Arlington Church Mourning Pastor
Holmes, Erin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
When the late Rev. Edgar Henry Behrens returned to Faith Lutheran Church in 1997, he remembered with brilliant accuracy the first and last names of every child he had baptized when he served as pastor at the Arlington Heights church almost 30 years earlier.
Those who knew him say that act exemplifies the perfect memory and genuine concern for people Behrens carried with him until his death Jan. 3 in Carmel, Calif.
"He had a very strong devotional life, and he always maintained a very close relationship to this congregation," said Faith Lutheran Church's Rev. David Stuckmeyer, who served as Behrens' assistant for three years in the 1960s. "He had a tremendous memory. It was just amazing."
Behrens, a 14-year resident of Monterey, Calif., was ordained into the Lutheran ministry in 1924 and served in Saskatchewan, Canada, before moving in 1927 to Philadelphia and founding six congregations in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey area.
He came to Arlington Heights with his wife, Theodora, in September 1947 to serve the 7-month-old Faith Lutheran Church - but not without a little coaxing.
"They had called him three times to be pastor here," Stuckmeyer said. "He declined twice and accepted the third time ... He felt that the determination of the people of the congregation was the Lord's guidance to finally come. …