Faith Lutheran Church History

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Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration

Published Mary 21, 1972

Faith Morningside Lutheran Church Dedication

May 25, 1958

Pentecost Sunday

This Location Dedicated 1952

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Faith Lutheran Original Dedication Document

Dedication Faith Morningside Lutheran Church

Pentecost Sunday

May Twenty-Fifth
Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Eight


Our dear Lord, we thank Thee for calling us into Thy holy Church. We praise Thee for all Thy blessings to us through our congregation. We glorify Thee for the gift of Thy Word and the Sacraments. We magnify Thee for Thy promise to keep us as Thine own until we receive the crown.

Our divine Lord, today we dedicate to Thee this new sanctuary. We pray Thee, let Thy pres­ence, Thy grace, Thy love, Thy power dwell here. Let this sanctuary be a place where many will be strengthened through the Bread of life, cheered through the refreshing Water of salvation, made fruitful branches through their union with the living Vine, and prepared for the eternal mansions. 0 Lord, grant us power that we may give ourselves faithfully and fruitfully to Thee, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.


“A book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord…They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” Malachi 3: 16, 17

Back in 1925, just before the great economic sag, God planned something good and beautiful for us, for which we thank Him today. Through the leading of the Spirit He established a new Christ­ian congregation in what was then known as the Manchester District. This was in the days when Man­chester Avenue was nothing more than a dusty cow path. An old ramshackle wooden structure, on the corner of Manchester and South Broadway, was the first meeting place for the new group. In August of 1925 a few dignitaries of what was then the California-Nevada District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod gathered in this upstairs hall with a handful of local members, to ordain into the holy ministry and install as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church the Reverend Carl Walter Berner who had just graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

Two years later a larger and greatly encouraged group gathered at South Broadway and 95th Street to dedicate a new sanctuary. Through the years that sanctuary has served the congregation well. All members should cherish in remembering hearts the many experiences of the blessings of God in this holy place in which so many people tasted the friendship and grace of the Savior.

Even before 1950 the members of Faith knew that the proposed freeway would make the ex­tension of the work at Broadway impossible. It was then that the congregation decided in a faith which has been characteristic of the group to leap over the freeway into the Morningside Park area. This step, undertaken after much prayer and earnest searching for the will of God, has proved to be one of vision and divine direction.

Though Faith Church has enjoyed steady outward expansion, and today numbers nearly 1900 baptized members, its chief emphasis has always been on the inner growth of the congregation. Out of the climate and conscience of life In the Spirit a number of projects which have gained nation­wide attention have been developed in Faith Church:

(I)   The Sealed Pledge plan which invites support of the Lord’s work on a voluntary percentage­return basis without the need for campaigns and solicitations. The present new church has been con­structed under this plan, allowing a debt repayment schedule which, under God’s continued bless­ings, is expected to cover the new indebtedness within about 8 to I0 years.

(2)  The Covenant Home plan. Most of the members of Faith Church follow the Covenant Home plan calling for the daily use of the Word of God and prayer in the family. A wall card identifying each family as a Covenant Home family is displayed in the homes.


God has now given us what we have longed for through the years, an adequate sanctuary for the expression of the chief exercise of the Christian congregation, the public worship of the Most High. The very primary activity of the redeemed children of God on earth is to take their place alongside the heavenly hosts singing, “Glory be to Thee, 0 lord.”

Our new sanctuary was planned to provide adequate setting for our holy Christian liturgy. There is space for two choirs, in the gallery and adjacent to the chancel, inviting antiphonal singing so hon­ored in Lutheran tradition. The reflected colors upon the marble predella behind the altar and the mag­nificent cast brass cross weighing 350 pounds, as well as the crown above the cross, sparkling like gems through the use of lucite rods drawing light through 14 inches of masonry, gives centrality and deep meaning to the marble altar where, through the Sacrament of the Altar the Church derives her spiritual life.

