The Second Pastorate
Following Pastor Siebenpfeiffer's resignation on September 14, 1893, asuccessor to his pastorate was sought and found in the Reverend J. F. W. Helmkamp, who preached his first sermon in Salem Church on November 5,1893. At this time he was completing his fifth year as pastor of St. John'sChurch, Sharpsburg, Pa., where he had served with signal success. Upon acceptance of the call tendered to him by Salem Church, he was installed as the second pastor on January 4, 1894. On the occasion of his tenth anniversaryPastor Helmkamp, telling of his first experiences in Rochester, wrote as follows: "How strange everyone and everything seemed to us; but we had great confidence that we would find people good and true. We were not mistaken. Pastor Siebenpfeiffer was then still alive. He extended to us many kindnesses.Pastor Carl Loos was assistant at the church and gave us much valuable information. It was a difficult period for me, hut the difficulties have passed. Ten years have gone by." Pastor Helmkamp devoted himself whole-heartedly to the many duties which faced him in his new charge. He gave much attentionto the various flourishing organizations in the church which had been established during the previous twenty years; namely, the Ladies' Society, theSister Society, the Young Ladies' Society, the Men's Benevolent Society, theYoung Men's Society and the Christian Endeavor Society. The ChristianEndeavor Society had been organized less than a year before the new pastor's arrival, and it made flue progress under his leadership. He was unremitting in his zeal to contact the hundreds of families in his widely scatteredparish and devoted many hours each week to house visitations. On March 15,1894 appeared the first edition of the monthly church paper known as the"Salem's Bote," under which name it continued to be published until January, 1923, when the name was changed to "Salem Outlook." Pastor Helmkamp edited the paper, and Henry Albrecht served as business manager. The Young Men's Society sponsored its publication, and free distribution was made at the church door on the Sunday nearest the fifteenth of each month. Throughthe medium of the "Bote" Pastor Helmkamp was enabled to bring matters of vital importance concerning Salem into the homes of his parishioners.
As early as June, 1894, the need for enlarged quarters for the Sundayschool was recognized and discussed at a special, congregational meeting.On the last Sunday in March, 1895, the annual congregational meeting considered the enlargement of the Sunday school rooms. After a lengthy debatethe matter was referred to a committee which was authorized to devise a planand estimate the approximate cost, at a special meeting to, be called later. Thismeeting was held on May 12, when it was decided to proceed with the workof enlarging the Sunday school, and to effect some changes in the churchauditorium, principally the removal of the organ from the rear to the frontof the church and the addition thereby of seventy-four seats in the formerchoir loft. The following were appointed to the building committee: FrankFritzsche, Rudolph Weis, George F. Roth, Carl Priem, George Zimmer andthe Trustees, Carl Hempel, Charles Weis and Henry Husmann. The buildingoperations progressed nicely during the summer months, and by September23rd, the Sunday school rooms were ready for the opening of a fair which was conducted from September 23 to 28. This fair, under the general chairmanship of Charles Suss, was a huge success, netting a profit of $5,802.76, whichsum was used toward defraying part of the total expense of $13,722.55 incurred in the work now nearing completion. The date of the dedication was setfor October 20, 1895. Clear skies greeted the hundreds who strean1ed from allparts of Rochester to attend the dedicatory services. The Sunday school metat nine o'clock with 840 present. A fine program was presented in the mainSunday school room with greetings by the superintendent, Henry Albrecht,and addresses by Pastor Helmkanip and Thomas Drausfield, the first superintendent of Salem Sunday School. The church service at ten-thirty o'clock wasof a festive character and was very well attended. In the afternoon a memorial service was held at the grave of the lately departed Pastor Siebenpfeiffer.Despite the fact that a raw cold wind had arisen, a large multitude attended. A monument in the form of a twelve foot cross was unveiled with PastorsHenckell and Baur from Trinity and St. Paul's Churches, respectively, assisting Pastor Helmkamp in the service. The same evening another well attendedservice was held in the church auditorium in which Pastors Gundlach, Loos,Henckell, and Baur participated.
The work just completed increased the indebtedness of the church to$18,000, and Pastor Helmkamp strove diligently to reduce it. The first Easteroffering was solicited in 1896, and yielded the sum of $987.18. During thatyear $4,000 was paid on the indebtedness. Steadily and persistently furtherpayments were made until in May, 1904, the total amount owed on the churchproperty was reported to be $2,500. Beginning with October, 1904, and continuing through the early months of 1905, a house to house collection by Pastor Helmkamp, with the assistance of the Vicar, Reverend Emil Jaeger, netted the splendid sum of $2,500. During 1904 the church was renovated at a costof $4,000, increasing the indebtedness. However, in May, 1906, this amounthad been paid, and the total debt of the church was again only $2,500. In thespring of the same year a plot of ground adjoining the church on the northside was purchased for $3,000, to provide against encroachment on the lightand the air of the church building. This purchase and several necessary improvements which were made in the church and Sunday school building during the next three years, at an approximate cost of $3,000, raised the totalindebtedness to $8,500. In October, 1907, an envelope system with a yearly pledge to supplement the revenue from the pew rents was introduced amongthe young people. It did much to encourage financial support from them.
Two years after the beginning of Pastor Helmkamp's ministry in Saleman average attendance of 800 to 1,000 at the Sunday morning church serviceswas reported, with a new high record of 2,110 communion guests for the year. During Holy Week and on Easter Sunday in 1904 a total of 1,726 partook of Holy Communion. Despite these seemingly encouraging records ofattendance it had been obvious for many years that the German languagewas creating a serious problem, causing many to seek other church homes, orto attend less frequently at Salem than they formerly did. With the declineof the parochial school, the language question had already become evident inPastor Siebenpfeiffer's ministry. For nineteen years, until 1893, this school had as its leader, Dettmar S. Poppen, and during the last few months of its existence it was served by Professor Meyer. As a marked decline in the attendance became apparent, serious efforts were made to revive it. Tuition payments were abolished, and much money was spent by the congregation out ofthe church treasury to maintain the school, without producing the desiredresults. When Pastor Helmkamp became the minister of Salem the schoolexisted in name only. It still had a teacher, but there were not sufficient pupils (five to seven in number) to justify its continuance. In April, 1894, it was announced definitely that the parochial school was closed, but that other ways would be found to teach German to the children of the church. An eveningschool, meeting on Tuesday, for children over eleven years of age, was startedin the autumn of 1894, with one hundred pupils in attendance. Pastor Helmkamp, George Becker and Charles Kaelber were the teachers. German classesalso met on Saturday morning before the confirmation class sessions, and fora number of years a daily vacation church school was conducted during thesummer season. To encourage attendance at divine worship and to stimulateinterest in the German sermons, Pastor Helmkamp announced on the firstSunday of January, 1902, that a "beautiful present" would he given to the boy or girl who would write the best extract of any sermon preached within the month. however, the young people were insistent upon a more general useof the English language in the Sunday school and the church services. In theyear 1907 a Bible class conducted in the English language was started. Inthe "Salem's Bote" of May, 1908, this noteworthy and history-making statement from the pen of Pastor Helmkamp appeared.
"Within the last fifteen years the question of conducting services in theEnglish language has been agitated in Salem Church. Before receiving andaccepting the call to its pastorate the pastor was informed by his predecessor,Reverend Carl Siebenpfeiffer, that English services would be required andthat additional work would be involved. There is no doubt that even at suchremote a time there was a strong sentiment within the church favoring theintroduction of the English language into our services. On the other handthere was even a stronger sentiment which was strictly, and out of principle,opposed to it. Both were right and both parties had a right to be heard. Theadvocates of the English movement had in their favor the actual conditionsand the obvious necessity of giving, especially to our young people, a publicworship in a language which they could understand, while the other side stoodfirm on constitutional grounds and pointed out to these would-be reformersthe time honored traditions of the church and the precious heritage of theGerman language sacred to the heart of every child of German parentage."
"So the years have passed by, and in the course of natural events thedevelopment of this language question has taken its natural course also. Theagitation in favor of it has never been carried on with any determination.Nothing has been done hastily. While other German churches have for yearspast, opened their doors to the English-speaking public and have unreluctantlygiven way to the pressure brought to bear upon them, Salem Church has heldback. Some have thought the pastor rather slow along this line. Others haveblamed, certain members in the church council that things English did notmove on as rapidly as could be. But, looking back today, I do not think we have anything to be sorry for. True, we have lost some of our young peopleto English churches, but we have a larger church today than we ever had.And most of those who have gone from us, have probably gone for some otherreason than the difficulty to understand the German sermon. This much, however, must be said to the credit of many of our young people, that they lovetheir mother church and that they have clung to it, even though they foundgreat difficulty at times to fully appreciate a sermon preached in German.And from what I have heard, they have lived in the hope that sooner or laterthings would come their way and the opposition would finally concede to themthe privilege of introducing the English services. At the last annual meetingthis concession was made. A resolution, giving the pastor the privilege toarrange for an English service at such times as would seem best to him, wasalmost unanimously adopted. It is hard to tell what has brought about sucha radical change in the sentiment of our people. But the occasion which precipitated this event in the history of Salem Church may he recorded here for reference in later years. Several weeks before Easter the question arose inthe meeting of the church council, whether our church might not extend to theMasonic Order of Monroe Commandery an invitation to attend our Easterservice on the evening of Easter Sunday. A motion to that effect wasmade and unanimously adopted. Of course, in consideration of the honoredguests, these services were to be conducted in English. At the annual meeting of the congregation, the pastor thought it best to lay the matter beforethat body, inasmuch as he was bound by the constitution to use the Germanlanguage only in our public services. There was not one in the whole meetingwho objected to this departure from our custom. It was at this juncture that the pastor, in behalf of those in our church who have been wishing and hopingfor an opportunity to introduce the English, made an earnest appeal to themeeting and, as stated before, the request was almost unanimously granted.This is the situation today. I am not prepared to say just what will he donein the future. I feel that the congregation, by passing that resolution, hasplaced upon me the whole responsibility. Heretofore there was some comfortin the consciousness that, if nothing was done, I could not he blamed. Butnow the church may look to me to settle this question, and settle it wiselyand to the best interest of all. How shall I do it? I have as yet not foundsufficient time to think the matter over carefully. The next 'Bote', I hope, will bring something more definite. In the meantime I would kindly ask all whoare interested to express their opinion to me in writing. I shall be thankfulto every one who may show his interest in the church work by writing me aletter and giving me all the good advice he can offer. A general reply to these expressions will be made in the next issue of the 'Bote.'"
