History of Faith Lutheran

The name 'Faith' Lutheran Church is said to have been a result of the uphill battle the original founders foresaw. When discussing forming a congregation and calling a full time pastor, one member is said to have commented: 'It will take a leap of faith to start a Lutheran Church in Kirksville.' Seizing upon that idea the congregation was formed and named Faith Lutheran Church.

In the early 1920's, Lutheran residents in the Kirksville area and visiting pastors began to realize the need for regular worship services in Kirksville. Two theological students, Paul Juergenson and Richard R. Craemmerer, from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis were sent to Kirksville.

Late in 1922, Rev. Victor H. Grimm was called to serve the counties of Macon, Shelby, and Adair. His residence was in Macon. Pastor Grimm made frequent trips to Kirksville with his father, the Rev. J.H. Grimm, where they held occasional services for Lutheran families and students on Sunday afternoons at the local Trinity Episcopal Church. In the years following, semi-monthly services were conducted by Rev. Victor Grimm.

In September of 1935, Rev. Carl Roschke received an assignment from the Mission Board to serve the small group gathered in Kirksville and to investigate the possibility of establishing a permanent congregation in Kirksville. The congregation was formally organized on February 7, 1938. The new congregation numbered 59 members. Services were held in the auditorium of the Sojourners Club House.

In June of 1943, Rev. Clayton Hammell succeeded Rev. Roschke as pastor of Faith. Property on the corner of Missouri and High Streets was purchsed and donated to the congregation by Carl Troester. A remodeled house located on that corner served both as parsonage and also as a chapel where the first service was conducted on August 2, 1942.

In the summer on 1946 work was begun on a new brick chapel located on Missouri Street and High Street. This building was dedicated in June of 1947. The house on the property was moved to the north corner and was remodeled to served as the parsonage.

In August on 1949, Rev. Richard Deffner was installed as the third pastor of Faith. He served the congregation for three years and was followed by Rev. Cutbert Pauluhn who remained at Faith until 1955. Rev. Robert Bahr was called to serve as Faith's fifth pastor. Rev. Bahr left the congregation in 1961 and was followed by Rev. Robert Lange who had been an instructor at St. Paul's College at Concordia. Rev. Lange established two mission congregations, St. Paul Lutheran at Memphis, Mo., and Peace Lutheran at Milan, Mo.

In July of 1963, a five tract of land was purchased on S. Baltimore Street and LaHarpe Street. The house on the property served as the parsonage. Construction on the new building began in 1965 and was dedicated on April 17, 1966. Following Rev. Lange, Rev. Weber of St. Paul Memphis served Faith as a vacancy pastor until the arrival of Rev. Mark Appold.

Pastor Appold was the seventh pastor of Faith Lutheran. He was installed as Pastor in September 1967. On June 18, 1978, Rev. John Feiertag was installed as assisstant pastor of Faith Lutheran. He served until November of 1980. In the summer of 1996 Rev. Bill Sherman was installed as assistant pastor, serving the Campus Ministries. he served for two years before leaving.

In December of 2002, Rev. Appold retired. He continues to serve St. Paul Lutheran in Memphis as their vacancy pastor. In January of 2003, Faith's eighth and current pastor, Rev. David Lukefahr was installed. Pastor Lukefahr is a former member of Faith Lutheran and is a Son of the Congregation.

Another Son of the Congregation, Richard Schlueter, completed his vicarage requirements and was installed as associate pastor in January 2011. Pastor Schlueter was Faith's third associate pastor.