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HISTORY 1904 - 1932

St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church
1675 Coates Avenue
Holbrook, NY 11741

 

 

History 1904 - 1932

 

The Holbrook Lutheran Church, now renamed the St. John’s Evangelical Church of Holbrook, was founded in 1904 by the Lutherans in Holbrook. A very small group of Christians, 29 in all, established the church and from 1904 to 1906 held worship services in the members’ homes. It must have been an exciting two years for these people. The abandoned church they had bought was in utter disrepair. Many hours of hard labor must have been spent repairing, scrubbing and polishing before all was ready for the first service in their own church. The church building was repaired, inside and out, adding brick foundations in place of the settled locust posts, patched and painted the plaster walls and installed a metal ceiling.

white church old

Historical church

Left - c.1904, Above current view

Behind the original church was an open building to stable the horse and carriages. It was later closed in and became the Guild Hall where affairs were held and the Ladies Aide met. When it was torn down the extension seen in the picture was added to replace it.  

The first spiritual leader was Rev. Herman Zoller. He organized the Holbrook Lutheran Church as a missionary station and led the new congregation until 1915 when he accepted a call to Emanuel Church in Patchogue. Hard times followed. It was difficult and sometimes impossible to find a visiting pastor. Considering that worship services had to be held on Sunday afternoons and that it never had assurance that a pastor would be available the membership dwindles, support was desultory and interest faded. Attendance dropped and interest began to fade. (Among the visiting pastors was Rev. Paul Pallmeyer of Huntington. He traveled the thirty-five miles from Huntington to Ronkonkoma by railroad train and then by horse and buggy to Holbrook.)

From 1920 to 1922 Rev. Adolf Meili served the two Lutheran churches in Sayville and Holbrook. He was succeeded by Rev. Otto Graesser who served until 1927. Again hard times plagued the small congregation and attendance dwindles and the offerings could not cover the expenses. The twelve years from 1915 to 1927 must have been very frustrating for the tiny congregation. It must have seemed to be a hopeless situation. Their great faith in God, the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit made it possible for them to continue their quest, a Lutheran Church in Holbrook.

Their prayers were answered when Rev. Albert Beyer accepted a joint call from Holbrook Lutheran Church and St. John’s of Sayville. Pastor Beyer had just retired from the large congregation of St. John’s of Brooklyn and was prevailed upon to assume this pastorate. When he arrived in 1927 a new era emerged for the congregation. Passtor Beyer was jovial, inspiring and a hard worker. Pastor Beyer was eager to rejuvenate the congregation. He called on the Baacks, Bliemillers, Flubachers, Heines, Harrisons, Kopplemanns, Schneiders, Steidels, Ulrichs, Wehrenbergs, Yerks, and others to rededicate themselves and to attend services regularly. Repairs, both inside and outside, of the church were begun. Heating and lighting were installed. A Sunday School was reinstated and a Council was initiated. The service was revised to follow the Hymnal. The final change was the church name, The Holbrook Lutheran Church became St. John’s Lutheran Church of Holbrook.
Once again dedicated Lutherans took an active part in their church and community. In 1928 St. John’s began keeping its own records. Previously all records of baptisms confirmations, marriages, etc. were kept in St. John’s of Sayville. A fire destroyed all records. As a result none are available prior to 1928.

25th Ammiversary .

. inside

August 11, 1929 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary

 In 1932 Pastor Beyer was taken by his Lord to his heavenly home. It must have been a sad day for the congregation of Holbrook and Sayville. What a tremendous legacy Pastor Beyer left.

 

 
 
 

 

 

If anyone has old pictures or history on the old church please send them to me stogdale@verizon.net

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