albers was called to St. James'.  He reopened the church school and taught it throughout his twenty-five year pastorate.

At the men's meeting of October, 1926, with the resignation of George Stoehner as secretary due to old age and with the election of Paul Hintz there came an important change to St. James' in the simple fact that the voters' minutes were now kept in English.  Although it would survive another ten years or more, German was now beginning to become a thing of the past.  The Americanization of the Lutheran church had begun.

Interestingly, already in 1928, the envelope system for collection was adopted.  And in 1929, a new organ was purchased for the church.

In the beginning of 1930, the men began discussing building a new church.  Honey Grove was considered for the new location, but it was voted down as was the idea to build in the same location.  On July 27 of that year, it was decided to transfer the real estate acre for acre for the land where the present church stands, and to buy enough land to square the block at $20 per acre.  The cost of building (and moving) operations began immediately and the new church building wad dedicated October 5, 1930.  At this time the parsonage was also relocated just to the south of the new church site. 

Although St. James' had hit its highwater mark in 1898 - the year it became self-supporting - with 160 baptized members and 68 communicants, the building of the new church brought about a temporary revival of old spirit.  It was short-lived as the effect of the depression was being felt by 1934.

Centennial Celebration

St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church

(Allens Chapel)

Honey Grove, Texas


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