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Upcoming Events
NOV

21

TUE
Bible study group
1:00 PM
Meets at Brookdale/Sterling House, 1605 N. Hwy. 88, Claremore
NOV

22

WED
NOV

23

THU
NOV

26

SUN
NOV

27

MON
Mission Quilters
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Join us in fellowship at the "Office House" as we use our creativity to design & produce quilts for mission gifts around the world.
Evening LWML
7:00 PM
NOV

28

TUE
Bible study group
1:00 PM
Meets at Brookdale/Sterling House, 1605 N. Hwy. 88, Claremore
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
November 20, 2017
One Reason Among Many
November 19, 2017
Too Close for Comfort
Verse of the Day
Our History

 

REDEEMER'S EARLY BEGINNINGS

Although formally organized in March, 1949 as Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, a Lutheran presence in Claremore, Oklahoma began in the 1920s. Pastors came from Bartlesville, Chelsea, Tulsa, Sand Springs, and Nowata during the 1920s and 1930s.  A mission chapel consisting of a red sandstone house at the corner of 8th and Weenonah was dedicated in March, 1947.  At that time the Claremore mission had 40 souls and worship on Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Pastor Henry C. Dequin, a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri received and accepted the congregation’s call, and arrived in Claremore in July, 1949 to become the first full-time pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church. 
Property at the congregation’s present 5th Street and Seminole Avenue location was purchased in April, 1950 (for $2,500.00), and plans were drawn up for a church with an educational wing and office wing. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in February, 1952. The cornerstone was laid in March of that year and the dedication service was held in June, 1952. 

In 1953 Pastor Dequin accepted a call to serve in Missouri, and Pastor Otto W. Meyer was called and installed as the next pastor. He also served at Trinity Lutheran Church in Nowata, Oklahoma. With more space for Sunday school needed, in 1962 and 1963 a building extension was completed.
After the death of Pastor Meyer, Pastor Richard Mayerhoff was installed in July, 1969.  He also served Zion Lutheran Church of Chelsea, Oklahoma.  Again, because of the growth of the congregation, additional building space was needed. This expansion, which doubled the seating and provided additional classrooms through the use of folding doors, was dedicated in February, 1971.  By this time Sunday worship attendance reached 112 and Sunday school attendance averaged 55.
 
WE BECOME SELF-SUPPORTING
In 1975 Pastor Mayerhoff accepted at call to serve in Texas. Redeemer congregation, with many thanks for the support of the Oklahoma District, became a self-supporting congregation at the beginning of 1976.
Pastor Albert Quoss accepted the congregation’s call as pastor in 1978 and was installed in December of that year. He undertook the task of healing wounds, uniting factions, and reaching out to the community of Claremore and beyond.
By the beginning of 1983, Redeemer congregation had grown to 341 souls, and the congregation’s facilities were once again stretched to their limits.  Plans were formulated to build a new sanctuary and use the existing building for educational purposes.  Ground breaking occurred in May, 1983.  During the framing of the structure, a violent thunderstorm hit Claremore in July, and the building was toppled.  Work began again.  The cornerstone was set in place in October, and the new sanctuary (with a new organ) was dedicated in December, 1983. 
During 1984 and 1985 the older building underwent remodeling for kitchen, educational, and office spaces.  In 1988 a preschool was opened at Redeemer Lutheran, and operated until 2004.  In the fall of 1997 a three-room building was constructed by members south of the fellowship hall. 
After 19½ years, Pastor Quoss resigned his pastorate effective in May, 1998, in order to join his wife who had taken a position with the American Red Cross in Virginia.  Pastor Mark Carter accepted the congregation’s call and served as pastor from 2000 to 2003. Pastor Mark Burger, served the congregation from April, 2005 until his retirement effective January 1, 2017. 
NEW ORGAN PURCHASED
In 2012 our organist announced that our 1980's-era organ was failing.  An organ fund was started when Pastor Burger got up, gave the treasurer a dollar, and said, "Now we have an organ fund!"  The fund grew steadily, but slowly until 2015 when our beloved friend and member Rachel Lowery entered the Church Triumphant.  Rachel always had a heart and appreciation for music, and, in her memory, her children made a very substantial gift to Redeemer Lutheran for the "future" new organ.  The funds were suddenly up to $25,000.  A committee was formed to gather information on cost and type of organ needed.  On February 28, 2016, on the committee's recommendation, voters approved the purchase of an Allen CF-16 organ and a "Vista Navigator," (a computer device which adds additional sounds, storage capacity, ability to record and play back music, and more).    With the memorial and funds from "Thrivent Choice Dollars" that had been donated by members through the years, the order for the new organ was placed, and it was installed April 6, 2016. 
Pastor Virgil Bening has been our interim pastor since January, 2017.  We are currently in the process of calling a new minister. 
 

AN UPDATE ON THE FIRE AND ITS AFTERMATH AT REDEEMER LUTHERAN CHURCH

 

                A fire broke out at Redeemer Lutheran Church on the evening of December 1, 2016 and destroyed the building which housed its fellowship hall, kitchen, library, nursery, and offices.  Dedicated firefighters worked through the evening to contain the fire, and saved the congregation’s sanctuary.   There was, however, smoke smell that needed to be abated immediately, and this work, along with repairs and restoration, continued in the narthex and sanctuary in the weeks following the fire.  

                Plans for the replacement of the 1950s and 1960s “fellowship” building had been underway for many months, even years, before the fire; and a capital fundraising campaign had been initiated in the fall of 2016.  The fire obviously accelerated the need to replace what was lost.  Within three weeks after the fire, the congregation hired TAP Architecture of Oklahoma City as architects for a new building.  The church office and spaces for meetings and other church activities were moved into the house the congregation owns just across the street.  The three-room Sunday school “annex” building which had also been spared, was promptly moved away from the burn site to provide space for a nursery and classrooms.    

                Fire investigators combed through the remains of the burned building and determined the fire had been of an electrical origin.  Members then retrieved what little could be salvaged from the burned building.  Extensive inventories of lost items were prepared as needed for the insurance settlement.  Early in 2017 CRV Company of Claremore took down and removed the remains of the burned building.

                From late winter into spring the building committee collected information from members of the congregation and met a number of times with TAP Architecture to determine space, design, and furnishings needs for the new building.  The architects have done extensive work to prepare building drawings.  At the same time work was done for the site and building by Wallace Engineering from Tulsa.  Also, necessary communications with the City of Claremore about permits and requirements were made.

                In May the congregation formally approved construction of the new building and authorized seeking a loan to enable construction to begin.  Extensive paperwork had to be prepared and meetings held to apply for the building loan with Lutheran Church Extension Fund.  Application was also made with Laborers for Christ, an organization that provides retired Lutheran workers who come from across the country in the likes of motorhomes, to spend weeks doing the actual construction work on the building.

                Although there had earlier been hopes of beginning to build the new building as early as the summer of 2017, a more realistic current goal would be to do the extensive work of preparing the soil for the site, laying the foundation, and pouring a slab during what remains of 2017.  Building up from there could then begin in 2018.