Haven Lutheran marks 45th year

November 22, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Dick Motz remembers the first service in which Haven Lutheran Church in Hagerstown became a reality.

Motz and his wife, Betty, are two of the charter members who will be on hand Dec. 6 when the little congregation in the North End of Hagerstown celebrates its 45th anniversary.

That first service was held on April 19, 1953, in the chapel of Rest Haven Cemetery. Attendance was 151, which included many visitors from local congregations.

At that service, several area churches furnished the essentials for the worship. The Board of American Missions came up with the hymnals, Motz said.


The Rev. Frank P. Cauble was the mission developer, who arranged for the church to be chartered. He also was the first pastor.

At that first service, Motz said, Cauble spoke on the topic "God Is in This Place." Fifty people signed the charter membership roll. By Dec. 6, 1953, there were 104 names on that list.

On that day, the congregation was formally constituted by Maryland Synod President J. Frank Fife, Motz said.

Arthur Knudson, secretary of English Missions of the Board of American Missions, presented the sermon.

"When the idea was first begun, my wife and I were involved in the efforts to get people to come to the new church," Motz said.

Indeed, Betty Motz pushed her young son in his carriage as she accompanied Cauble through Hamilton Park, Hyde Park and parts of Fountain Head seeking to spread the word about the new church.

"We were looking for the unchurched, people who wanted a church," Dick Motz said.

From those meager beginnings, things began to move fast.

Just a year later, the congregation voted to buy a piece of property adjoining Rest Haven Cemetery. The property is the site of the current building.

"We purchased the Children's Hospital building and the land it was on," Dick Motz said. The cost was $20,000 for the building and $10,000 for improvements to make it suitable to be a church.

In celebration of the anniversary, the Dec. 6 service will feature the current pastor, Torben Aarsand, preaching at 10:45 a.m. There will be a dinner in the gathering room.

All former members and pastors have been invited. The pastors include Ray Blanset, Phil Fogarty, Roland Hobbs and Ellie Doub. Each will speak on their years at Haven.

Call the church at 301-733-5056 for more information.

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