From the foregoing we learn that the first complete service in the English language was conducted on Easter Sunday evening, April 19, 1908. Regular Sunday evening English services were instituted on the first Sunday evening in October, 1908.
After Twenty-five Years
At a congregational meeting held on April 4, 1898, the date, June 19, waschosen for the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the corner-stone layingof our church. The June number of the "Salem's Bote," which was dedicatedto this anniversary, contained a short history of the church, the names of allpew holders, and complete histories of all organizations with pictures of the officers, The weather on the day of rejoicing, June 19, was as beautiful as thejoyousness of the occasion. After the mighty church bell had pealed forth itscall to worship, more than fifty charter members, led by Pastor Helmkamp,proceeded into the church auditorium to be seated in places of honor. Theservice was most inspiring with festival music by the choir, and a sermon bythe pastor. In the afternoon of the same day the church was filled with youngpeople who had gathered for their service of rejoicing and praise, with Pastors Bobolin and Baltzer as speakers. At a union service in the evening, towhich members of several other German churches were invited, PastorSchaefer of Syracuse and Pastor Baur from St. Paul's Church, Rochester,were the speakers. A social gathering was held on the following Mondayafternoon and evening in the Sunday school rooms, to which all confirmedmembers were invited. On May 14, 1899, the twenty-fifth anniversary of thededication of our church was observed with three similar services, and a socialgathering on the following afternoon and evening.
The installation of electric lighting of the church auditorium was firstsuggested at the congregational meeting on April 4, 1898, and again urgedupon the church council in the yearly meeting of April 3, 1899. After manydelays and some misunderstandings and differences of opinion, the announcement was made in October of that year that the contract for the electric installation had been let to "Loeffler and Sykes" at a cost of $800.00, with "Higgins" and Almstead" providing the fixtures. On Saturday, November 18, 1899,at nine o'clock in the evening, 250 brilliant electric lights were turned on forthe first time. On the following Sunday evening a large congregation availedthemselves of the opportunity to admire the grandeur and splendor of this"new-fangled" and "radical" system of church illumination. However, notuntil August, 1903, was an electric motor installed for pumping the organ.The faithful "hand-pumper" was more to be trusted in those pioneer days of electrical development.
St. John's Home for the Aged
As long as the "Altenheim," or "The St. John's Home for the Aged," as itis now called, exists, Pastor Helmkamp will be recalled as the one man whoenvisioned such an institution in Rochester. Some time after coming to Salem,he made the following statement at a meeting of the Christian EndeavorSociety: "We as a church should take care of our own sick, aged and orphans. This conviction grows on me as I visit the people of my own church." InNovember, 1897, a Sunday school union was organized at Salem Church withPastor Helmkamp as the moving spirit. The union was composed of tenschools from five denominations among the German churches in Rochester.Pastor Helmkamp was its first president. There the seed was sown for unanimity of action. There the first attempt was made to consider matters pertinent to the interests of all Protestant, German speaking, congregations in Rochester. When the time was propitious for launching this greater projectof establishing a "Home for the Aged," it was possible to obtain the necessaryco-operation of the churches which were invited to share in this importantundertaking. The first meeting took place on December 18, 1898. Subsequentto this meeting Pastor Helmkamp interviewed several prominent Rochesterians, among them George Ellwanger, co-founder of the Ellwanger and Barry Nurseries, and the Honorable Frederick Cook, former Secretary of State of New York State. From these gentlemen, who later made substantial contributions to the Home, much encouragement was received.
In May, 1899, in a preliminary gathering of the clergy and representativesof the laity, at the Y. M. C. A. hall, the decision was reached to further theestablishment of a "Home for the Aged" by inviting the members of all theGerman Protestant Churches in Rochester to a meeting on July 3, 1899, andby drafting a constitution to he considered at that time. The meeting washeld in the large Sunday school room of Salem Church. Here it was decidedto call into being a "Home for the Aged." The constitution, having been carefully considered at this meeting, was presented for adoption on the eventfulevening of August 14, 1899, when the permanent organization was effectedwith the election of twenty-four members to the Board of Directors. PastorHelmkamp was chosen as the first president and served ably in this capacityfor eleven years. The first Home, located at the corner of Lake Avenue andFlower City Park, was opened November 1, 1899, with Mr. and Mrs. GeorgeBernhardt in charge. On December 1 the first inmate was admitted, and bythe end of that year the family had grown to ten in number. On December28, 1899, the "German Home for the Aged" was incorporated, pursuant to the laws of the State of New York, under the name "The German Evangelical St. John's Charitable Association." At the annual meeting held October 31, 1918, the name of the association was changed to "The Protestant St. John's Charitable Association." August 11, 1900, will long be remembered in the history of the Home. On that day George Ellwanger presented to the organization a house and a large acreage of land at the corner of South and Highland Avenues, extending to Highland Park. The house was first occupied on April 9, 1901, and the rich soil of the garden was prepared for the first crop of vegetables and fruits. The need for more room was soon apparent. An addition for which the sum of $11,000 was expended, was dedicated on November 13,1901; The first issue of "Gruss aus dem Altenheim," a quarterly devoted tothe interests of the home, made its appearance on March 15, 1902. During theyear 1905 the Honorable Frederick Cook left a bequest of $25,000 to theHome, and another addition to the building, known as "The Cook Memorial,"and costing $37,000 was erected. The laying of the corner-stone of this memorial took place in June, 1906, and the dedication on April 25, 1907. The crowded condition of the Home and the long list of applicants awaiting admission made additional room necessary. On January 11, 1931, it was possibleto dedicate the new "Deininger Wing." This addition, costing $55,000, is themunificent gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Deininger, who thereby expressedtheir interest in the aged and dependent fellow-pilgrims. Sixteen rooms andseveral spacious sun porches were thus added, and the capacity of the Homewas increased to seventy-five persons. All the rooms in the new wing werecompletely furnished through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William Bausch.Mrs. Frank Ritter furnished the apartment for Sister Christine Schwartz,who has been in charge since 1903, and has rendered niost unselfish and faithful service through the thirty years of her notable ministry. Since the establishment of this haven of rest and comfort for the aged, 387 people have beenadmitted, and at the present time the family numbers seventy-four. Withtotal assets of $450,000, including an endowment fund of $225,000, "St. John'sHome for the Aged" should be able to carry out the vision of Pastor Helmkamp and his early associates for many decades to come.
The Interest in Missions
For many years Pastor Helmkamp served on the Foreign Mission Boardof the Evangelical Synod. Through stereopticon lectures and addresses hedid much to awaken and encourage the interest of his parishioners in this noble cause. As early as 1897 the first orphan child in far away India wasadopted by the Sister Society. The name of this child was Salome. In 1899we find that both the Sister Society and the Sunday school had adopted Indianorphan children. Elizabeth, one of the children in whom much interest wastaken, died in March, 1902. Early in the year 1906 the Synodical Board ofForeign Missions suggested that our Sunday school undertake the full support of a missionary in India. This suggestion met with immediate response.Later the school decided to enlist the support of the entire church, and in thecongregational meeting of that year approval was given to the enterprise.On Sunday morning, December 16, 1906, in the presence of a capacity congregation, Miss Adele Wobus was ordained as Salem's first missionary in theforeign field. How splendidly she has continued in this work to the presentday will be revealed in a later chapter of this history.
The Printed Program
In July, 1904, the Young People's Society, which had been organized in1902, undertook to provide regularly a printed program for the church services. Sacrificially and faithfully this organization labored for nearly two yearsto finance the project. On December 15, 1905, an organization known as the"Willing Workers" was formed and at its first meeting the statement wasmade "that its present object is to find ways and means for the continuationof our Sunday programs." An entertainment to raise funds for that purposewas held on February 23 of the following year. Various organizations weresolicited by the "Willing Workers" for support, and guarantees of one or twomonths of financial aid were obtained. Thus the first systematic regular distribution of our present day church program was established and financed.
At the congregational meeting held in April, 1906, Pastor Helmkampurged that consideration be given to the placing of memorial windows in ourchurch. The first of these appeared in the vestibule of the church in the summer of 1908 and was given by the confirmation class of that year. Soon thereafter the second vestibule window was donated by the Young Ladies' Society. The fourteen large side windows in the church auditorium were given by thefollowing donors in memory of loved ones:
These memorial windows are placed in two sections; the lower sectionin the main auditorium, and the upper section in the gallery. We list here theBible scenes which they depict and the inscriptions which they bear.
