Our Beginnings - The 1940's
In the early 1940’s, church services were held at the Eagles Hall, Horton Funeral Home and the Plattsmouth Library basement. Pastor H.G. Cattau of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Louisville was the first pastor. He shared his duties with Immanuel and with First Lutheran. In October 1945, Pastor Cleo Kautsch of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Bellevue became the second pastor. He shared his duties with Pilgrim and with First Lutheran. Church services were now being held at Caldwell Funeral Home. The same church bulletins were used for the Pilgrim services and our services.
In 1946, the west portion of the church property was bought from Anna Heisel for $500.00. The down payment was $50.00. The residence of Anna Heisel was located on the eastern portion of the property. The church did not buy this eastern portion until 1947.
Rev. H. G. Cattau
The last half of the 1940’s was a busy time for First Lutheran Church. The western portion of the church property had been bought in 1946 where the chapel was to be built. In 1947, the eastern part of the church property was bought where a future larger church was planned.
In July 1947, First Lutheran officially became affiliated with The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod at the Synod’s Centennial Convention.
On April 8, 1948, the cornerstone was laid for the chapel. The dedication service for the chapel was June 20, 1948.
In September, 1947 the congregation submitted its building plan for the chapel to the Church Extension Fund as part of a loan application. The loan application was approved and a loan of $10,000.00 was obtained.
The building of the chapel commenced just as winter was starting in the fall of 1947. In October, members cleared trees and did the grading. On November 21, 1947 the members poured the concrete for the foundation footings. Contractor Tiekotter did the construction of the chapel.
The financial reports for this time show that cash funds were always at very small levels. The general fund and the building both typically had balances of less than $50.00 at the end of each month.
Facts from the 1950’s:
In 1953 – total members were 129 and average attendance at services was 77, there were 5 baptisms and 6 confirmed.
In 1954 – Pastor Mundinger’s annual salary was $1,560, total utilities for the year were $160 and building insurance was $39 for the year!
In October 1954 – an opening was made at the rear upper wall to have a choir loft, the workers thanked were the Hansens, the Huebners and Virgil Stander.
In 1957 – confirmed were Caroline Gerdts, Ardyth Haden, Allan Hansen, Linda McGraw and Carl Tiekotter.
In 1959 – the church’s total annual budget for the year was $9,579.
Events in the 1950’s:
November 11, 1954 – the first “Family Nite” was held at the Lions Club Hall. The movie “Voices of the Deep” was shown. The church bulletin asked members to “bring along a few sandwiches and something sweet for potluck lunch”.
November 21, 1954 – celebrated the new pews in the chapel.
March 3, 1957 – started two Sunday services to be at 8:30am and 11:00 am with Sunday School at 9:45am.
The 1960's - a Time of Expansion!
1965 saw the expansion from the original church to a much larger addition on the east side. The photos and text below tell the story, along with the changes in pastors and other events.
The 1970's and 1980's
Years 30 through 50 for our congregation saw many changes, some of which included pastors.
Pastor A. Norman Friedmeyer was at the helm of First Lutheran from 1987 until his retirement in 2006. He remains active in the Omaha area.
The Adult Social Club has been a popular group for a very long time. Other photos show crews working on parade floats for the former Kass Kounty King Korn Karnival - now known as the Plattsmouth Harvest Festival.
Of course, things frequently don't go as planned - especially where the weather is concerned. It's Nebraska, after all!
The First Lutheran Choir, circa 1992. Choir director Patti Thomason (far left), Accompanist Marsha Fleming (seated)