A Place of Hope

1936 - The first Lutheran worship service was held at John Schneider’s home in the 800 block of South Walnut in October 1936 according to Mr. Eddy Niewald. Lydia St. Clair recalls her first worship service to have taken place at Franklin Park on North Main St. sometime in the summer of 1936.

1938 - Services at Hope Lutheran Church began when Rev. Lohmeyer from Craig, MO held services in a private home.

1948 - Hope Lutheran Church, Maryville, Missouri was begun under the auspices of an inter-congregational committee of Lutheran Churches of Northwest Missouri. Sponsoring congregations were: St. Paul and St. Peter of St. Joseph, St. Peters of Craig, and St. John of Corning. The mission began by advertising in the Maryville Daily Forum in February and March 1948. Members of the sponsoring congregations on May 16, 1948 canvassed the town. The committee rented a room, which had been furnished as a chapel by the Episcopal congregation. The room was on the second floor above the Burlington Bus Depot, 1 block from the square. The first service there was held on October 17, 1948. The average attendance the first six months was sixteen. Pastors of the sponsoring congregations on the 1st and 3rd Sunday afternoons conducted services. Jo Ann Wrightman became the first organist at age seventeen.

Rev. Hofman
1949 - In the summer of 1949, the congregation was serviced for several months by a seminary student, Timothy Strelow. The average attendance was 17. Sunday School was started July 10 with Mrs. George (Lydia) St. Clair and Mrs. Adam (Dorothy) Ochs as teachers. Beginning in September 1949, the pastors of the sponsoring congregations again conducted services at Maryville, but this year came every Sunday evening. Rev. H. C. Pragman was in charge. Rev. E. F. Brauer assisted.

1953 - The congregation was organized in July, and the name of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church was adopted. Dr. Leon Miller suggested the name chosen. The first officers of the congregation were Edward Niewald, president; Glen Hayes, vice president; R. H. Sobbing, secretary; and Adam Ochs, treasurer. October 1, 1953 the Sunday school was re-organized with 4 teachers. The teachers were: Mr. Glen Hayes, Mrs. Lydia St. Clair, Mrs. Dorothy Ochs, and Mrs. Pete Sobbing. Sunday School Superintendent was Mrs. Glen Hayes with 8 students enrolled.

1954 - On April 8 per the recorded Pro Forma Decree document issued by the Circuit Court of Nodaway County, Missouri was filed granting the establishment of a religious organization and Christian congregation named Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Maryville, Missouri. As stated in this document, the charter members are Adam and Dorothy Ochs, A. G. and Carolyn Hayes, R. H. and Mildred Sobbing, Lucille Hogsett, Jo Ann Wrightman Walk, Lydia St. Clair, and Edward Niewald. Dr. Leon Miller and Louis Ritterbusch are also charter members, but both were not present for the signing of the Pro Forma Decree document. The congregation received its charter on April 20, and was accepted as a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod at the convention in June. In May the Western District of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League gave its first grant of $5,000 toward purchasing church property. On November 10, the ladies group known as the Miriam Society organized with six members, being Carolyn Hayes, Lucille Hogsett, Dorothy Ochs, Blanch Rurode, Lydia St. Clair, and Anna Windhorst. Carolyn Hayes was the first president.

1954-55 - The congregation was served by the following pastors: E. Pennekamp, Theodore Schoech, W. C. Lohmeyer, Paul E. Gose, and O. W. Faszholz.

1955 - From September 4, 1955 until the summer of 1956, Vicar Robert Huelse became the first full time vicar to serve the congregation. A single lot that measured 66’ x 132’ located at 634 West Second St. was purchased for $2,300 and was later sold. The congregation received the first subsidy from Western District, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

1959 - On July 26th Rev. Stephen Korinko delivered his farewell sermon as he had accepted a position as professor at St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Mo. He served Maryville until July 31st. On September 6, 1959, the Rev. Norman V. Abbott was installed, coming from Hilo, Hawaii. On December 3rd, the amendment (pertaining to name) to the constitution of “Miriam Society” was changed to Lutheran Women’s Missionary League of Hope Lutheran Church of Western District, Missouri Synod. Statistics were 88 baptized members, 56 communicants, 22 in Sunday School, 14 in Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, and 16 students in Epsilon Lambda of Gamma Delta. Gladys Ritterbusch became the third organist. Rev. Abbott also served as vacancy pastor to Concordia, Mound City along with Rev. Werschler of the dual parish of St. John’s and St. Peters, St. Joseph until 7/17/60.