"Easter Morning" "The Risen Christ"
"Given by the Frauenverein, 1909"
"Christ Blessing the Children" "The Good Samaritan"
"In loving memory of Gertrude, wife of John Weis"
"Christ in Gethsemane" "Christ with the Crown of Thorns"
"In loving memory of Elizabeth, wife of Charles Rau"
"The Baptism of Jesus" "Come unto Me"
"In loving memory of Mother, Julia Roth Baetzel"
"Christ Rescuing Peter" "The Sower"
"In loving memory of our Parents, John F. and Rosina Kaelber"
"The Wise Men from the East" "The Angel Announcing the Birth of Christ"
"In loving memory of Angelica Mannes, by her sister, Maria Buck"
"Jesus in Bethany" "Jesus and the Samaritan woman"
"Given by the Schwesterverein, 1909"
"The Building of the Temple" "Joseph's Dream"
"In loving memory of their Father, Conrad W. Zimmer
"Jesus among the Doctors" "Jesus and His Mother"
"In memory of Frederick Deininger, from his sons"
"The Feeding of the Multitudes" "The Bread of Life"
"In loving memory of Mother, Catherine E. Zimmer"
"The Sermon on the Mount" "The Transfiguration"
"In loving memory of Charles Priemn, and his wife, Martha Zimmer Priem, by the Family"
"The Flight to Egypt" "Christ Knocking at the Door"
"Presented by Julia, daughter of Conrad W. and Catherine Zimmer"
"David Playing the Harp" "Paul in Athens"
"In loving memory of Peter Paul"
The triple art window in the front wall of the church was presented bythe children of the Reverend Carl Siebenpfeiffer and was dedicated to hismemory on December 22, 1912. This window represents the Good Shepherdleading homeward his flock in the light of the setting sun. In 1922 the ideawas suggested to Mr. J. George Kaelber, the son-in-law of the deceased Pastor Siebenpfeiffer, that this window be illuminated so that it might send out its message during the night to those who passed by. Mr. Kaelber gladly arranged for the installation of the necessary lights which are controlled by means of a clock, so that they are automatically turned on and off at certainhours of the night. Thus the window sends out its silent but eloquent appealto join the flock of the Good Shepherd and to follow Him home.
The General Conference
The first General Conference of the Evangelical Synod of North Americaheld in our church met in September, 1905, when the Reverend J. Pister wasPresident General. The sessions and the services were well attended, andthe precious memory of those eventful days still lingers in the minds of manyof our people. District Conferences were entertained in June, 1891, and againin June, 1899.
The interior of the church as it appeared at the close of Pastor Helmkamp's ministry.
Increasing decline in health made it impossible for Pastor Helmkamp tocontinue as minister of Salem, and on January 17, 1910, his resignation, which had been written on January 6, was read at a special congregational meeting.
The resignation follows.
"After a service of sixteen years in this congregation I feel compelled tosubmit my resignation. The reasons which move me to take this step lie inthe consciousness that I lack the necessary strength and health to continuethis great work in a satisfactory manner. This feeling prevents happiness inthe laborious efforts, which are constantly required. For the church, too, achange will prove beneficial, as general experience teaches. In the sincerewish that the congregation will accept my resignation and with gratitude forall the kindnesses shown me in the past, I am, respectfully
J. F. W. Helmkamp."
With deep regret the resignation was accepted. The Reverend J. F. Klick of St. Louis, Missouri, was secured as supply preacher until a successorcould be found. Thus ended a long and fruitful ministry of sixteen years.During this time Pastor Helmkamp officiated at 2,045 christenings, 1,052 weddings, 1,426 burials and confirmed 1,4% young people - a total of 6,019 officialacts were performed. At various times in his pastorate he was assisted bythe following associate pastors:
Reverend Alex Siegenthaler; —— June, l902 - Oct., 1902.
Reverend Emil Jaeger —— July, 1903 - May, 1905.
Reverend Theodore R. Schmale —— July, 1906 - May, 1908.
The following persons served as teachers in either the former day schoolor in the summer schools conducted during Pastor Helmkamp's ministry: Mr.Dettmar Poppen, Mr. Rehbahn, Miss Carrie Burke, Professor Meyer, MissM. Betz, Miss Linke, Miss Dora Hussmann, Mr. Kramer, Mrs. Marie Krause(from June 1, 1896 to May 7, 1910), Mr. Albert Helmkamp, Reverend O. Wittlinger, Reverend P. Sandreczky, and Reverend E. Jaeger.
The Ministry of the Rev. J. Frederick Frankenfeld
The Reverend J. Frederick Frankenfeld was born at Concordia, Missouri, on the first day of January, 1878, as the third son of the Reverend Frederick G. Frankenfeld and Louise Stoenner Frankenfeld. His father was a native of Germany, but he had come to this country when only a boy eight years of age. The mother was horn in America. The present pastor of Salem spent his boyhood days at Augusta, Missouri, where the father served two rural churches for a period of eighteen years. After graduation from time local schools, he entered Elmmhurst College, near Chicago, Illinois, where he began to prepare himself for the Christian ministry. In the fall of 1897 he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Eden Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1900. On the 22nd of July, in the same year, he was ordained to the Christian ministry, at Augusta. Missouri. His first work was assigned to him by the Home Mission Board of the Evangelical Synod, at Springfield, Illinois, where he labored for eighteen months.
In April, 1902, Pastor Frankenfeld accepted a call to become the minister ofthe Salem Evangelical Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. In September ofthis year he was united in marriage with Miss Louise Kramer of Quincy, Illinois, whose father had been the pastor of Salem Church, New Orleans. from1875-1883. Together they ministered in the Southland until 1910. In thesehappy years Pastor Frankenfeld devoted a considerable portion of his time tothe Interdenominational Sunday School Association, which organization heserved for nearly eight years as its state secretary.
Since his coming to Rochester, Pastor Frankenfeld has not limited hisactivities to Salem Church. He has served the Ministerial Union as its president; for two consecutive terms he was the president of the Federation ofChurches of Rochester and Monroe County; for a number of years he wasthe chairman of the committee of religious education and, later, of the committee of evangelism. The Rochester School of Religious Education grew outof a training class for church school workers which Pastor Frankenfeld conducted in the years 1912 and 1913. He has assisted in establishing trainingschools for church school workers in six different cities. For twenty-oneyears he has been the president of the Board of Directors of the "St. John'sHome for the Aged." Until 1930 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the "People's Rescue Mission," having been elected as the successor to Professor Joseph Gilmore.
As time would permit, Pastor Frankenfeld has also given his servicesfreely to the larger work of our denomination. For a number of years he wasa member of the Board of Foreign Missions; later he was elected as the chairman of the Seminary Board, and during his term of office the new buildingsof Eden Theological Seminary were erected at Webster Groves, Missouri. In1919 he was chosen as one of two members of a special committee which wasinstructed to make a missionary investigation tour through Honduras, for thepurpose of ascertaining the possibility of opening a new mission field in thatCentral American Republic. The report of this committee was a favorableone, and the survey resulted in the flourishing missionary work which is being done in Honduras today. After the Lenten season in 1920, Pastor Frankenfeld was released by Salem Church for a period of six months to assume theleadership of the "Evangelical Forward Movement." At the present time heis a member of the Board of Directors of Elmhurst College and of the commission which formulated the "Plan of Union" for the merger of the Evangelical Synod of North America with the Reformed Church in the UnitedStates of America. In 1927 Elmhurst College awarded Pastor Frankenfeldthe honorary degree LL.D. (Doctor of Laws).
Mrs. Frankenfeld has also been active through the years in various departments of the church-life and in the larger kingdom enterprise. She hasserved the Salem Missionary Society as its president; the Sister Society, asfirst vice-president and as the chairman of the committee on missions; thechurch school as teacher of a young ladies' class and as the superintendent ofthe Junior department; the community as a member of numerous committees, notably the committee on missions of the Federation of Churches; andthe denomination as a member of the Executive Committee of the Women'sUnion of New York State.
The family of Pastor and Mrs. Frankenfeld consists of four children:three daughters, who were born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and one son, whowas born in Rochester, New York. Helen Louise is the wife of ProfessorJohn C. Slater, the head of the department of physics at the MassachusettsInstitute of Technology and a lecturer at Harvard University, and residesat Cambridge, Massachusetts; Alma Hildegard is married to Mr. ClarkeW. O'Brien of the brokerage firm of "Gleichauf and O'Brien," and lives in Brighton, New York; Lydia Lenore is the wife of the Reverend G. MerrillLenox, pastor of the Judson Memorial Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Hubert Frederick is a student at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All the daughters are graduates of the University of Rochester.
During the twenty-three years of his ministry in Salem Church, PastorFrankenfeld has officiated at 2,142 baptisms, 1,409 weddings, 1,974 funerals,and has received 1,596 young people into the fellowship of the church throughthe rite of confirmation. In addition, 650 persons have been admitted into themembership of Salem Church by letters of transfer and on confession of faith.For the work of the denomination and for various other benevolent purposesthe sum of $264,226.77 has been given. These figures do not include the largeamounts, running into many thousands of dollars, which have been contributed by the organizations within the church for numerous charitable institutions and missionary enterprises.
