Church History  1905 – 1996


           New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church had its beginning in a little wooden building known then as Killian’s School House, dating back to the year 1880. During the ministry of the Rev. D. J. Settlemyre in Catawba County, this little school building was used as a preaching place, and the group which gathered there organized themselves into a congregation. For some unknown reason, this early congregation was disbanded.

About the year 1893, the Rev. W. P. Cline, D.D., preached at Killian’s School House and organized a congregation. A church house was never built because, at that time, old St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Newton seemed to need all the strength available in the community.

For twenty-six years (1880 – 1906) the work of the Lutheran Church in this community was kept alive by an active community Sunday School.  From 1893 until 1906, the superintendents of the Sunday School were J. T. Yoder, H. P. Lutz, and L. H. Seitz. Others helping to promote the work were James Herman, William Hoover and H. T. Hoover. While this Sunday School was a community school and not officially a “Lutheran” school, all of its superintendents were members of the Lutheran Church.


 1905:  On October 29, 1905, New Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized under the leadership of Rev. C. L. Miller, D.D. along with twenty nine charter members. This forward thinking group envisioned the need for a new Lutheran Church in the area and, indeed, the time and place was right for a congregation to be born. As we reflect on our proud history, it reveals the character and spirit set by our forefathers.  Their thoughts and efforts will forever stand as a testament to the spiritual needs of this community.

On this ninetieth anniversary, we salute and honor our charter members:

Mr. A. L. Baker Mr. John B. Lutz Mrs. W.H. Mouser
Mrs. A. L. Baker Mrs. John B. Lutz Mr. Albert Rink
Mrs. Cora Bollinger Mr. H. P. Lutz Mr. G. F. Rink
Mr. L. R. Bowman Mrs. H.P. Lutz Mrs. G. F. Rink
Mrs. L. R. Bowman Mr. W. R. Lutz, Sr. Miss Ann Settlemyre
Mrs. Nancy Drum Mrs. W. R. Lutz, Sr. Miss Emma Settlemyre
Miss Elizabeth Hallman Miss Mattie E. Lutz Miss Sarah Settlemyre
Miss Catherine Hawn Miss Sarah C. Lutz Mr. John R. Whitener
Mr. Winfield Kanupp Mr. J. O. Lutz Mrs. John R. Whitener
Mrs. Winfield Kanupp Mrs. J. O. Lutz Mr. Raymond P. Whitener

1906:  The building committee for the first building was R. L. Bowman, J. B. Lutz and H. P. Lutz. This little group of people, in a period of ninety days, erected the first church building, which was valued at an estimated three thousand dollars. It was a frame structure, built and dedicated in the year 1906.

The land on which this church stood was donated by S. E. Killian and Mrs. Francis Deal. Most of the material for the building was donated by the members. Special mention should be made of the ladies who supplied many of the church furnishings. In addition, J. S. Propst of Hickory presented the pulpit and altar.  S. E. Killian presented the communion set, baptismal bowl and offering plated. The bell was given by J. B. Lutz.

In 1906, this church was placed into a regular pastorate consisting of Beth Eden, Newton; Zion, Catawba County; and New Jerusalem. The Rev. J. D. Mauney was called to serve this pastorate and began his ministry October 1, 1906. An early record book reads, “Pastor Mauney served the congregation very acceblbly (sic.) for 3 years. His resignation was accepted with reluctance. The same took affect Jan. 1, 1910.”

This early record book shows the first child to be baptized in New Jerusalem Congregation was Oscar Clyde Boleik, son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Boleik, baptized on June 17, 1906. The first Confirmation was on January 6, 1907, and those being confirmed were Mr. W. M. Pope, Mr. O. D. Seitz, Miss Jimmie Herman, Miss Mary J. Marlowe, Miss Vertis Whitener, and Miss Minnie Huffman. The first death remembered was that of Katherine Hahn. The first wedding was that of Mr. Herbert Mauser and Miss Jimmie Herman in 1913. The first organist was Mrs. John Robinson.

