|Thank you to Parnell Myhrum for researching records and sharing from memory. the following history of the Lutheran faith in Jacksonville-Camp Lejeune and of our own church, LCOS.
Early developments of Lutheranism in the Jacksonville-Camp Lujeune area took form in the home of school principal Ben A. Barringer where two Bible classes were conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Barringer for adults and children. It was here that the first group of Lutherans met in 1952 with Dr. F.L. Conrad, President of the North Carolina Synod.
During the summer of 1953 the area was surveyed by seminary student John Y. Yoder. Worship services were held in the Barringer basement and later moved to the American Legion Hall.
Chaplain Glenn Barger of Camp Lejuene assisted in the development during September and October, and the Board of American Missions extended a call to Reverend Thurmand C. Plexico to become the mission developer in November.
In January 1954, the Alexius property on Highway 24 containing 5.86 acres and a frame building (an old barracks building) was purchased at a cost of $26,000.00, provided by the Loan and Gift Fund of the North Carolina Lutheran Men. The old barracks building was temporarily adequate for the chapel, Sunday School, and Lutheran Serviceman's Center. A parsonage at 303 Stratford Road was also purchased.
On Easter Sunday, April 18, 1954, Our Savior was organized with 92 confirmed members and 40 children representing 42 states of our country.
On January, 1958, ground was broken for a multipurpose building, and completed with a Consecration Service on November 2, 1958. The first service in the new building was held August 17, 1958.
Early in 1958, the old parsonage was sold, and a new parsonage was purchased at 500 Dogwood Lane in Northwoods. The new parsonage was valued at $17,000.00, at that time.
During Rev. Plexico's tenure, several parish workers helped with the growth of Our Savior. They were Miss Sheggeby, Mrs. George Barringer (Alvina Lee), and Miss Ruth Stadem.
Before the completion of the new church building, the Lutheran Service Center was opened at 821 Court Street in downtown Jacksonville. It grew to become one of the most attended centers. Originally, it was staffed by volunteers, later by Chuck and Lorraine Loken, sopnsored by the Division of Service to Military Personnel. The Lutheran Service Center closed in 1973.
The church operated a pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade class.
Pastor Plexico was called to St. James Lutheran Church in Concord, NC in 1963. Several years later, he was called to St. Martin Lutheran Church, Concord, NC and is now retired.
Pastor William Hall was called to Our Savior in 1964. With Pastor Hall was his father, Dr. John Hall, a retired Lutheran pastor and chaplain. During Pastor Hall's tenure, the church entertained a missionary from Liberia, Miss Jensoen.
Pastor Floyd Trexler was called to Our Savior in March, 1965. During the time Pastor Trexler served Our Savior, Pastor Sato, a missionary from Japan, was a visitor to Jacksonville, Also, during this time, Mrs. Lorraine Loken, a member of the congregation, made and presented to the church a crucifixion scene to be erected on the church lawn during Lent. Rev. Trexler also helped to build a church for the residents of the Georgetown area. Memorable events during the Sunday service were "Bible Truths" presented by Pastor Trexler with the use of hand puppets. The Tommy Knoll Memorial Playground was bugun at the rear of the church, in memory of a young member of the congregation. At this time, Girl Scout Troup 510 presented a flagpole to the church.
In November, 1966, Pastor Fred Hintze was called to Our Savior. That first Christmas, Pastor Hintze encouraged the women of the church to make Chrismons. During the Christmas season, Our Savior's Chrismon tree was the subject of a newspaper article, and was viewed by many residents of the area, as this was the first Chrismon tree in the area.
During Pastor Hintze's tenure, we also acquired a new hanging brass altar cross, outdoor carpeting for the church entrance, paneling of the pastor's and secretary's offices, a shed for the Boy Scouts, chair covers for the nave, the chancel was painted, a new mimeograph machine, two new furnaces, air-conditioning installed in the nave, and the first of many banners.
Pastor Hintze served as Director of Scouting, Eastern District. He received the Lamb Award from the LCA Scouting Committee.
in 1971, a pictorial directory of the members of Our Savior was completed and distributed.
In October, 1971, Pastor John Himes came to be shepherd of the Our Savior flock. At his first Christmas Eve service, the tradition of placing the babe in the manger scene on the lawn of the church was started. Pastor Himes directed the choir in their newly acquired red choir robes, and he was instrumental in Our Savior and Calvary Lutheran Church holding a combined Vacation Bible School. This lasted until 1978. He instituted a Maundy Thursday service where the members sat at a table with regular bread and a pitcher of wine to resemble the Last Supper.
