4 Responses

  1. Mitch

    05/06/2014, 07:48 pm

    So is it gone for good? Maybe someone with the money could save the facade and reconstruct the interior? We can always hope.

    Reply
  2. CfR

    05/07/2014, 08:47 am

    It looks as though there are some items that seem to be set aside? Hopefully there will be some elements of that church that survive beyond just people’s memories.

    Reply
  3. Andrew L.

    05/07/2014, 06:02 pm

    A very sad loss. By way of a memorial, here is an excerpt from an article written in 1895 to describe the dedication of the structure:

    (begin quote)

    ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the Rev. C. L. Janzow pastor, was dedicated Feb. 17. This is the congregation that lost its fine building Jan. 24, ’94, having been dedicated only three months previously. … That was then said to be the largest and finest Lutheran church in the whole West, and this has risen Phoenix like out of the ashes, and its grandeur and beauty surpasses the former.

    This surprising activity is an Ebenezer and a badge of honor to the congregation and its efficient pastor. This is the largest Lutheran church in St. Louis, its dimensions being 142 by 103 feet with a spire of 200 feet and two smaller spires [2]. The interior is elegantly finished and furnished. The frescoing is beautiful. The floor is inclined and fan-like. The pulpit and altar are exquisite. The church is furnished with the electric light system. The organ cost $4000 and is put in action by an electric motor. Four large bells weighing from 1100 to 4000 pounds with their methalic tongues invite the worshipers to come to the house of prayer. …

    Three services with special musical features were held. The dedication sermon was preached in the morning by Rev. P. Schwan of Cleveland, O.; the Rev. Augustus Lange of St. Louis, delivered the afternoon sermon, and in the evening Prof. A. L. Graebner of Concordia Seminary preached an excellent sermon, in the English language. [3]

    During those three services about 9000 people were present—the aisles being jammed up to the altar.

    The congregation numbers about 300 voting and 1200 communicant members, 450 scholars attend the parish school and 700 the Sunday school.

    (end quote)

    [1] Article originally printed in the English-language periodical _Lutheran Witness_, XIII.19 (1895): 151-152.
    [2] See the engraving that accompanied the article: http://i.imgur.com/5jS67QS.jpg
    [3] Schwan and Lange preached in German.

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