1917:  In 1917, New Jerusalem entered into the formation of the new pastorate with Zion and Bethlehem Churches, all of Catawba County. The Rev. W. D. Haltiwanger was the first pastor to serve this parish. The parsonage for the new parish was erected in 1921 at Zion Church and Pastor Haltiwanger moved into it upon its completion.

1931:  On October 1, 1931, The Rev. C. E. Lutz became pastor of this parish, serving until January 31, 1940. Under his leadership in the year 1936, the first church building was replaced by a modern brick veneer building seating three hundred and having a Sunday School department of two assembly rooms and seventeen classrooms. The building was conservatively valued at $17,000 and was dedicated on Sunday, April 30, 1936. The sermon on this occasion was preached by Dr. J. L. Morgan, President of the United Lutheran Synod of North Carolina. Greetings were brought by former pastors. The building committee for this second building was J. O. Lutz, Z. E. Barger, R. W. Bollinger, C. A. Bowman, R. R. Propst and H. P. Lutz.

It is remembered that the first children baptized in this new brick church were Helen Pearl Bumgarner, Phyllis Gail Seitz, and Velma Barbara McCombs on July 25, 1937.

1940:  In 1940, Zion Church became self-supporting and another new parish, known as the Hickory Lutheran Parish, composed of Bethlehem and New Jerusalem Churches, was formed. The Rev. G. A. Phillips was called as first pastor of this newly formed parish. During his pastorate, a parsonage for the new parish was built near Bethlehem Church. Pastor Phillips served the parish from June 1, 1940 until December 31, 1943.

1944:  On February 22, 1944, The Rev. B. J. Wessinger became pastor of the parish.

1948:  On January 19, 1948, New Jerusalem Church met with severe misfortune. The entire church plant was destroyed by fire. Nothing of value from the building or furnishings could be salvaged. However, the records of the congregation were kept in Pastor Wessinger’s home and were not destroyed. The congregation began making plans for immediate reconstruction of its church building. During the period of time in gave the use of its church for worship in the afternoons.   New Jerusalem Congregation voted to build the new church on the site of the old. The following committees were appointed to proceed with plans for rebuilding: Building Committee – C. A. Bowman, C. R. Bumgarner, R. E. Lutz, Z. E. Barger, J. O. Lutz, G. P. Seitz and Pastor Wessinger; Solicitation Committee – C. A. Bowman, J. O. Lutz, K. C. Kahill and Pastor Wessinger.

With faith in God, the building was undertaken. The congregation was fortunate in having $20,000 in insurance to begin the building program. Gifts from friends amounted to $9,185.85. The membership donated $34,351.75 plus timber amounting to 68,700 feet. The needed church furnishings were supplied by members and friends. The estimated value of this church building was in excess of $70,000. Its seating capacity was three hundred. Excellent facilities for church schools were provided with three assembly rooms, secretary’s room, kitchen, rest rooms, nursery department and twelve classrooms.

The first service in the new building was held in the Sunday School Department on October 31, 1948. Sylvia Jean Mauser, baptized on November 7, 1948, was the first child baptized in the new building (since the nave was not yet completed, the baptism was held in the Sunday School Assembly Room.) The first service held in the completed church was on December 19, 1948, just eleven months from the date of the burning of the previous structure. The membership of the congregation at this time was 270.

1949: The cornerstone was laid and the church dedicated on June 5, 1949. The Rev. Voight R. Cromer, President of the United Lutheran Synod of North Carolina delivered the sermon and Pastor Wessinger conducted the service.

In the year 1949, New Jerusalem and Bethlehem had voted each to go self- supporting at the close of the year. The call to become full time pastor of New Jerusalem congregation was extended to Pastor Wessinger on September 20, 1949. He accepted the call October 16, 1949, and entered upon full time service on January 1, 1950.

It was necessary in 1949 for New Jerusalem to build a parsonage in order to provide a home for a full-time pastor. This work was started on June 4, 1949. Mr. Z. E. Barger was foreman of this building program. The parsonage was dedicated on the third Sunday of June, 1952, with the former pastor, The Rev. C. E. Lutz, delivering the sermon.