The Third Pastorate
At a special congregational meeting held on February 25, 1910, a call wasextended to the Reverend Frederick Frankenfeld, of New Orleans, to becomethe third pastor of Salem. Mr. George F. Roth and Mr. Charles Suss, membersof the church council, were elected as a committee to wait upon Pastor Frank-enfeld and to inform him of the action which the church had taken. On May 4the Salem congregation of New Orleans accepted Pastor Frankenfeld'sresignation and left him free to come to Rochester. A letter, dated July 5,advised the congregation that he would be in Rochester on the first Sunday inAugust, the seventh, to begin his pastorate. Immediately, a committee consisting of J. George Kaelber, Charles Suss and Benjamin Haag, with power tochoose additional members from each church organization, was appointed bythe church council, to arrange for the installation and reception of the newpastor. The installation took place on Sunday, August 7, in the presence ofa throng which filled the church auditorium. The Reverend Adolf C. G.Baltzer of Trinity Church, Rochester, preached the sermon and conductedthe rite of installation. The reception for Pastor Frankenfeld and his family,which followed on Wednesday evening, September 7, was a happy occasionfor all who participated.
Immediately upon his arrival, the new pastor engaged in the multitudinous tasks which confronted him. The re-organization of the Sunday schoolreceived his early attention. A goal of 1,000 in attendance was sought onRally Day, September 18, and despite the fact that the weather was most unfavorable, 1,090, the largest attendance in our school's history up to that time,were present. On this occasion Pastor Frankenfeld stressed the thought thatthe secret of success in church and church school work lies in two things:"Plan your work and work your plan." In the following year, on the secondRally Day, September 11, 1911, 1,470 persons were in attendance. Out of anenrollment of 1,150, no less than 1,064 were present, with, thirty-eight classesreported perfect in attendance. The greatest rally, both in attendance andinterest, was held on October 4; 1914, at Convention Hall with more than 3,000 persons present, and fifty-three classes reporting a perfect attendance. Thereason for holding this rally in Convention hall was stated as follows in the"Bote":
"In view of the fact that during the entire summer our church was alwaysfilled at the English service, we realized long ago that a special effort to hold a great rally was useless for the simple reason that the people who desired to come on that day could not be accommodated."
A Notable Convention
The Convention of the Young People's Societies of the New York District, with the Reverend P. C. Bommer of Buffalo as president, was entertainedin our church, August 3 to 6, 1911. The principal theme of the convention wasthe foreign mission enterprise. Three missionaries, Miss Martha Graebe,who after seven years of strenuous labor was at home on her furlough, Mrs.Enslin Sueger, and Miss Katherine Brueckner, who were ready to sail to Indiabefore the close of the year, were the special guests of the convention. It was indeed a time of blessed fellowship and spiritual uplift. The memory of thefarewell service on Sunday evening, with its inspiring singing, its heart to heart addresses, its mighty spirit of devotion and consecration, will lingerthrough a life time. Perhaps the most impressive moment came when, forthe last time, the convention hymn, "The Way of the Cross Leads Home," was sung. At the close of the first stanza, all the lights were suddenly turned out; for a moment the church was in darkness while the singing went on;then, in an instant, there flashed forth from above the altar a huge cross and the crown which follows it.
The Advisory Board
On September 19, 1911, an associate, or advisory, board consisting oftwenty members, among them representatives of every organization in ourchurch, was called into existence. For many years this board functioned andrendered a helpful service in the study of existing problems in our church, and in the suggestion of ways in which they could be solved.
Training for Service
A training class, called "Training for Service," and using Herbert Moninger's text hook, was organized October 6, 1911, with an enrollment ofninety-five students, The great interest manifested in the class is revealedin the average attendance of eighty-five. Fifty-two members of the classtook the first written examination and fifty-two succeeded in getting the required grade. On April 13, 1913, thirty-nine members of this class received adiploma, awarded by the New York State Bible School Association, in recognition of the completion of the first standard course in teacher training. Dr.Joseph Clark, known in the Sunday school world as "Timothy Standby," thensuperintendent of Sunday schools in our Empire State, was the speaker.
The Great Reunion
On the evening of Pentecost Sunday, May 26, 1912, a reunion service ofall who had been confirmed in Salem Church since its organization was heldat Convention Rail. Thirty-eight classes, totaling 3,335 members, were invitedto participate. Over 3,000 people filled Convention Hall in a service never tobe forgotten. In the auditorium, classes were grouped in thirty-eight sectionsunder banners denoting the year in which they were confirmed. The largegalleries were filled with hundreds of relatives and friends, and on the platform a chorus of 150 members of Salem, directed by Professor LudwigSchenck, led in the singing. Pastor Frankenfeld preached the sermon, whichwas published, upon numerous requests, in the June issue of the "Bote". Theservice was followed by a reception on Wednesday evening, May 29, in thesame hall. Again a similar throng attended, and the reception proved to be amost enjoyable affair. Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. WilliamBausch, a handsome souvenir badge, bearing miniature pictures of the threepastors who have served Salem Church, were distributed to the guests as theyentered the hall.
Cancellation of Indebtedness
When Pastor Frankenfeld became minister of Salem Church, the indebtedness was $8,500, with an annual budget of less than $10,000. In July, 1912,the church council voted to retain the pew-rental system, but also to initiatethe use of the weekly envelope system, as a supplementary source of revenue.Progress in this direction was slow at first, but the new method of givingsteadily grew in favor. In March, 1915, 418 persons were using the Duplex envelopes, and 803 names were found on the list of pew holders. During allthese years, Christmas and Easter offerings were generously contributed byour people. The Easter offering in 1913 totaled $1,355.00, and in 1917 theamount thus realized was $1,684.00. At the beginning of the year 1913, theindebtedness of the church had been reduced from $8,500.00 to $3,000.00. Onthe afternoon and early evening of August 25, 1913, in six hours time, a houseto house collection, conducted by 150 canvassers, netted the splendid sum of$7,512.14. This was sufficient to pay the entire indebtedness and also the expenses incident to the renovation, then in progress, of the interior of ourchurch. At last the congregation was entirely free from debt.
The Every Member Canvass
The first Every Member canvass for the purpose of enlisting, if possible,all the communicants in the financial support of our church was planned forthe early part of March, 1917, but, owing to unfavorable economic conditions,the original plan was changed, and from the list of non-contributing communicants the names of five hundred persons were selected for special solicitation. On the afternoon of March 18, seventy-two men, with William H.Brown as chairman, made the canvass with the gratifying result of 195pledges for a total of $910.00.
On the afternoon of Sunday, March 2, 1919, all communicant members ofthe church were invited to one of the most momentous gatherings in our history. It was stated that the purpose of the meeting would be to consider thequestion - "What Share Will Salem have in the Reconstruction Program ofthe Christian Church?" Among the topics listed for discussion were theearly erection of a new church school building, and the adoption of an adequate financial policy (which included the general use of the Duplex envelopesystem). To all who were present at this meeting the opportunity to assumetheir share of the budget for the year 1919 was given. Those who did notpledge on that day were visited during the following week in their homes by250 men chosen for the task. The canvass was a complete success with thebudget fully subscribed. At the mass meeting on Sunday afternoon, March2,354 pledges were received for a total of $148.32 each week. The total number of pledges reported one week later was 2,290, yielding $494.41 per week. Later, over one hundred additional pledges were received, increasing theamount per week to $520.00. When the canvass was completed, it was foundthat only five per cent of the 725 pew holders had insisted upon retaining their pews, a truly remarkable achievement, when it is considered that at the beginning of the year less than one-half of our total membership of 3,200 adherents were contributing to the church treasury in a regular and systematicmanner. As a result of the success of this canvass, it was announced that theusual Easter and Christmas offerings would he discontinued in the future, andthat the "Salem's Bote" would he mailed free to every contributing member. Year by year the amount contributed through the medium of the Duplexenvelopes increased, until in 1926 pledges totaling $54,608.00 were receivedfrom 2,963 contributors.
The Ministry of Flowers
The beautiful custom of placing flowers on the altar every Sunday began November 26, 1911. The first flowers were given by Mrs. Minnie Nelson Gerhard, Miss Amelia Kall, and Miss Lena Kettwig. Immediately thereafter Mrs. J. George Kaelber spoke to Miss Kettwig and suggested that flowers be placed on the pitar every Sunday. Mrs. Kaelber offered them for the following Sunday, and the donors on the remaining Sundays of the month were:Mrs. Julius C. Hoffman, Mrs. Katharine Loeffler, Miss Emma Hess, and Mrs.Mary Milow. Since that time there has not been a Sunday without flowerson the altar. After accomplishing their purpose in church on Sunday, theseflowers have been sent with messages of comfort and cheer to many hundredsof sick, shut-ins and afflicted in homes and hospitals.
Since the first observance of Mothers' Day in our church on May 10, 1914,there has been an outpouring of flowers in memory of the dearly beloved,departed mothers. As many as 113 mothers have been remembered on asingle occasion. A few years later, when Fathers' Day was first observed,nearly seventy-five tributes to fathers who had been called home were placedon the altar. How was all this made possible? It has taken thought, time andloving interest on the part of someone to bring this about. The person primarily responsible for this splendid service is Miss Lena Kettwig. She it is who started this noble ministry, gladly assumed the responsibility to continue it, and has never failed us through twenty-two long years. She it is who continues to acknowledge the donations with a card of thanks and sends onthe fragrant messengers to those who need comfort and encouragement. Anoble work, faithfully done!