1961 - In March the Western District Mission Board under the direction of the Rev. Paul Spitz approved a loan of $65,000 for a new building. On April 21-23 the Gamma Delta scrapbook won first place at Regional Convention in Columbia, Mo. Barbara Mensing, of Iowa, was elected treasurer for the Region of Gamma Delta. There were 27 students in Gamma Delta.

1962 - On May 3 the Western District of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League gave its second grant of $5,000. On November 21 ground was broken for the new church building, estimated to cost $68,475. Dr. Robert Knapp, Dr. Leon Miller, Louis Ritterbusch, Ernest Hughes, Carl Bote, and Glen DeVooght served on the building committee. D. M. Fisher of Maryville was the Contractor, and the architects were Clark and Enersen of Lincoln, NE. The cost of the church was $69,000. Total budget: $75,000. Cost of the pews $2,120. Loan from Western District - $60,000; Grant from the Western District of Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod - $10,000 to be used for a designated room for college students. The heating and plumbing was done by Maryville L. P. Gas Co., Maryville, Mo., the electrical by C & D Electric Co., Grant City, Mo., the roof and sheet metal by Bill’s Furnace and Metal, Maryville, Mo., masonry by Paul Schieber, Maryville, Mo., and floor coverings by Meyer Specialty Co., Maryville, Mo.

The pastor’s study was moved into the parsonage. The Mission Board of Western District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod specified that a special room was to be designated for NWMSC college students in the new church building. Note that this room is now divided with the year 2000 remodeling and is currently being used as offices for both the church secretary and pastor.

Service in the new Church
1963 - On September 8 the Service of Dedication for the new church building was held followed by a basket dinner in the basement of the church. A Festival Service was held at 3:00 P.M. followed by a social hour in the church basement. Open House with refreshments was served from 4:00 – 6:00P.M. The first wedding in the new building was held in the evening at 8:00 P.M. Statistics were 73 communicants, 114 baptized members, 30 enrolled in Sunday School, 53 enrolled in Vacation Bible School, 10 members in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and an average of 43 college students attending church every Sunday. Elizabeth Rounds became the fourth organist.

1964 - The Deed of Trust to cover the church building construction from Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church to the Western District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod was dated 2/1/64 and filed for record 2/26/64. The payments were set at $164.54/month. There were 10 active in the Youth Choir (5th through 8th grades). They were Evelyn and Robert Abbott, Margo, Diane, and Betty Knapp, Rebecca, Theodore, and Joseph Rounds, Twyla Boone and Marvin Bote.

1968 - On May 20, Carolyn Abbott graduated from Concordia Teacher’s College, Seward, NE becoming the first parochial teacher from Hope Lutheran congregation. October 13, the Rev. Norman Abbott accepted a call to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Adair, IA. Statistics were 152 baptized members, 114 communicants, 54 enrolled in Sunday School, 18 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League members, and an average of 16 college students attending church services each Sunday. The youth choir was dropped.

1969 - On June 29, the Rev. Marion Hofman was installed as the third pastor.

1972 - On January 7 the Rev. Marion Hofman accepted a call to Delta, CO. On June 11 the Rev. Lloyd Hackbarth was installed as the 4th pastor. In June a parsonage - student center for NWMSU students was purchased at 540 West 4th Street. Statistics were 159 baptized members, 121 communicants, 42 enrolled in Sunday School, 39 enrolled in Vacation Bible School, an average of 25 college students attending each Sunday, and 18 members in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Larry Abbott and Leland Aley contracted to tear down the old parish house for the salvage of materials.