1956:  The fiftieth anniversary and homecoming service was held June 15, 1956. The Rev. S. L. Sox delivered the sermon.

1958:  On June 17, 1958, Pastor Wessinger died unexpectedly. Following his death, a seminarian, Wayne Leazer, served as summer supply pastor. In the fall of 1958, a call was extended to the Rev. L. E. Cumbee, Jr. He accepted the call and began work on October 8, 1958.

Under Pastor Cumbee’s leadership, a building program was begun. Members of the congregation were asked to make pledges to the building fund. The pledges were to be paid over a three-year period. The firm of Abee and Biggs, Hickory, was employed to draw sketches. Later, blueprints of an educational building consisting of two units were also included.

The wooded grove on the north side of the parsonage was cleaned and grassed; new office equipment consisting of a typewriter, table, filing case, mimeograph machine, and addressette was purchased.  Also, a set of green paraments was purchased by the Lutheran Church Woman. A hot water heating system was installed in the parsonage. A new constitution was prepared and adopted by the congregation. Copies of the Service Book and Hymnal were purchased and the interior and exterior of the church was painted.

Pastor Cumbee resigned in July, 1962, to accept a call from the Board of American Missions to become a Mission Developer.

1962:  The Rev. Lester Keasey, Ph.D. served as supply Pastor during the summer of 1962.

The Rev. W. Leo Smith, STM., of Dallas, N.C. accepted a call to be pastor of New Jerusalem in September, 1962, and began work in the parish October 10, 1962. Before his arrival, the parsonage interior was repainted and the floors were refinished.

1963:  In 1963 the pews were removed from the adult assembly room and members of the congregation and friends purchased 100 folding steel chairs. Later, the pews were removed from the upstairs assembly room and replaced with 75 folding steel chairs. Three new tables were purchased for the Sunday school classrooms. Two sets of new paraments were given by the Lutheran Church Women and friends – a white set in memory of Mrs. Ida Bowman and a violet set in memory of Mrs. Horace Mauser (Patsy Bolick). A book for recording memorial gifts and a set of tube candles for the altar were given in memory of Mr. C. A. Bowman by Mrs. C. A. Bowman. A light for the organ was given by Mr. & Mrs. Forest Short, Libby and Connie, in memory of Mrs. Short’s father. A new deep freeze was installed in the parsonage.

1964:  In 1964, a new hot water heating system was installed in the church and educational building at a cost of $8,800. At the same time, improvements were made in the furnace room and a new outside entrance to the church basement was added. Overhead insulation was placed in the church and educational building.

1965:  In 1965, the parking lot on the east side of the church was enlarged and improved. A gift of .57 acres of land on the south side of the church property was donated to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Huffman. A new church constitution was adopted by the congregation. (Those serving on the Constitution Committee were Arthur Johnson, Bobby Seitz, and James Yount.) A speaker was installed in the nursery by the Lutheran Church Men in memory of Mr. Lewis Barger. Additions to the church kitchen included a refrigerator and a hot water heater. The Lutheran Church Women paid for cabinets to be built into the kitchen.

1966:  In 1966, a red carpet for the church nave was given by Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Bollinger, Larry and Dennis. Also, a new floor covering was placed in the narthex by the congregation and the work was donated by the Property Committee. Other gifts were recorded in the Book of Memorials which is kept in the narthex.

On June 19, 1966, the congregation celebrated its sixtieth anniversary. At that time two members were given special recognition: Mr. J. O. Lutz, who had served as a member of the Church Council over a period of 50 years; and Mr. H. E. Mauser who served as Secretary-Treasurer or as assistant for the previous 28 years.

In 1966, the congregation also recovered the roof of the parsonage and pump house, purchased fire extinguishers for the church, and new lighting for the Sunday School assembly rooms.