The Fortieth Anniversary
Sunday, September 7, 1913, was chosen as the day for the celebrationof the fortieth anniversary. At nine-thirty o'clock all departments of the Bible school met in the church, where an interesting service in the English language was held. Mr. Thomas Dransfield, the first superintendent of our school, delivered the address. The Reverend J. Pister, D.D., preached the German sermon,and at the English evening service we had the pleasure of hearing the Reverend H. A. Kraemer of Buffalo. The attendance was good at all services. Thework of renovating the interior of the church was sufficiently advanced topermit us to worship in our newly decorated sanctuary. The organ had beenrebuilt and enlarged, and a new lighting system had been installed, whichfilled the auditorium with a soft mellow light and proved highly satisfactory.On the following Tuesday a social gathering was held at Convention hallwhich was filled to capacity.
Home Church Sunday
November 30, 1913, will long he remembered by the Protestant churchesof our city as one of their "red letter" days. It was "Home Church Sunday."The various denominations had banded themselves together in an unitedeffort to bring every church member, every church supporter, and everychurch sympathizer to the church of his own choice on that day. Every Protestant church in our city was filled. Many churches were crowded to thedoors. Some could not accommodate the people who gathered to show theirinterest. By actual count the services at our own church, including the Bibleschool sessions, were attended by 3,116 persons. This was the best recordmade by a Protestant church in Rochester on "Home Church Sunday." Thepatients in the numerous hospitals and the inmates of the charitable institutions were not forgotten. To each was given a white carnation accompaniedby a greeting card, Twenty-five of our young people visited the Almshousein the afternoon and there rendered this beautiful service.
In May, 1914, the former residence of Mr. Henry Bausch, corner St. PaulStreet and Huntington Park, was purchased for the sum of $12,500, to be usedas a parsonage by the pastor and his family. They occupied it until May, 1927,when it was sold for $20,000. In September of the same year Pastor Frankenfeld purchased his own home at 175 Highland Parkway, where he continuesto reside.
Motion Pictures and the Radio
Believing in the great educational and inspirational value of pictures, Salem decided to purchase, as early as June, 1917, a motion picture machine. The machine was known as the Pathescope and cost $200.00. Upon the completion of our new parish house, in 1923, the finest projector then obtainable, a Simplex, was purchased and placed in a fire-proof booth in the balcony ofthe new auditorium. It has proved to he a most helpful and valuable adjunctin the work of our institution.
At a Sunday school workers' social on April 19, 1922, an attempt to bringa radio concert over the ether waves to the assembled guests proved unsuccessful. It had been arranged to have Mr. Carl Paul, pianist, Mrs. FlorenceCrosby Cooke, vocalist, and Mr. Arthur Brill, violinist, render several selections from the broadcasting station of the Times-Union newspaper office onExchange Street. The time for the performance came, and we waited insilent awe to hear Mrs. Cooke's familiar voice sing to us through space, butall that could be heard was a loud buzzing noise, intermingled now and thenwith a strain of music. The radio operator explained that a storm was brewing which prevented good reception, and several hours later his prognostication proved to be true, Strange to relate, a letter was received a week laterfrom one of our Salem boys, stating that the latter had heard the broadcastof our artists on board a battleship south of New Orleans. Radio broadcastingwas in its infancy then, but by February 3, 1926, it was so much improved thatwe were privileged to send over the air, through Station WHEC, the firstmid-week Lenten service ever broadcast in Rochester. The remaining mid-week services were also sent out and, judging from the numerous telephonecalls and letters received, proved a great blessing to many who tuned in onthe program.
Worshippers at our Christmas morning service in 1918 were treated to agreat surprise, when without any previous announcement a set of organchimes pealed forth the beautiful Christmas melodies. The chimes were given by Miss Emma Hempel in memory of her dear grandmother, Mrs. ChristianaVetter, who in days gone by was one of the staunch and loyal members ofSalem Church. When the new organ with its own twenty chimes was installed,the chimes given by Miss Hempel were mounted and placed upon our auditorium stage to continue their ministry of music.
An Important Annual Meeting
At the forty-sixth annual meeting of the voting members of our church,held Monday evening, April 7, 1919, several important matters were decidedupon. First, that the corporate name of the church he changed from "German United Evangelical Salem Church" to "Salem Evangelical Church"; second, that the financial year at our church begin January 1 instead of April 1, asheretofore; third, that all meetings of the congregation and the church council he transacted and recorded in the English language. An unusual featureof the meeting was the admission of twenty-three women into full votingmembership. This action marked a new epoch in our history, since thereafterboth men and women shared equally in the conduct of Salem Church affairs.
Numerous "Father and Son," "Mother and Daughter" services and banquets have been held in our church during the past fifteen years. The "Mother and Daughter" service on Sunday evening, February 22, 1920, with 540 mothers and daughters present, was outstanding. On the following Thursday evening, February 26, a "Mother and Daughter" banquet took place in the newspacious dining hall of the Bausch and Lonth factory. Originally, plans hadbeen made for 300, but the demand for tickets continued until it was necessary to lay covers for 1,044. Sixty-six men from the Bible class served aswaiters. An interesting program was provided with Mrs. Arthur B. Sutherland as the principal speaker.
At the close of the Lenten season, 1920, Pastor Frankenfeld was releasedfor six months from his duties as minister of our church to assume the leadership of an "Evangelical Forward Movement," which was inspired, to a greatextent, by the "Inter-Church World Movement" which had for its purposethe development of a plan whereby the Protestant Churches of North Americamight co-operate more fully in carrying out their educational, missionary andbenevolent programs at home and abroad.
Upon the completion of this work, Pastor Frankenfeld was joyously welcomed on the first Sunday in October at a special "Welcome Home" servicearranged in his honor.
In the years following the World War a large number of Germans camefrom the Fatherland to make their homes in Rochester. Their arrival offeredan opportunity and an unmistakable challenge to our church. A special committee was appointed to aid these people in finding a church-home. Socialgatherings were held for this group on the last Sunday evening of eachmonth, and on Easter Sunday, 1924, forty-eight were received into the fellowship of our church. Twenty-four of their number met regularly for sometime, in a German Singing Society under the efficient leadership of ProfessorH. Bachman. Subsequently, more rigid immigration laws restricted the number of immigrants, so that at the present time very few Germans are comingto the shores of America and finding their way to Salem Church. However,many who joined at the time of this unusual influx continue as regular attendants at our Sunday morning German worship.
Sunrise Easter Services
The first Sunrise Service with Holy Communion was held on Easter Sunday, 1924. The response by our people surprised the most optimistic expectations. Nearly 1,000 persons attended this first service, and 733 participated in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. At the Sunrise Easter Service in 1925,the plan of serving the elements in the pew was tried out with the membersof the church council participating in the ministry as assistants to the pastor. This innovation proved very successful and met with such favor that thecouncil voted to have at least four. such communion services during the year.In 1925 the number of communicants reached the total of 2,891 which exceeded by 200 the largest figure ever before recorded in the history of ourchurch.
A Memorable Occasion
Sunday, August 2, 1925, will ever stand out as one of the truly memorabledays in the history of Salem Church. It was Pastor Frankenfeld's anniversaryof twenty-five years in the ministry of Christ, of which fifteen had been spentat Salem. As the pastor was on his vacation during July, preparations for theevent could be made without his knowledge. A happy thong attended thesession of the church school and then taxed the seating capacity of our spacious auditorium for the ten o'clock worship. An unusually large attendancealso marked the later German service. With radiant faces, in joyous song bycongregation, choir and soloists, in responsive Scripture reading and ferventprayer, a grateful people gave expression to the affection which they felt fortheir pastor and for his good wife, who has given herself so faithfully at alhtimes to the ministry in the church. The Reverend Theophil F. Bode, pastorof St. Peter's Evangelical Church, Buffalo, was the preacher at both services,and his very appropriate and eloquent message did full justice to the occasion. The presence of the venerable parents of the pastor was felt by all as a specialbenediction. After the sermon Mr. William H. Brown, as chairman of thecommittee in charge, voiced the congratulations of the congregation and presented to Pastor Frankenfeld a bank hook showing a deposit of $2,200 whichsum, given as voluntary offerings, represented the tangible expression of thelove and gratitude of our people. Mr. Charles Suss, president of the church presented the pastor with a highly artistic testimonial. A fitting climax to this most extraordinary occasion was the delightful afternoon spent by theFrankenfeld family with the members of the church council, and their wives,at the Conesus Lake summer home of Mr. and Mrs. George J. Hafner.
For a period of twenty-eight years, Mr. Kilian Schaeffer has served mostdevotedly and acceptably as church secretary - from 1905 to 1912 on part time,and since April, 1912 ona full time basis. The congregation gave special recognition to his faithful ministry at the time of his twenty-fifth anniversary. In July, 1917, Miss Mary Enmich was engaged as church clerk, and still continues in that capacity with a record of sixteen years of loyal and efficient service. She also assists the pastor in many of his routine duties.
During the winter of 1928 to 1929 the renovation of the exterior of thechurch was accomplished at an expense of $47,674.08. The steeple was takendown, because orders to this effect had been received from the Departmentof Public Safety. Both towers were rebuilt in part to conform to the architecture of the entire church plant. A new slate roof was placed on the building, and the entire exterior was given brick veneer to make it harmonize with the new church school building.