Members of the church council began reading the Scripture lessons on the third Sunday of each month in 1975. In July, 1977, Pastor Himes retired from full-time ministry. During his tenure, the following were added or accomplished: new dossal curtain for the chancel, new amplifier system, new red and white paraments, offering plate and receiving basin, guest register, parsonage refrigerator, carpet at entrance of church, front driveway and parking area paved. The parsonage underwent renovation and remodeling with members doing most of the work.
In November 1978, Seminarian Andrew Arruza accepted the call to Our Savior. He was ordained at Our Savior on February 4, 1979. This was the first ordination held at our church. Pastor Arruza instituted an overnight retreat for the Church Council. The first one was held at the Lutheran Retreat Center at Atlantic Beach. We also used the new Lutheran Book of Worship the first of May, 1979. Pastor Arruza was also appointed a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserves. Chaplain John Weaver administered the oath of office.
At the 25th Anniversary celebration, the burning of the parsonage mortgage was observed.
Pastor Richard Boger was called from the Pacific Lutheran Seminary in Berkely, California in 1980. He was ordained in his home church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
Pastor Boger encouraged lay participation in the worship service. He encouraged Holy Communion more frequently. He also emphasized Bible study, and was instrumental in two specialized areas of study, i.e., "Word and Witness," and the Bethel Series.
During Pastor Boger's tenure, the parsonage was sold. The proceeds were used for extensive remodeling of the multipurpose hall. Some of the improvements were: the installation of crossbeams to preserve the structural integrity of the building, carpeting, installation of pews, stained glass in large windows and upper windows. New lighting was installed, as well as fresh paiant. Also, one side of the educational wing was converted into a fellowship hall along with a new kitchen. Dedication of the renovated multipurpose hall was held in 1986.
|In the fall of 1984, a community-wide ceremony was held on the lawn of the church to commemorate the lives of those lost in the terrorist bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon.
Pastor Boger departed in 1990. Chaplain Dan Parry was designated vice-pastor until the arrival of Pastor James Braswell who was called from a parish in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in 1991. Pastor Braswell started the Wednesday night Communion Service. he also encouraged lay participation in the worship service. During this period, a Montessori School was established in the church facility.
Due to increased attendance and space considerations, there was interest in a new sanctuary. In 1992, preliminary studies were made, and committees formed to explore the possibility of building a new sanctuary. Guidance was sought from the ELCA Division for Outreach. The congregation approved the construction, and financing through a pledge drive was conducted under the guidance of Kairos Associates. The Appeal Advisory Committee and the Building Committee held many meetings filled with members of the congregation. Financing was derived from Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL). The loan was about $450,000.00; the pledge drive goal was $120,000.00 and the congregation pledged approximately $180,000.00 over a three year period. Dedication of the sanctuary was held Palm Sunday, 1995.
Pastor Braswell departed in August, 1996, in response to a call from St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Herron, Michigan.
During the interim period, a new piano was purchased. The courtyard was also completed with dedication on All Saints Sunday, 1997.
Pastor David Mielke was called to Our Savior in 1997. During his tenure, an Ahlborn-Galanti organ and sound system was purchased in 1998. Also during this period, due to the requirements of the new Jacksonville bypass project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation purchased 1.81 acres of church property in 1999 for $75,000.00. The proceeds were applied to the sanctuary mortgage.
Pastor Mielke departed in May, 2000, to pastor St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Dallas, North Carolina.
Pastor Frederick Simmel was appointed by the Synod to serve the congregation as interim pastor. He served from August, 2000 to June, 2001. During this period, suspended ceilings wer installed in the educational wing, the main hallway, choir room, library and offices. This was accomplished with volunteer labor.
Pastor Hugh Mozingo answered the call to be our pastor in July, 2001. The Youth Group is very active and participates enthusiastically in the life of the church under his leadership. From the original altar rail in the multipurpose hall, a decorative railing was fashioned for the choir area in our present sanctuary. The multipurpose hall, educational wing and office wing were completely re-roofed and vinyl siding installed on all outside painted surfaces.
Throughout the 50 years of ministry to this community, Camp Lejeune chaplains have been most instrumental in carrying out the mission of the church with integral roles. Some have steped forward and served as vice-pastors and supply pastors.
Pastor Hugh Mozingo has retired after 18 years of dedicated service to the church. Interim pastor is Pastor Kenneth Saurman.