1967:  In 1967, the congregation voted to begin construction of a two-level educational building consisting of classrooms on the upper level and kitchen and fellowship hall on the lower level. Mrs. Lewis Barger traded the church a strip of land on the east side of the church extending to the Duke Power right-of-way in exchange for a right-of-way on the north side of the church property.  Also at this time, the cemetery was landscaped. During 1967, New Jerusalem began participating with other area churches in contributing funds to help provide a full-time chaplain at the new Catawba Memorial Hospital.

The educational building was completed in 1968 and Dr. George R. Whittecar, President of the North Carolina Synod, conducted the Service of Blessing on June 16. Charles Kanipe was thanked “for all the many hours and excellent job he did as Chairman of the Building Committee.”

1968:  During 1968, a blood bank was established for New Jerusalem with the Red Cross. The Church Council voted to participate in the newly formed Catawba Valley Lutheran Fellowship, a cooperative venture involving congregations from the three Lutheran Church bodies in this area.

1969:  Continued improvement and development of the church buildings continued in 1969. The parking area around the church was paved; outdoor basketball goals were built for use of the community and church; the old nursery was converted into a ladies’ lounge; and the parsonage bathroom was renovated. In response to many new families moving into the community around New Jerusalem, the Evangelism Committee developed and printed a booklet describing our congregation’s activities and life which could be given to prospective members. Also, the congregation began sending The Lutheran magazine to all our families.

1970:  During 1970 and 1971, the inside of the nave was painted and also the exterior of the parsonage. The kitchen of the parsonage was remodeled and a carport and storage room added. In order to help members and new members know one another better, a pictorial directory was printed.

1971:  In 1971, Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow Austin and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Huffman gave 5.67 acres of land on the northeast side of the church property. On June 20, Larry Bollinger, son of Lloyd and Frances Bollinger, was ordained as pastor of the American Lutheran Church in a service held at New Jerusalem. On December 31, 1971, the last payment was made on the debt of the educational building.

1974:  In 1974, a young married couples’ Sunday School class was begun. To help stem the rising cost of energy, storm windows and doors were installed at the parsonage. A flagon for communion wine was given by the family of Luther Bowman; a funeral pall was given by Mattie and Catherine Seitz.

1975:  On July 13, 1975, a service of blessing was held for a set of Schulmerich Handbells given in memory of Lloyd M.Bollinger by the staff of Northwestern Bank, family and friends. Also given were a Christ Candle, Advent Wreath and a set of Advent Banners.

In the spring of 1975, New Jerusalem was co-host of the North Carolina Synod Convention held at Lenoir-Rhyne College.

In the spring of 1975, the nave and adjacent Sunday School rooms were air conditioned and a sound system for the nave was installed. Also, an outdoor brick sign in front of the church was given by Mrs. S. J. Burris in memory of Samuel J. Burris.

1977:  In 1977, cushions for the pews were given by Mr. and Mrs. Carlie Yount in memory of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Seitz. Also, an organ fund was begun with a $1,00O gift from Mrs. R. R. Propst. At the end of the year there was a surplus in the Benevolence Treasury, so a special gift of $1,000 was made to Lenoir-Rhyne College and a gift of $500 to a mission congregation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brevard, N.C.

1978:  In 1978, the congregation purchased 5.5 acres of land joining the present property on the south side. Also in this year, New Jerusalem approved entering a team in the Propst Crossroads Softball League. A Long-Range Planning Committee, Henry Seitz, Chairman, was established to make suggestions for the development and use of the church property. Pastor Smith moved from the parsonage into his own home and the parsonage was rented to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley M. Nichols. A room in the church building was renovated and made into an office for the pastor. Also in 1978, the Music Committee and choir began making preparations for introducing the Lutheran Book of Worship into the worship life of New Jerusalem congregation.

1979: In 1979, the congregation purchased 1.8 acres of land adjoining the church’s property on the east side which has on it a waterfall or “shoals”.  A Memorial Committee was established with Ruth Phillips serving as chairman. A $500 gift was made to the Lutheran Mission at Burnsville, N.C.