English Morning Services
At the annual meeting in 1913, a committee was appointed to considerthe reasons for the noticeable decrease in attendance on the part of our young people at the morning worship, which was then conducted in the German language at ten-thirty o'clock. On April 20, 1914, a report submitted by this committee attributed the decline to the young people's inability to understand the German language. A resolution favoring the inauguration of a morning English service from ten-fifteen o'clock to eleven o'clock, with the German service following immediately thereafter, was recommended and adopted. Accordingly, English morning services were inaugurated on the second Sunday in May, 1914, as an experiment, and in September it was reported that for the first eighteen services an average attendance of 1,050 each Sunday had been recorded, it was realized that forty minutes was hardly sufficient for a full service, but since it was primarily a children's service, satisfaction was felt over what had been accomplished, and it was decided to continue the experiment during the following winter months. Nearly a year after the inauguration of these services it was found that they had not detracted from the interest and the attendance at the English evening services, which were maintaining an average of almost five hundred worshippers. At the annual meeting of the congregation in April, 1918, the church council was authorized to appoint a committee of five members for the purpose of considering the advisabilityof changing the main service on Sunday morning from German to English.The church council was given full power to act in the best interests of thecongregation when this report would be received from the committee. Thereport, submitted in October, 1918, recommended the lengthening of the English service by fifteen minutes, with a sermon suitable for adults; a Germanworship at eleven o'clock, and a children's service in the large Sunday schoolroom from ten to eleven o'clock, simultaneously with the English churchservice. This program continued until 1931, when it was decided to begin theGerman service at nine o'clock.
Organists and Choir Directors
During the sixty years of her existence, Salem has been most fortunatein the caliber of the men who have served as organists and choir directors.The following have held these positions:
Dettmar D. Poppen, organist and choir director, 1874-1893
Professor Meyer, organist and director, 1893-1894
Henry Greiner, organist and director, 1894-1901
Charles F. VanLaer, organist and director, 1901-1903
Carl Paul, organist, 1903-1926
Professor Ludwig Schenck, director, 1904-1922
Frank Showers, director, 1922-1926
A. Irvine McHose, organist, 1926-1932
Herman H. Genhart, director, 1926-to the present time
H. Wellington Stewart, organist, 1932-to the present time.
All of these men have made notable contributions to the department ofmusic in our church. Carl Paul's ministry as organist covered a period oftwenty-three years. In 1926 constantly increasing demands upon his time inlooking after his business interests, compelled his resignation, and on August26 a grateful congregation paid a very cordial tribute to his long and efficientservice. At the English church service on Sunday morning November 7, atoken of sincere appreciation was presented to Mr. Paul on behalf of the congregation, and in the tribute which the pastor paid on that day to the blessedministry of our esteemed friend, he emphasized the exceptional faithfulness,the unchanging cheerfulness and the commendable unselfishness which characterized the many services which Mr. Paul had rendered to Salem throughtwenty-three long years.
For nearly nineteen years Professor Ludwig Schenck served as directorof music. In the summer of 1922 he accepted a position with the recently completed "Eastman School of Music" which required all of his time and strengthand made it necessary for him to resign the position which he had filled solong and acceptably in our midst. The regard in which Professor Schenek washeld by our people still manifests itself year after year on the last Sunday in July, when a special memorial service of song in his honor is rendered by thechoir. His death occurred on April 8, 1929, and the first of these memorialservices was held on the last Sunday of the following July. Probably the mostpretentious effort made by Salem Church choir during his ministry was thepresentation of "Queen Esther" at the Lyceum Theater, on April 19, 1917. On the following morning the Democrat and Chronicle carried this account which speaks for itself:
"The production of the sacred cantata 'Queen Esther,' at the Lyceumlast evening, by the Salem Church Choir, brought out an audience that filledthe theater from orchestra rail to topmost gallery seat."
"Long a favorite with church, choir and choral societies, the cantata isfilled with solos and choruses that are often heard in church services, manyof them being written in adoration and praise."
"The Lyceum orchestra was augmented for the occasion and played underthe direction of Ludwig Schenck. Mrs. John L. Messmer sang the role ofEsther in a most pleasing manner. Her voice is a sweet soprano with an appealing quality in it that fitted her particularly well for the music of her role. Henry Schlegel's fine bass was heard in the songs of Ahasuerus, the king;Fred A. Mueller, baritone, did well in the character and music assigned to therole of the despised counselor, Haman, and W. Stanley Hawkins sang thetenor numbers of Mordecai in excellent voice and with considerable dramaticexpression. There were also several singers from the choir who revealedvoices of decided sweetness and cultivation, notably, Miss Mamie Zeiner, MissAlma Geiger and Miss Nora Schindler."
"The chorus of 125 voices showed excellent training and several of theconcerted numbers were most impressive. There was a display of elaboratecostuming which added much to the realism of the production and the scenery, if not always an exact reproduction of the rooms of the king's palace,was not without features which contributed much to the color and brightnessof the acts."
Contributions toward Missions
The interest of our church in missions has continued to grow during thepresent Pastorate. For many years the pastor served on the Foreign MissionBoard of the Synod. Mr. Henry Albrecht has also given many years of devoted service on this same hoard. At the present time Mr. William H. Brownis a member of the Home Mission Board. The following are some of the special contributions which Salem has made to the missionary enterprise duringthe past twenty-one years:
1912 - A new school costing $500 was provided for Miss Wobus in India, for which the funds were raised through the sale of 5,000 bricks, in lots of teneach at ten cents a piece.
1919 - In April the Foreign Mission Board decided to investigate the possibility of opening another mission field in Honduras. Our pastor and theReverend Paul Menzel of Washington, D. C., were selected to make the preliminary survey in May, 1919. After a month's journey through Honduras,this committee reported favorably, and the Board decided to launch the project.
l924 - Our church council voted that the support of a missionary in Honduras by Salem should be a permanent undertaking. The offerings receivedat the Wednesday evening Lenten services in 1924 and in the many yearssince that time were sufficiently generous to provide the salary for our newworker, Miss Anna Bechtold.
1924 - The church council decided to make a pledge of $10,000, to be paidin three yearly installments from the benevolences, toward the new EdenSeminary at Webster Groves, Missouri.
1925 - A special gift of $500.00 by the late Mrs. Rudolph Weis made possible the enlargement of the church for lepers in India.
1927 - More than $700.00 was contributed to build a girls' school at Baloda Bazaar, in India, where our missionary, Miss Adele Wohus, was stationed.
1928 - Through the generosity of Mr. J. George Kaelber, the construction of a girls' school, known as the "Matilda Kaelher Memorial," was madepossible at Bisrampur, India. The new school, costing several thousand dollars, is dedicated to the memory of one who in her life-time sent many noblegifts to India and who always manifested a keen interest in the work that isbeing done there.
1928 - $1,200 annually was voted to assist in the support of a missionchurch, St. John's Evangelical, in Los Angeles, California, of which the Reverend H. R. Gebhardt is the pastor. This support in part, still continues.
1928 - In the fall of the year 192 members of the church gave the sum of$5,137 for the Ministerial Pension Fund of the Synod.
1930 - Toward the building of a Protestant chapel at Sonyea, the CraigColony for Epileptics, the church gave the sum of $725.63.
1931 - $1,000 was contributed for the erection of a community house inthe Ozarks, at Shannondale, Missouri.
1932 - Toward the Elmhurst-Eden Advance, members of the church subscribed the sum of $13,290.
A Wise Investment
In a special meeting of the congregation held on April 24, 1924, the members present voted unanimously to purchase a large tract of land in the rearof the church known as the Kuichling property, for the sum of $62,500. Thepurchase was made to assure protection to our church against encroachmenton the part of undesirable neighbors and the possibility of deprivation oflight and air from our church school building. It was also to provide room forfuture expansion and much desired parking space for automobiles. The transaction was consummated in the following manner. When the various rumorsthat the Kuichling property was about to change hands were heard, the pastor brought the matter to the attention of the church council and recommendedthe purchase. Mr. William H. Brown and Mr. Fred M. Dubelbeiss volunteeredto buy the property and to hold it until the congregation could take action.Aided by Mother Katharine Dubelbeiss, they purchased the property for$62,500 cash and held it until the congregation voted to buy it from them atthe identical price for, which they had purchased it. Without question thisproved to be one of the most profitable investments Salem ever made, for inthe spring of 1930 a portion of this property was sold to the city for the sumof $101,500. The church retained a triangular parcel of land directly in therear of the church school building which provides the protection against lightand air encroachment originally sought. This space is sufficiently large topark about twenty-five automobiles. The church also retained the entireNorth Clinton Avenue frontage of 134 feet running 250 feet deep to a pointin the rear. This plot of ground is being leased as a gasoline and parking station with an income sufficient to pay the carrying charges; it also providesparking space for a large number of automobile on Sunday morning.
