First Lutheran Church in Parkersburg turns 125

Church plans year of events to celebrate

Photo Provided Gerry Kohler, center, speaks to members of First Lutheran Church on June 6 at the site of the first church, then known as St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, 930 Avery St., where the present-day dental office of Dr. Dale Brum is located, to begin a year-long celebration of the church’s 125th anniversary. The original church was destroyed when the water tower on top of the present-day Quincy Hill broke and washed away everything in its path.

PARKERSBURG — First Lutheran Church, 19th Street, Parkersburg, has begun a celebration of its 125th anniversary.

Parishioners gathered on June 6 at the site of the first church, 930 Avery St., known then as the St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, to mark the anniversary where the church was established June 6, 1893. The gathering began a year-long celebration.

Gerry Kohler, church archivist, spoke about the water tower collapse on present-day Quincy Hill that destroyed the first church. The tower was located above the church, originally located where the present-day dental office of Dr. Dale Brum is located.

Water came down with such force that a house in the path of the water was slammed into the church, destroying both buildings.

First Lutheran has events planned in the next 12 months.

Photo Provided This post card shows the destruction at the original site of what was then known as St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church, at 930 Avery St., established on June 6, 1893. The church eventually became First Lutheran Church, moving to 19th and Plum streets.

The next event is the annual summer picnic that will be held 10 a.m. Sunday at the church, 19th and Plum streets.

Kohler is preparing a timeline that will be posted throughout the year in the education building at the church. Members and friends will be encouraged to add bits of information, photos, celebratory dates such as baptisms and weddings to the timeline for everyone to see and enjoy.

Anyone in the community having information about First Lutheran and would like to add something to the timeline can call the office for more information or mail a note to First Lutheran, 1701 19th St.

Music of our Church will be the next major event at 3 p.m. Sept. 23. An afternoon of music will include the Senior Choir, Hand Bells, Organ, Piano, Eastlawn Brass and Praise Band.

The German Fest is scheduled Oct. 13. Other plans are taking shape for many other events being scheduled and details will be announced closer to those dates, the church said.

First Lutheran will hold special worship opportunities, fellowship gatherings, history lunches and other events.

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