Pastor Smith resigned as pastor of New Jerusalem effective December 31, 1979, in order that he might retire from the full-time ministry. He was appointed Vice Pastor during the interim and Dr. Michael C.D. McDaniel and Dr. Larry Yoder, from Lenoir-Rhyne College, provided most of the worship leadership.

1980:  In 1980, the congregation approved the purchase of a pipe organ made by the M.P. Moeller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland. The organ would be installed by Easter of 1981.

At a congregational meeting on December 14, 1980, a call was extended to the Rev. Gilmer C. Miller, Jr., of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in High Point, N.C. Pastor Miller accepted the call effective March 2, 1981. Before Pastor Miller and his family moved into the parsonage, considerable renovation was done, much of it by members of New Jerusalem. The parsonage was completely repainted inside, fully carpeted, a shower was added to the upstairs bathroom, and a heat pump was installed.

1981:  In 1981, we approved renovation of the parsonage to include a new heat pump, carpeting, painting, insulation in the side walls, installation of an upstairs shower and new draperies.

We accepted the offer from Killian Homemakers Club to donate chimes for the new pipe organ.

We conducted a fellowship supper honoring Rev. & Mrs. Smith, Dr. & Mrs. McDaniel and Dr. & Mrs. Yoder. We welcomed our new Pastor Gilmer C. Miller, Jr. and family and conducted a covered dish lunch and reception honoring Pastor Miller and family on March 8, 1981, his first Sunday.

In 1981, we approved changing the name of the Building Fund to the Improvement Fund and approved the necessary renovation to the church to accommodate the new organ. Also recommended to the congregation that we air condition the educational building. It was decided to terminate the Organ Fund on August 31, and at the end of that time any deficits be paid out of the Improvement Fund or any balance be transferred to the Improvement Fund. We also approved the publication of a 75th Anniversary booklet to be distributed at Homecoming.

In 1981, we approved a plan modified by the special committee to construct a recreational area on the property east of the church.

1982:  In 1982, we participated in the Parish Life and Ministry Development Program.

Development of the athletic field was a large project during 1982 and its completion will continue to occupy our efforts for some time to come. Also, the Lutheran Men completed development of the Falls area including an Outdoor Worship Center, covered picnic area and outdoor grill.

1983:  Plans were drawn up and approved for a building to be used primarily (but not exclusively) for the Boy Scouts. Construction was begun with as much work as possible being done by the members of our congregation.  Jimmy Johnson was appointed chairman of the committee to build the Scout Hut.
A pictorial directory for our congregation was approved and the pictures were taken by Mr. James Yount, a local photographer. Mr. Kenneth Abernethy to print the directories. Copies to be given to each member family.

Parish School Hymnals, used by our adults in the Sunday School opening, were rebound.

A Spring Every Member Visit was organized and carried out in cooperation with the emphasis on parish renewal throughout our North Carolina Synod.

Received the offer of a gift from Herbert Mauser which would pay for the purchase of new senior choir robes and a piano which would be placed in the nave.

In 1983, we received 20 new members into our congregation.

1984:  In 1984, we approved the purchase of new pianos for the narthex and Sunday School department, and also the purchase of new choir robes. Also authorized the purchase of carpet for the adult assembly room. Approved the purchase of necessary tables, chairs, stove and refrigerator for the Scout Hut.

Mr. Carl Henry Seitz requested permission to erect a flag pole at the Scout Hut in memory of Bobby Seitz. Approved the purchase of new cribs and decorations for the nursery.

1984 was a year of significant structural change to our buildings and grounds. We completed work on the athletic field to solve some water problems. We completed work on the Scout Hut which will provide not only a place for our Boy Scouts and newly formed Girl Scouts to meet and work but which will offer many opportunities for use by our congregation. We remodeled the front entrance to our church, extending the stoop, widening the steps and providing a ramp for easier access. We also began a plan of landscaping the grounds surrounding our church and parsonage which will greatly add to the beauty of our physical setting.