Salem in the World War
When the United States entered the World War in 1917, Salem preparedto do its part. Many of our boys were already in the service, and others volunteered quickly, so that almost immediately a committee was appointed tokeep in touch with all the men by forwarding to them reading matter andweekly accounts concerning the activities in their church. In early June theSalem Auxiliary of the American Red Cross was organized, with Mrs. EmilF. Vetter as president. Under her leadership this band of noble women rendered valuable service in the interest of our boys. On Sunday morning, June24, 1,600 people gathered in Franklin Street and in the church yard to witnessthe flag raising ceremony in connection with the dedication of the new sixty-six foot steel flag pole, which had been erected on the lawn to the south of the church. While the selective machinery was being set up which subsequentlydrew into the army and the navy scores of our young men, many additionalSalemites enlisted voluntarily in various branches of the service. On Sundayevening, December 16, 1917, the large service flag bearing fifty-nine stars (astar for each Salem man in the service) was presented to our church andchurch school by the Salem Red Cross Auxiliary. Toward the various loansour people subscribed liberally. In June, 1918, Mr. William H. Brown and thepastor served as Y. M. C. A. workers at Camp Dix, in the state of New Jersey.Armistice Day found 190 Salem men in the service, and eight names on the honor roll of those who made the supreme sacrifice. The Salem bell wasamong the first to ring out the glad tidings of peace on the morning of theArmistice, November 11, 1918. Soon after four o'clock in the morning ourtwo pastors, Pastor Frankenfeld and his assistant, the Reverend Otto Mayer,ascended the stairs to ring out the long awaited message. Others joined themlater, and for two hours the church bell continued to peal forth the joyousnews. Before noon, large posters which announced a peace service at Salemthat evening had been distributed in many sections of the city. This servicewas well attended. The pastor pleaded for a peace which would restore goodwill among the nations of the world. By the end of December some of ourboys had returned home, and at the Christmas evening service an electric signflashed forth the words, "Welcome Home." it was so placed that it could beseen from any seat in the auditorium, and it remained in place until the lastof our boys had returned. Several "Welcome Home" services, in which our boys stood at the altar to re-dedicate their lives to the service of Christ and his church, were held on Sunday evenings, the last on November 2, 1919,when the service flag, which during the dark and trying days of the war andthe demobilization, had been a constant reminder of the 198 Salem men, wasremoved. The big "Welcome Home" banquet came on the following Thursday. Upon roll call and citation every returned man received a beautiful certificate expressing the appreciation of the church for the service rendered.Memorial Sunday, June 2, 1929, witnessed the unveiling of a bronze memorialtablet, which was placed on the east wall of the church and which bears thefollowing inscription:
Members of the Church Council
From the time of the organization of the first church council in 1874, themembers of this body remained twelve in number until, on May 25, 1915, aspecial congregational meeting voted to increase the membership to eighteen.At the annual congregational meeting held January 8, 1923, the church council was empowered' to enlarge its membership to twenty - seven, until suchtime when the congregation could legally vote upon the amendment providingfor the increased number. This amendment was adopted at the annual meeting, January 16, 1924. Again, in 1930, the council was increased; this time toits present number of thirty-six members. It now consists of six elders, ninetrustees, and twenty-one deacons. The names of all the men who have servedon the council during the past sixty years, with the year of their election orappointment, are here listed:
|1874 John J. Schaeffer |
Wm. Conrad Zimmer
1875 Adam Schake
1876 Frederick Deininger
1877 Frederick Roth
1878 George Zimmer
1879 Frank Fritzsche
1882 John Kaelber
1883 Edwin Beck
1884 George Maurer
Charles W. Dubelbeiss
1885 Carl E. Hempel
1887 August Amish
1888 Valentin Fuchs
1889 John Schwab
1891 Chris Merlau
1892 John Schmidt
1893 Henry Husmann
John F. Zabel
Charles W. Weis
1894 Louis H. Miller
1895 John C. Nusbickel
1896 Eduard Deusing
1897 George Enisfeld
George F. Roth
1898 Henry G. Lauterhach
1901 Kilian Schaeffer
1902 Henry F. Albrecht
1903 William Deininger
1904 J. George Kaelber
1905 George F. Nelson
1906 George Gernand
1907 Benjamin Haag
Charles T. Rau
1908 Julius J. Andersen
1910 George J. Hafner
1912 Christian Baetzel
|1913 George Bareis |
1914 Charles G. Gerhard
Otto G. Schlegel
Louis C. Deininger
Fred. J. Schminke
William H. Brown
J. F. Kleiner
George P. Steul
Fred. C. Stehler
1915 Edwin C. Kaelber
1916 Louis C. Schauman
1918 Emil Ludekens
1920 J. George Kaelber
Chas. W. Weis
Alfred F. Scheible
1921 Harry J. Herbst
1923 Fred. M. Dubelbeiss
Walter W. Graeper
Charles F. Spies
George P. Steul
Charles F. Then
Frank C. Titus
George C. Wickman
William J. Zabel
1924 John F. Zimmer
Robert F. Kaucher
1925 Gustav Schaub
1926 G. Wallace Neth
1927 Julius C. Hoffman
1928 Jacob H. Vogel
William H. Zimmer
1929 Frank H. Walch
1930 Samuel Allen
John H. Cooper
Carl L. Drexler
Henry B. Weber
William H. Lauterbach
1931 Carl Fischer
Wm. Lauterbach, Sr.
G. William Miller
William T. Nowack
1932 Gustav Nowack
Charles A. Stark
Orlo J. Weeks
Louis H. Ehrmann
1933 Charles Bareis
Ernst A. Kurkowski
August G. Reinhardt
Henry J. Schwab
1920 Charles W. Weis
J. George Kaelber
1925 August Amish
1930 Charles Suss
The following have served as Presidents:
1874-1893 Rev. Carl Siebenpfeiffer
1894-1905 Rev. J. F. W. Helmkamp
1906-1907 Charles Suss
1908-1910 George F. Roth
1911-1925 Charles Suss
1926-1930 Henry F. Albrecht
1931 - William H. Brown
The Story of the Church School Building and Parish House
The Urgent Need
As early as 1911 it became apparent to those who were actively engagedin the important work of our Bible school that something must soon be donewhereby larger accommodations and more suitable equipment could be provided to meet the needs of this growing department in our church life. TheSunday school building, which was being used at that time, was erected tohouse 650 persons. In 1910 the average attendance of the school was 679.From year to year this number increased, until in 1917 the average attendancereached a figure beyond 1,000, or nearly twice the number which could beproperly taken care of under existing conditions. To provide temporary relief, the church auditorium was used for Sunday school purposes, an arrangement which, for many reasons, was very unsatisfactory.
The First Step
Naturally, the members of the Sunday school, recognizing this urgentneed, were first in launching the movement which brought within reach thedesired goal. On Easter Sunday, 1911, the pastor presented to the school alarge wooden "nest-egg" bearing the inscription: "$50,000 for a New ModernSunday School Building." At that time most of us merely smiled at the project, and many considered it a wild dream which could never be realized. Butthe members of the school began to save their pennies and nickels, and withina short time the small beginning grew into a sum of several thousand dollars.Encouraged by the success of this nest-egg, the workers of the school appointed a committee to present the urgent need to the official Board of thechurch and to secure their hearty co-operation. This was promised and thusthe movement was launched.
But not until the time of the annual meeting of the congregation, heldApril 3, 1916, was the matter given very serious consideration. It was thenthat the pastor in his annual report to the church presented to the members a five-year program of expansion, which program embodied no less than tendefinite recommendations for the various activities of our church. Of theserecommendations, the tenth called for suitable accommodations and equipment to make possible the prosecution of the suggested program. This reportwas most favorably received, and by a unanimous vote of the congregationthe entire matter was entrusted to the official Board with the instruction tomake preliminary preparations for the accomplishment of the big task.
A Memorable Meeting
On June 8, 1916, a special meeting of the church council thoroughly considered the five-year program. The members were unanimous in their opinionthat immediate steps should be taken to provide the required building, andwithout exception they pledged to the undertaking their hearty support. Acommittee, consisting of Messrs. Geo. F. Roth, Chas. W. Weis, Chas. G. Gerhard, Geo. J. Hafner, J. George Kaelher, Charles Suss and the pastor, ex-officio, was appointed to consider ways and means and to report back to theofficial Board at the earliest convenient time.
Sunday School Represented
Inasmuch as the proposed new building was intended to meet, in the firstplace, the needs of the Sunday school, the special committee requested theappointment of representatives from the school who were thoroughly familiarwith the nature and the requirements of this work. The request was cheerfully met and the following representatives were chosen by the workers:Chas. T. Rau, J. J. Andersen, Fred J. Schmninke, Wm. H. Brown and HenryAlbrecht. The following advisory members were added to the committee:Mrs. Katherine Tincher, Mrs. Rudolph Weis, Mrs. Elizabeth Norden, Mrs.Julius C. Hoffman, Miss Emma C. Hempel, Oscar E. Zabel and Fred M. Dubelbeiss. In all, this committee held 125 meetings of which 109 were regularand sixteen special. In addition to these meetings it was necessary to have innumerable conferences with the architects and the various contractors. Thecommittee was organized as follows: George J. Hafner, chairman; J. GeorgeKaelber, vice-chairman; Chas. G. Gerhard, secretary; Charles W. Weis, treasurer ; Charles T. Rau, assistant treasurer. Kilian Schaeffer was engaged toserve as clerk, and Emil Ludekens as legal advisor.
