Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lutherans Pitch in on Faith's 50th; Members Have Tradition of Giving, Volunteering

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lutherans Pitch in on Faith's 50th; Members Have Tradition of Giving, Volunteering

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Times-Union staff writer

Whether it's building a new sanctuary, painting stained-glass windows, constructing altar railings or submitting recipes for a cookbook, the members of Faith Lutheran Church have heeded the call.

That's the way it's been for a half-century.

The Wesconnett church is marking its 50th anniversary with a special service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at 5927 Old Timuquana Road. Bishop Edward Benoway of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will preside.

The church has another reason to celebrate. After three years without a full-time minister, the Rev. Dan Kilts of the Tampa Bay area assumed the pastorate in January.

Through the years, the church has become noted for its good cooks, talented painters, accomplished embroiderers and skilled carpenters.

"We've had so many things done by volunteers," said Charline Janney, anniversary committee chairwoman.

After a neighborhood canvass, 87 residents formed the church in 1954, meeting at the Wesconnett Civic Club on 105th Street. The Rev. William Pugh, retired pastor of Trinity Lutheran in Riverside, was the first of Faith's nine ministers.

The giving started early. A charter member anonymously donated land at its current location. Janney's uncle, an architect, designed the block-and-coquina sanctuary, and members and friends built it in 1956. In 1965, an educational wing and social hall were added.

At first, the church faced Old Timuquana Road. But when a new Timuquana Road was constructed in 1974, the building was redesigned and the front became the back to give it more exposure, Janney said. But it still retained its Old Timuquana address.

When a new organ was needed, a member donated one in memory of his wife. When kneeling pads for the altar were needed, several women made them. A former member made the baptismal font and altar railings. Marion Neumiller, another member, painted two angelic stained-glass windows in the sanctuary.

Faith Lutheran is next door to Fire Station No. 25, and members and firefighters have become good neighbors, particularly since 9/11, Janney said. …

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