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Lutherans believed that God accepted people at Baptism, and that included infants. The culture often believed that Baptism was an act of accepting God. Lutherans believed that comfort comes in being accepted by God Gospel and the culture often believed that comfort comes in one's own proof of love for God. Lutherans believed in confession and absolution to help steer one away from sins that would ruin one's faith.
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Much of the culture believed "once saved always saved. Lutherans were also connected more to the holy Catholic church, whereas many churches surrounding Ebenezer had little intentional connection with church history. Lutherans believed that Scripture was the only rule and norm of faith, while the culture often believed in special messages from God, something Lutherans would call "Gnosticism.
In looking over the state of the Lutheran faith in Greensboro, it was important to assess the various Lutheran churches.
Grace Lutheran, a black church, with some white members who were professors at Immanuel College, was the first Lutheran Church in Greensboro. It was founded in and located in a section of town called Warnersville. In , Grace built a large framed church and school. It was funded by the Synodical Conference. It had a steeple bell which called hundreds of children to come to be educated. At the time of the assessment, the church had very few members and had been vacant since Warnersville was a very poor area of town and the courage of people to maintain Grace was quite amazing. When Ebenezer was founded, black people could not be members in a white church.
Some of the future members of First Lutheran attended the first service of Ebenezer in Many appealed to their own Synod for a congregation and things began to happen under the direction of a young pastor named Rev. The Sunday School was organized on June 19, A cornerstone was laid on June 6 and the opening services of the new church began on October 29, The parish school held its sessions in the parsonage.
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The Sunday School met at the residence of Henry Jacobs. Convinced that all church activities should be centralized under one roof, the members elected a building committee to secure a house or hall.
This took place on April 4, The committee later reported that St. The voters decided that St. Barnabas, but recommended that Ebenezer build a church. For six months the building committee hunted, inspected, and priced a great variety of building sites. At length they discovered a lot at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Percy Street that the members resolved to buy. Resolutions cannot, however, buy building sites, unless they are supplemented with money.
Ebenezer's motto in those days was truly "silver and gold have I none. Professor Berg, who listened with his eyes closed, suddenly opened them and said: "First send out a cry for help. The board knew that a loan would be too burdensome for so few people. The quest went on as the church continued to meet at Smith memorial. The best was none too good during the cold winter. The members froze during the services, and their feet got cold. The voters even tipped the janitor to fire up the furnace. It was x feet in size.
Posthaste, the Board agreed to supply the money, provided that Ebenezer submit building plans, transfer the property to the Synod and obtain a clear title. So speedily did Ebenezer meet every requirement, that at on Tuesday evening, September 17, , Professor Lochner laid the cornerstone.
A few weeks later, contractor L. Jeffries, an African American, had carried out the plans of architect J. Pastor Peters, wearing a pulpit robe for the first time in the history of Ebenezer, formally opened the doors on November 3, After the dedication service, the members inspected their new church, as if they had not already examined every board and nail that had gone into its construction. There was a coal stove. A new organ was donated by the Ladies Aid. The pews would come from High Point.
The lectern and communion table would arrive later. With enthusiasm the members looked at the room which would house the school. The flat ceiling replaced the one suggested by the architect. The building could be used as a residence if ever needed which they prayed that God would prevent. The members continued to make improvements. Smyre, wrote to the Mission Board for a new pastor. The board replied that it had "no one in view at the present time. When someone later raised the question of calling a regular pastor, the members resolved instead to "gladly accept Wahlers' services as heretofore.
The members made improvements on their church building; they reduced the mortgage; they received new members: Mr. J Van Vulpen and family from St. John's, Beaumont, Texas, Professor J. Smith; Mr. Weinhardt, and Mr. Baumgart of Indianapolis, Indiana. At the end of the year, , the contributing members were K. Maus, Bertha Jacobs, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Mary Smith, F. Smyre, L.
LETTERS FROM PLEASANT VIEW LUTHERAN CHURCH
Voltz, F. Berg, Theodore Meinhardt, Mrs. Maria Meinhardt, Clara Schwieger, L. Van Vulpen, Mrs. Johanna Jacobs, Mrs. Schroeder, S.
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Van Vulpen. Many of the same members contributed to the Sunday School along with family members whose church contribution was included with that of the family. Maus, Fred Maus, Jas. It is enlightening to note that Lutherans have always been an educational church with strong theological Bible studies. The Lutheran churches throughout the country observed the th year of the Reformation or the nailing of the ninety-five thesis on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, Wahlers and his church made a heroic effort to acquaint the people of Greensboro with the blessings of the Reformation.