We began a telephone network among our members which will enable us to very quickly notify you of events and concerns within our congregation. Thanks to all those who so willingly use their time and efforts to help us minister in this way.

In 1984, we recognized four Sunday School teachers (Mary “Dan” Lutz, Inez Propst, Catherine Seitz, Mattie Seitz) who retired from teaching after having taught for more than 50 years each in the New Jerusalem Sunday Church School. They serve as an inspiration for all of us.

1985:  In 1985, we began our response to the Lutheran Homes Capital Funds Appeal for which we accepted a congregational goal of $14,562.00. We approved the purchase of a Mita DC-142RE copier, recommended to the congregation that we purchase an Allis Chalmers 25 HP tractor with a woods belly mount mower at a cost of $6,100.00; approved the purchase of playground equipment not to exceed $300; approved the purchase of a leaf vacuum system and provided guidance and support through the Witness Committee to form a Senior Citizens Club.

1986:  In 1986, we voted to become a part of the Greater Hickory Cooperative Ministry through which we will join other churches in serving the needs of the community. Every 5th Sunday, our loose offering is designated for World Hunger.

In 1986, we began a Councilman of the month program. During his or her appointed month, this person is to visit with the Pastor, greet members as well as visitors after church and any other tasks which may be necessary.

1987:  In 1987, some Capital Improvements were as follows: paved additional parking area; began work on a tennis court recreation area to the east of the church; carpeted the foyer of the educational building; purchased a new stove and microwave oven for the kitchen; purchased a 25″ TV and VCR for the use of our congregation; repainted the exterior of the church, parsonage and educational building; added additional fluorescent lighting to the nave; purchased a new and improved sound system for our worship area.

Also approved a request from the Witness Committee to hold a Preaching Mission in May with Rev. Walter Yount serving as missioner. We also agreed to let New Jerusalem serve as the Hickory location for Lutheran World Relief.

1988:  In 1988, our offerings were the highest everl Our disbursements were also the highest ever. We met our full apportioned benevolence and went the extra mile by giving additionally more than $12,000.00 to other benevolence needs. We were also blessed by receiving thirty-one (31) new members during 1988.

In 1988, we replaced our sound system (due to theft) and saw other theft prevention measures taken, including additional lighting around the church. We also witnessed the completion of the tennis courts and approved tapping on to the city of Hickory water line.

1989:  In 1989, council approved the establishment of a Young Adult Club, organized through the Learning Ministry Committee.

Pictorial directories were prepared and distributed, a Carillon system of bell music was given to the church in memory of Kenneth Abernethy and made “loose offering” appeals for tornado victims in May and Hugo victims in September. Also approved using lay assistants during communion and opened the Communion Table to youth between fifth grade and confirmation.

1990:  In June of 1990, we accepted a letter of resignation from Pastor Gilmer Miller. We received a new set of communion ware in memory of Earl C. Huffman, approved the purchase of a TV-Video unit by Faye Bowman in Memory of Carl Bowman to be used with the shut-ins, accepted the establishment of William Harold Mauser Memorial Fund and approved the rental of the parsonage.

1991:  In 1991, council recommended to the congregation that we extend a call to Pastor Randall Cauble. This year we also established an active Senior and Junior Youth Group, approved purchase of additional choir robes, piano and padded chairs for the adult assembly room, approved the purchase of a Video Camera to aid the ministry to shut-ins, and approved the survey of land belonging to New Jerusalem Church.

1992:  In 1992, we purchased the Video Camera and established the Tape Ministry to shut-ins; purchased a “factory unit” Dodge van and established a Building Committee.

1993:  The year 1993, church council approved four additional handicapped parking spaces and one reserved space for the pastor; made known that a hospital bed is being stored in Fellowship Hall for use by church members and the community; approved permission to let youth have fund raisers; approved new confirmation venture with area churches; purchased pew pad covers for use in the sanctuary; purchased five new tape recorders; approved recording of contributions of individual members into church computer and saw Pastor Cauble receive the gift of a new kidney!

