President Kennedy swears Oath of Office. Washington, D. C., 1961
United States Capitol. Date: January 20, 1961. Copyright: Public Domain.
Credit: United States Army Signal Corps photograph in the John F.
Kennedy, Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr was assasinated
President Lyndon B. Johnsonand Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. Image Serial Number: A2133-10 Public domain
Viet Nam 1968
Walter Cronkite reports from Viet Nam. National Archives via pingnews Public domain
Star Wars top movie of the year 1977
All rights reserved by Bravo Six Niner Delta public domain
1985 US becomes debtor nation for the first time
Our Saviour Lutheran Church begins
A call was extended to Rev. Paul R. Hunteman to serve as Mission Developer. Pastor Hunteman came to Princeton on Feb.1, 1961 and canvassed the city - going door-to-door.
April 2, 1961 the first service was conducted in the Princeton Theater, on Broadway Street, with 52 in attendance. Thirty adults sign the Charter Roll and nine children signed the Children's Charter.
On Charter Sunday, August 13, 1961, the congregation moved its place of worship to the National Guard Armory on S. Hart Street ( now the Princeton Boys' Club) across from the
While still at the old Salvation Army building...
Groundbreaking services for the new church building were conducted on Sunday, February 25, 1968. In the spring of 1968, Hunt Lumber Co. of Princeton, contractor for the church building, began construction. In June of 1968, the congregation held a brief worship service in the unfinished building.
September 1, 1961, the
congregation finally moved into the new building for worship services. During Pastor Wenzelburger's ministry here, the church building was used for a Nursery School for children with perceptual and coordination problems.
Sunday, October 6, 1968, was
held with Holy Communion at the 10:30 a.m. service with Rev.
An open house was held that afternoon from 2:00 -5:00 p.m. with refreshments served by the ladies of the congregation. Dedication Vespers were at 7:30 p.m. with Rev. Alan Kuffer, Our Lutheran Church in Winchester, Indiana, delivering
the sermon. Also participating in the services were Rev. Ronald Schoo, Jasper, Indiana; Rev. Paul Hunteman, Uniondale, Indiana; Rev. Gene Bauer, Evansville, Indiana; and a Lutheran Teen Choir.
It was a very good year!
Rev. Herbert M. Schlotterbeck, St, Paul's Vincennes, served as vice pastor until the sixth pastor of Our Saviour, Rev. Steven L. Schwier was
called Feb. 27, 1977. Pastor Schwier, a graduate of Lutheran Seminary in
Columbia, South Carolina, came to Princeton June 1, 1977 and was installed on June 26, 1977.
September 24, 1977 - the church celebrated its 15th anniversary.
During October and November of 1977 a church choir was organized
under the direction of Sue Wilson.
As on January 1, 1978 the church membership consisted of 92
confirmed plus 30 children resulting in 122 baptized members.
The events of 1978 were very rewarding. Forty four members were
added to the church rolls, a Thomas organ, donated from Faith Lutheran Church in Ft. Wayne was dedicated on Feb. 26. June 19-23 the first VBS was held and the first mortgage on the parsonage was burned December 3.
New sanctuary finished
As of February, 1982, there were 215 members of Our Saviour
June 10, 1982, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary.
Sunday School spacewas added in a mobile home, which relieved much
of the "stress" after worship. Pews, dividers, chairs and tables didn't have to be shifted about. Pastor Schwier's office was located in the kitchen of the
church and the secretary's desk was in the rear of the sanctuary, complete with the mimeograph machine which had been in the basement of the parsonage.
We continued in this fashion until the current building was built and dedicated in October of 1985. VVhile the new sanctuary was being
constructed by the Ready Const. Co:, members of Our Saviour were working on classrooms to be built in what was the south end of the old sanctuary. This added four new meetingrooms. We felt really blessed with all the talent and work that our members gave during that time, Members did everying from electrical to staining and painting.
Rev. Keith Kriesel, wife Karen, and children Susan and Nathan came to us April 1, 1987 from Faith Lutheran in Otterbein,
During the next few years, the fellowship events, the
Mother-Daughter-Friend buffet, youth group activities continued along with our spiritual growth.
Rev. Kriesel answered a call to two congregations in Fort Wayne, Indiana and left to serve there on September
Rev. Gabriel Baumgardner, a
resident of Washington, Ind. was appointed by Bishop Ralph Kempski of the 1-K Synod to be our interim pastor- until we extended a call to him to serve as part-time pastor from
June 30, 1991 -October 15, 1995 when, he accepted a call from Zion Lutheran Church in Mt, Carmel, III.
We were without a full-time pastor for
almost three years and
the members of Our Saviour really pitched in to help our struggle during that time, We had been renting the parsonage during this time, but because of its size and rnaintance it was decided it was time to sell.
And then we were approached by the Dunn Hospitality Corp: to sell some of our acreage. We did and the Hampton Inn became our new neighbor,
Proceeds from the sale of the land, helped us to put on a new exterior to our church building, pave the parking lot and make some extensive landscaping changes.
Our Name Up in Lights!
Pastor William C. Gruen, Jr., a student of Trinity Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, became our first "intern" serving in that capacity from January 1, 1996 until June 30, 1997. Pastor Bill and Norma purchased their own home. Pastor Bill then served us as a "lay" pastor until his graduation from Trinity and then we could call him "Pastor" instead of "Intern."
With the Gruens' help, we became sponsors of the Gibson County Adult Literacy Program under the direction of Norma Gruen. Part of our responsibility was to sponsor the booth at the Princeton Golden Heritage Days in September on the courthouse square. This led to some of our members becoming tutors.
A lighted sign with a message board helped make us more visual to the community. The landscape task force answered a need to upgrade the outside of the building.
Pastor Gruen then answered a call to Bethany and St. Mark's in Louisville, Ky., which is the Gruens' hometown, in November of 2001.
Pastor Karen Husby, Pastor Bill Andrews and Pastor John Schmeling
serve as interim ministers while Bishops for the Indiana-Kentucky Synod and Central-Southern Illinois Synod consider a creative new call.
Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Princeton, IN and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mt. Carmel, IL were geographically only a few miles apart. (11, to be exact.) However, They resided in different towns, states, conferences, synods and regions.
Both congregations were in the discernment process, when they were approached to consider an experimental joint call.
Pastor Schmeling lead the two congregations in preparing for this new arrangement.
December 24, 2006
Christmas Eve, Pastor Karen McNeill-Utecht lead her first service as Our Saviour and Zion's new minister.
A 2006 graduate of Lutheran Southern Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC, Pastor Karen, her husband Rob and their 7 year old son Will moved from Florida to begin their new call.On hearing that they would be moving to the southern Indiana/Illinois area Rob's comment was, "At least it's southern."
Five and a half years later both congregations are preparing for milestone anniversaries. The congregations have shared several successful ministries, but have maintained their individual personalities.
Pastor Karen McNeill-Utecht resigned Our Saviour September 2012. She continued to serve Zion in Mt. Carmel until January 29th, 2017.
Interim pastor, Rev. John P. Schmeling, Ph. D. returned to serve Our Saviour.
Pentecost Sunday, May 20th 2018, celebrated Pastor John P. Schmeling 50th Anniversary of his Ordination. Pastor John has been serving as Interim for both Our Saviour in the Indiana/ Kentucky Synod and Zion in the Central Southern Illinois Synod. Bishops from both Synods participated in the service.