The Baptistry, or Chapel of the Font, with its shaft of light failing down upon the font, provides an impressive setting for the first Sacrament of the Christian church, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. A small organ, the one used in the former chapel, will accommodate services of Baptism and marriage and other gatherings of smaller groups.

The complex of buildings adjacent to the church includes a library and reading room which will be open daily, a mother and children’s room equipped with play pens and beds. A closed TV circuit brings the divine service into this room in such a manner that mothers can participate in all steps of the service and yet take care of their own children. Upper level has the choir room and rooms to accommodate the high school and college youth groups. There is an adequate sacristy for the care of sacred sacramental vessels, chancel furnishings, and pastors’ vestments.


The new organ was built by the Casavant Freres Limited of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, who since 1837 have built some of the world’s greatest organs. The organ contains 29 independent ranks and 1596 pipes. There is a set of chimes of 25 notes under expression. The organ tone is divided into four families -diapason, flute, strings, reeds. The fundamental diapason organ tones coupled with flutes and strings provide tonal effects which, with the color of trumpets and cornets produce music to lift the spirit into the heavenlies.


Our glass windows, from the Roger Darricarrere studios, provide an aura of holiness and quiet reverence. Perpetuating an old French art, widely employed in European churches today, the glass is of pure color, without any brush marks for design. The glass is chipped toward the inside, often having a thickness of three inches. This gives depth and rich shadings of color. The window in the gallery is temporary. It is soon to be removed and placed into another church for which it is better designed. Our new Christus Rex window is to be completed within two years. It will portray the vic­torious triumphant Christ according to Revelation ch. I. A brochure is now in preparation explaining the symbolism in the window designs. Themes of the six clerestory windows: The birth, the child Jesus, the teaching-Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension. One of the most beautiful is the chancel Trinity window, providing a soft glow of warm colors in the altar area. The cross-shaped windows carry symbols related to the themes of the larger windows near them. According to ancient Christian usage, symbols of animals, such as the phoenix, butterfly, dove, cock, dolphin, and many others, were employed to suggest various Christian truths. A piece of glass from the Castle Church in Wittenberg where Martin Luther preached has been incorporated in the present gallery window. When that window is replaced, this piece of glass (the section of circles in the center and at the bot­tom) will be transferred to another position. Lower aisle windows portray some of the parables of the Lord.


A low intensity sound-amplification system will lend itself well, it is hoped, to announce to the assembled congregation the meaning of the various parts of the divine service, helping to make the divine liturgy better understood and therefore a significant spiritual experience.

The sanctuary will be open daily for private worship. An electric eye is connected with a recorded divine service offering a hymn, a prayer,and a message prepared by one of the pastors. The card announcing the private service to residents” of the community states: “This moment of spiritual re­freshment can lift you into an area where there is still peace and joy and rest for the soul.” It is expected that many hundreds of people through the years will find this an aid to a helpful spiritual experience.

Sunday vesper services are planned in wbich a music ministry perpetuating some of the noblest gifts of our Lutheran heritage will provide uplift for the soul.


Though we have in this pamphlet given all glory to God and encouraged all members in Faith to do so day after day, we feel it will not be taken amiss if we give mention to ‘the following in grateful appreciation: Walter Hage­dohm, architect: the Volz-Rappaport Construction Company: The Aid Association for Lutherans; Murray Armstrong, vice president, Broadway Branch, Security First National Bank.

Thanks also to all members of Faith and to oil the sub-contractors who have worked together to complete this building, and withal have preserved the spirit of harmony and unity.
A Book of Remembrance in the narthex will record Memorials in honor of departed dear ones whose faith is kept in remembering hearts and Testimonials in gratitude for God’s mercy.

Note: The proper joining of our new buildings with the former chapel, hereafter to be known as Youth Center, awaits completion. A rich background of warm textures of tile and interesting planting will provide the setting for a statue directly in front of the entrance. The telephone lines on 85th Street will go underground.