1994:  In 1994, we implemented computer technology to record contributions of individual members. SLYC helped raise money through spaghetti supper, Hee Haw show, car wash etc. to help on trip to Atlanta for National Youth Rally. Approved third Sunday early worship with communion and regular service being Service of the Word. Also approved for WELCA Group #1 to publish Church Cook-book which included picture of church and church history. Proceeds to go to refurbish kitchen. In 1994, we also received an archives cabinet in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Barger and crosses to be worn by youth helping in services in memory of Wanda Kanupp. Approved purchase of new choir robes with undesignated memorial money (order to be placed in 1995).

1995:  In 1995, 200 copies of the new hymnal, “With One Voice”, were given and dedicated. A second Youth group was started for grades 4-6. A new cabinet was built for Senior Choir and placed in the Bollinger-Yount S.S. Classroom. Also a handicapped walkway was built on the cemetery side of the church. A new pictorial directory was to be made with Olin Mills serving as the photographer.

We also purchased a table and four chairs for use in the Pastor’s office and approved the building of a new cabinet and desk for the secretary’s office. The Property Committee replaced the icemaker in the kitchen.

On October 29, 1995, we held our 90th year kick-off birthday party and Fall Fellowship. This is the start of a year-long celebration!

Also during 1995, WELCA Group #1 had arranged for commemorative plates and bells with picture and church history made available for members of the congregation and friends to purchase.

1996:  The year 1996 saw several things happening.  A new copy machine was purchased for the office. The kick-off for Vacation Bible School and Old Timey Day was held and included a pig pickin’. Approximately 200 people attended, one of the largest groups ever for this kind of event. Approximately $1000.00 was raised and given to Old St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for renovation of the original Church building. Carpet and floor covering was installed in the entrance of Educational Building, blinds and ceiling fan installed in Ladies Lounge and a new walkway poured from covered walk to parking area at Educational Building.

A reception honoring Pastor Randall A. Cauble was held August 18, 1996 in recognition of his dedicated service, his 10-year ordination anniversary and his five years at New Jerusalem.

A Zimbelstern has been installed on our pipe organ by the congregation In Honor of Carolyn Miller for her dedicated service of 35 years as church organist.

A new anthem, “0 Lord, You Are My God and King”, has been commissioned for the 90th anniversary celebration of New Jerusalem Lutheran Church. It has been written and arranged by Dr. Donald Busarow. It was dedicated on September 8, 1996.

On September 8, 1996 a Hymn Fest was held in connection with our 90th anniversary. Mr. David Lail of Hickory was guest organist and neighboring congregations were invited to come and join in our choir.

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During the life of New Jerusalem Congregation, the following persons have served as organists or assistants: Mrs. John Robinson, Mrs. H. E. Mauser, Mrs. Lawrence Eckard, Mrs. Percy Barger, Mrs. Renie Hallman, Mrs. Carroll Little, Mrs. Paul Barringer, Mrs. Jake Parks, Mrs. Horace H. Phillips, Miss Catherine Seitz, Mrs. Will Arrowood, Mrs. King Faulkner, Miss Lois Faye Bollinger, Mrs. Larry Hoke, Norman Bumgarner, Mrs. Margaret Alice Rader, Mrs. Reed Perry, Mrs. Jerry Rhoney, Bill Smith, Mrs. Homer Poovey and Ms. Carolyn Miller.

Also deserving special recognition are Mrs. Mary “Dan” Lutz and Miss Mattie Seitz who each taught in our Sunday School for more than fifty years.

As we celebrate ninety years of life as a Lutheran congregation, we thank God for all his blessings and remember with gratitude all the saints who have been a part of this congregation. The care and concern and gifts of members and pastors have come together bearing fruits in this present time. Through worship, learning, witness, service and support this congregation has made known and reflected the name and mighty works of God. May we continue to experience and be open to God’s presence, guidance, and blessings as we move into His future.

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(*Spelling of names may differ from today’s spelling. This spelling is copied from the original Record Book.)