Real Estate Purchased
Recognizing the fact that more ground had to be bought before a suitablebuilding could be erected, the members of the Sunday school created andorganized the "Salem Sunday School Real Estate Company" and voted to use the funds of the nest-egg for the purchase of additional ground. The specialcommittee also gave much thought and study to this most important matter,and after careful consideration recommended to the annual meeting of thecongregation, held on April 16, 1917, the purchase of the two lots on the southside of the present church building, for the sum of $25,500. By a unanimousvote the meeting adopted the recommendation of the committee, and authorized the trustees to buy the property. Thereupon the "Salem Sunday SchoolReal Estate Company," simply as a means of protection for the future and inorder to assure sufficient light and ventilation for the new building, voted topurchase the third lot for the sum of $6,000. In this manner the church cameinto possession of additional ground with a frontage of 133 ft. in FranklinStreet, by a depth of 164 ft. toward Clinton Avenue North.
The Funds Secured
From the very beginning, it was the opinion of those interested in thismovement, that Salem should not build with borrowed money, but that anearnest effort should he made to secure in advance, if possible, the neededfunds. Accordingly, the official Board, upon recommendations of the specialcommittee, entered into negotiations with Mr. H. H. Patterson, of Cleveland,Ohio, whose ability as money - raiser for churches and Sunday schools hadbeen tested, with great success and satisfaction, by other congregations in ourcity. Upon invitation, Mr. Patterson appeared before the official Board at ameeting held on April 12, 1917, and outlined his methods for a financial campaign. The proposition, as presented by Mr. Patterson, appealed very strongly to the members. After a month's consideration, at tile following regular meeting of the Board, held May 3, 1917, a resolution was introduced and adopted, that we enter into a. contract with Mr. Patterson, whereby he should lead usin a financial campaign to secure the needed funds for our new building. Themonth of November, 1917, was chosen for the great venture, provided conditions then would be favorable.
A Special Meeting
A special meeting of the entire congregation was called on September 24,1917, to consider the advisability of conducting the campaign under the then-existing conditions. Only 170 members attended this important meeting, and,although the vote taken was almost unanimously in favor of the campaign, itwas not deemed wise to go ahead. After correspondence with Mr. Patterson,the campaign leader, a second vote was called for at all the services on Sunday, October 7, 1917. The result, expressed by a rising vote, was overwhelmingly in favor of the campaign, more than 1,600 persons voting affirmatively.
The campaign was conducted from November 19 to 26, 1917. Mr. GeorgeF. Roth served as general chairman and Mr. J. George Kaelher as associatechairman. The men's division, consisting of forty-eight teams with 300 workers, and the ladies' division of twenty-seven teams with 100 workers, underthe efficient leadership of Mr. Patterson, secured 2,285 pledges in the six daysof the campaign. The pledges amounted to $154,101 (including the "LittleRed House"). The individual contributions ranged from seventy-five cents tofive thousand dollars. The entire expense of this great effort, including thecommissary department, was $3,129.77. The greatest significance of the financial campaign of 1917 lay in the fact that it was successful at a time when ourcountry was involved in the horrible world conflict which was then ragingacross the sea. On the evening of November 26, the closing day of our campaign, the honorable Mayor of our fair city, Hiram Edgerton, expressed tothe workers his great satisfaction "that the church in these days of stresswould dare to undertake and to do successfully such a big thing."
The war forced upon us the unwelcome postponement of our cherishedplan for a new building. By order of the Government all building operationswhich were not an absolute necessity had to he abandoned for the time being.The payment of pledges was delayed. Our people needed their money to meetthe high cost of living, and they were urged to invest any surplus in government bonds. We were compelled to wait a little while longer. For a time itseemed as if the vision would be dimmed, and faith would falter, and the enthusiasm must wane. But this was only for a time. We learned "to labor and to wait."
Nearing the Coal
Through nearly five long years the building committee continued itswork until, at a special meeting of the congregation held on Monday, June12, 1922, bids for the new building were submitted and opened. The totalbids, exclusive of all unavoidable extras and necessary equipment, amountedto nearly $165,000. The committee was urged to award the contracts to thelowest responsible bidders without delay, and to begin work immediately.Seven days later on Monday morning, June 19, at 8:30 o'clock, members ofthe building committee and of the church council assembled to break ground for the new structure.
Once begun, the work progressed with greater speed than we had anticipated. Three months after the breaking of the ground we were privileged tocelebrate the laying of the corner-stone, on Sunday, September 17, 1922. Morethan 1,000 members and friends of our church assembled at 3 o'clock in the afternoon to witness the great event. Our heavenly Father blessed the occasion with glorious sunshine. The Reverend Richard Stave, Ph.D., of St. Paul'sChurch delivered a splendid address. Professor Ludwig Schenck led the singing and the joyous strains were accompanied by Mr. Carl Paul on the organ and by several bass instruments. The corner-stone was laid by Pastor Frankenfeld. In the center of it was placed a copper receptacle containing the following documents: The Bible, The Elmhurst Hymnal, The Evangelical Catechism, "Our Evangelical Church," a copy of the constitution; the picture andthe story of the nest-egg; copies of the "Salem's Bote," giving information about the financial campaign of 1917, the list of contributors, our larger program, annual reports of 1921 ; a list giving the names of the officers and themembers of all organizations, the church council, the building committee, the architects and contractors; copies of "Der Friedensbote," "The Evangelical Herald," "The Evangelical Leader," "The Year Book," 1922; copies of the "Democrat and Chronicle," the "Rochester Herald," the "Post Express," the "Times-Union," the "Rochester American," "Die Abendpost"; the Christianflag and the American flag.
Dedicatory services for the new church school and parish house were heldon the tenth day of June, 1923. All the work was not completed; indeed manydetails were still in an unfinished state, but the building had progressed so far that we could occupy the various rooms for Bible school purposes. In lessthan a year from the day on which ground was broken, we were privilegedto enter the new building. No unwelcome delay of any nature had occurred;no serious accident marred the progress of the work. The spirit of co-operation and harmony prevailed throughout, and God led us to build at the mostadvantageous time. If the various contracts had been awarded a few monthslatem the cost of erecting our new building would have been increased by atleast $45,000.
We began the day with a dedicatory service in the church auditorium at nine o'clock, the members of the elementary division meeting in their accustomed places. The Reverend Reinhold Niebuhr of Detroit delivered the sermon in which primary stress was laid upon the most important task of religious education. After the service, the departments of our Bible school formedin line and marched, with the members of the cradle roll in the lead, to thefront of the new building. Nearly 2,000 persons participated in this great procession of which a film was made for future enjoyment and for the benefit of those who will come after us. At the entrance of the new building the architect handed the key to the chairman of the building committee, Mr. George J. Hafner, who received it with appropriate words and passed it on to the president of the church, Mr. Charles. Suss. With the words: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory," the president accepted the key and opened the door leading into the spacious vestibule. Then followed the dedicatory prayer spoken by the pastor through a megaphone, whereupon the audience sang the last stanza of "Onward, Christian Soldiers" as the departments entered the building and occupied the rooms which had been previously assigned to them. Here addresses were given by Miss Hulda Niebuhr of Boston, who spoke to the elementary division, and by Messrs. Wm. J. MacFarlane, Wm. H. Stackel and the Reverend John S. Wolff, who addressed thesenior, the young people's and the adult departments respectively. The evening witnessed a rally of the young people who listened, to the inspiring messages given by Miss Hulda Niebuhr and the Reverend Reinhold Niebuhr.And thus ended the great day, June the tenth.
A whole week of special events had been arranged by the committee andall of these were carried out as scheduled with not a single disappointment.The program, which was very exceptional in character, follows.
Monday - Men's Night - Speaker: The Reverend Theo. Bode, Buffalo.
Tuesday - Young People's Night - Speaker: The Reverend Orb J. Price, D.D., Secretary of the Federation of Churches of Rochester and Monroe County.
Wednesday - Bible School Workers' Night - Speaker: Dr. Herbert S. Weet, Superintendent of Public Schools.
Thursday - Three o'clock, "Frauenverein" - Speaker: Professor Wm. Baur, D.D., St. Louis, Mo. Eight o'clock, Women's Night - Speakers: Mrs. Geo. Hafner, Professor Wm. Baur, D.D., St. Louis, Mo.; Reverend Paul Frankenfeld, Buffalo; the Hon. Mayor VanZandt, Rochester.
Friday - Evangelical Night - Speakers: Reverend Adolf Baltzer, Mr. John Bernhard (for Reverend Otto Reller), Reverend Hernnan E. Koenig, Reverend Bernard J. Tepas.
Opportunity was given each night to see the entire building. Well-informed guides conducted the several groups, and the good women of Salemserved refreshments gratis to all who came. Each night of dedication weekwas a spiritual, an intellectual and a social feast.
Sunday, June 17, was opening day, the various departments of our Bibleschool meeting for the first time, in regular session, in their new quarters.Only those who were present know what this statement means, and how themembers felt about it. At the English service on this day it was our greatpleasure to hear the venerable Mr. Thomas Dransfield, of the Central Presbyterian Church, who had organized Salem Sunday school fifty years ago andwho had been an exemplary leader of Salem's youth for five years. Abouttwenty-five men and women who were boys and girls when Mr. Dransfieldassisted the Reverend Carl Siebenpfeiffer from 1873-1878, were present onJune 17. Notwithstanding his eighty-eight years, Mr. Dransfield gave a thirty-minute address in which he offered his sincerest felicitations and brought usmany reminiscences of days gone by. He still found great joy in the fact thatthe Lord had privileged him to have a share in the development of SalemChurch.
The members of the dedicatory committee were fifty-seven in number,with William H. Brown, chairman; Henry F. Albrecht, vice-chairman; MissMary Emich, secretary; and Mrs. George J. Hafner, treasurer.
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