1976 - In August a pipe organ was purchased from St. Paul Lutheran, Waverly, IA for $1,500. The following men worked on the organ: Lawrence Abbott, Leland Aley, John Ernst, Dr. Robert Knapp, Eddy Niewald, Ward Rounds, Richard Wynn, Charles Montgomery, Keith Stuewe, Clark and Chris Montgomery, Mervin Bettis, and William Clark.

1977 - The first satellite Bethesda Lutheran Group Home was established in Maryville on September 11. Located at 526 W. Second Street, the home is the first out-of-state group home to be established by Bethesda Lutheran Home, Watertown, Wisconsin.

1978 - On December 17th a service of dedication for the reconditioned pipe organ was held. Organist Elizabeth Rounds presented a concert.

1982 - Pastor Hackbarth accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wentzville, Mo. and moved in mid-August. Vicar Richard Moore began his vicarage at Hope, Maryville in the summer. August – Rev. Jerome Wagoner, Clarinda, IA began serving Hope as vacancy pastor.

1983 - April 10 Rev. Ted Mayes was installed as pastor to Hope, coming from St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Missouri. The installation was held at 3:00 PM with district VP Rev. Clemens Mehl of Peace Lutheran, Kansas City, MO participating. Rev. Jerry Wagoner coordinated the service and Rev. James Mayes, Peculiar, MO gave the sermon. A potluck supper followed the installation. Vicar Richard Moore extended his vicarage an additional year to the spring of 1984.

1985 - The Lutheran Campus Center got its start just off the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. Vicar Richard Moore’s ordination was held at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, Maryville on June 2, 1985 becoming the first vicar to be ordained at Hope. Hope was able to go off of Synod’s subsidy in May or June.

1989 - Hosanna entered into a dual parish arrangement with Hope. They were served by a shared effort from Hope’s Rev. Ted Mayes and the vicar at the time. Charter members were: Arthur, Vicki, Andy, Sarah, Joey, and Rachel White; Chris, Jaylene, C. J., and Courtney Parsley; David Howard; David, Pam, Derek, and Angela Hancock; Milton, Alice, Lisa, and Julie Holtz; Virginia Burke.

1999 - January 17 voters meeting – The voters reported that the probable cost for the addition and alterations to the existing church building had increased to $180,000. March 21 – A special voter’s meeting voted to delay construction until the year 2000. July 11 – Design plans were received from Earl May Garden Center for the Garden of Hope. This will be a devotional garden. October 10 – The voters approved to begin construction of the church addition in June 2000. The building committee consisted of Larry Abbott, Pam Myers, Mike Mandrick, Roland Tullberg, Bob Henry, Bill Whited, and Jim Schleusner. The goal was to have at least 50% of the cost collected.

2000 - March 12 – The church treasurer reported that $88,580.89 had been collected in the building fund with $8,100 in the parking lot fund. March 31 – It was reported that $89,947.26 had been collected for the building fund. The goal of 50% had been met! On April 2, a groundbreaking ceremony was held after regular church services for a 2600 sq. ft. addition to the 38-year-old church structure with construction starting in mid-April. The LCMS helped us by granting the use of 4 retired couples from the “Laborers for Christ”. We were also able to pave the 135’ X 135’ parking lot, which was made possible by additional congregational pledges and significant support by Johnson’s Funeral Home. Membership at the time was 145 souls and 122 communicants. Dedication of the new addition was held on October 22, 2000.

2001 - May – The monthly payments started on the loan from the Lutheran Church Extension fund. The loan balance is $74,878.02. $8,000 was borrowed for new sanctuary lighting. The monthly payment to repay the loan is $705.96. The total cost of the building was $198,675.73 including the parking lot, new carpet, and new lighting. Pastor Ted Mayes accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Murphysboro, IL with his farewell sermon on July 8th. Statistics were 148 souls and 125 communicants. October – three new wireless microphones were ordered.

Pastor D. Installation
2002 - March 10 Rev. Carl Droegemueller was installed as pastor, coming from Immanual Lutheran Church, Greenfield, Iowa. Statistics were 135 souls, 106 communicants. At the March voter’s meeting it was noted that the new sanctuary lighting and new carpet were installed. Also, track lighting at the back bulletin board and 2 additional lights up front in the altar area under the overhang were installed to improve the lighting there. In July, a new outlet was installed at the back of the church for the VCR camera to record the services.

2003 - Highlights at Hope Lutheran Church started a year long celebration.

2008 -Pastor Carl Droegemueller retired on August 31, 2008. Pastor William Voelker from Savannah, MO became our vacancy pastor, serving us for the next 20 months.

Pastor David Oddi
2010 -On May 2, 2010, Rev. David M. Oddi was installed as pastor. He was ordained in July 2007 and served as associate pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Farmington, Missouri before coming to Hope. Pastor Oddi and his wife Lesley have two daughters and two grandchildren. Besides serving as pastor at Hope, Pastor Oddi assists the chaplain at the Maryville Treatment Center and serves on Maryville's Ministerial Board. Pastor Oddi and Lesley were also called to serve as the LCC Directors.


2011 - May – Hope was given the opportunity to purchase the funeral home on lot directly south of the church property. The property was purchased for $200,000 and the land was dedicated at the June 12, 2010 worship service. Soon after, a group of local Amish men came and dismantled the home, salvaging what they could for their own use. The lot was then graded and seeded. With the purchase of this property, the land surrounding the church has greatly expanded. Future plans are to pave this land and expand the parking lot to better accommodate visitors on Sunday morning.

2013 - September – The LWML began a fundraising effort to acquire funds to renovate the church office. The group had been the recipient of memorial funds given in memory of Grayce Oltman, and decided to dedicate those funds to the renovation project. In just a few short weeks, the women of the LWML were able to raise enough money to purchase much needed storage, replace the floor, paint the walls and install new window treatments in the church office. The work was completed in the spring of 2014.

2014 - January – Shana Ziolko-Marting was installed as the Lutheran Campus Center Director. Shana received her DCE training at Concordia Seminary, Seward, Nebraska. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri.

The Jesus Statue
2015 - In October, Don and Wanda Schepler visited our congregation and told us the following story about the Jesus statue that can be found in the back of the sanctuary. In the middle of the 1950s, my Uncle Lee Harms, and my Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Harms, found out about a statue of Jesus that had been abandoned in the old Missouri Synod Stutheit Church, South of Johnson, Nebraska. There were no young people growing up in the community to support the congregation, therefore no one kept up the church. When my uncle and grandparents found out the statue of Jesus remained in the church, they acquired it. The statue was in bad condition, as the roof of the church had caved in. The arms of the statue had been broken and it was littered with soil and bird droppings. They were able to load the statue and bring it back to Maryville, Missouri. I remember my grandmother saying that she held the head of Jesus in her lap and wept as they made their way back to Maryville. They cleaned the statue very carefully, as you can imagine, and got some professional help to repair the statue, and make sure the colors were preserved. It now stands in the Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, LCMS, Maryville, Missouri. The statue is very beautiful and the congregation is proud of it. Wanda and I made our way there recently as our curiosity was such that we wanted to know about the statue, if it was being used and cared for. We were pleased that it had been placed in a protected area, and we found out that it was meaningful to the congregation and especially meaningful to the little children, who would often stop and view the statue of Jesus. At the end of the church service, it was brought to the Pastor's attention that I was there as part of the family that brought the statue there. I was invited to come forward and tell the story of the origin of the statue, and how it came to be. I was very happy to do this. I stood in front of the congregation and explained how the statue of Jesus got there, where it came from and the origin of it.

2016 - January – A crew from Jason Derr Home Repair worked on the sanctuary, repairing cracks and smoothing the walls. The following week, painters from Wallscapes (Diane Pedersen and Melinda Claycamp) painted the sanctuary.

June - A new altar guild was formed at Hope. Ten women volunteered to serve. The purpose of the guild is to beautify the church by hanging banners, placing the appropriate paraments on the altar, and keeping the altar cloth clean and in good condition.

Lesley and Pastor Dave
2017 - February - Hope kicked off its celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at the regularly scheduled potluck. The Reformation Celebration Committtee had a display and a little quiz about the Reformation for people to fill out. Prizes were given for the best scores.

- June -Once again, Pastor and Lesley Oddi became co-directors of the Lutheran Campus Center.