(excerpt from Stover, MO history book)


Although Christ Lutheran Church, a congregation of the present-day The American Lutheran Church (ALC)", was organized in 1870, the need such a religious organization existed in western Morgan County prior to e U.S. Civil War Before the construction of their church in the Old Stover area, these theran families met and worshiped in their own farm homes. They were served by pastors from Trinity Lutheran Church in Pyrmont. In 1870, Christ Lutheran Church was organized and a new church of frame construction was soon erected near Old Stover. This church was approximately two miles south of our present community and for many many years it was known as the Gerlt Church. Rev. George Fikenscher (1870-1875) was the first resident pastor of Christ Lutheran Church In the 29 years following Pastor Fikenscher's ministry, the congregation was served by three pastors: Rev. Otto Kloeckner, (1877-1887), Rev. Carl Luecke (1887-1900), and Rev. Justus Kaufmann (1900-1904) The St. Louis-Kansas City-Colorado Railroad (commonly called the Rock Island Railroad today) surveyed an area for a possible new community a little northeast of the settlement of Stover and later called od Stover. The new community would eventually become New Stover and finally the "New" would be dropped and the community would evolve into the present town of Stover. The original Stover would be known as Old Stover during the years 1903-1906 and would finally cease to exist as a functioning business community In 1904, the congregation of Christ Lutheran decided to relocate in New Stover. Henry T. Tambke, a prominent member of the congregation and a leader in New Stover, donated several lots on the western edge of the new community for a church. This new wood frame church was constructed during the ministry of Rev. Wilhelm Schumacher and dedicated in 1905 Rev. Schumacher was the fifth pastor in the history of the Christ Lutheran congregation but the FIRST MINISTER of Christ Lutheran in New Stover In the tornado of April 19, 1916, Christ Lutheran Church was by high winds. Thus, it was that the congregation built a extensively damaged new brick sanctuary on the same lots as the previous structure. This church was begun right after the spring tornado and completed by the end of 1916 The official dedication, was postponed until March 5, 1917. Rev. Herman Klemm (1913-1918) was the spiritual leader of the congregation during t period of both physical and emotional hardships. Congregation members Louis Ebeling, Michael Kraxberger, Michael Gattermeyer, and Gustav Roiter were extremely instrumental a the main tools of God in the rebuilding of Christ Lutheran in 1916. Not only did the congregation have to build a new church, but they were suffering the evils of World War I. Most American German citizens still had close ties in Europe. Concerning the dedication of the new brick sanctuary on March 5, 1917 the Kirchen-Blatt (official publication of the Lutheran Synod of Iowa printed in the German language) states: In the dedication of this beautiful structure, there were threeservices on dedication Sunday, and also a service on Monday evening. All the pastors of the Missouri Conference, with the exception of one who was ill and the most distant as well, attended and participated in the services of dedication. The Cole Camp and Stover choirs provided willing participation spite of the cold weather and rough The large stained roads, good attendance was had at each of the servic glass in the rear of the church was the gift of the Ladies Aid. All of the stained glass windows were purchased from the Wolfe Brothers of St. Joseph, Mo." In 1977, protective clear outside panes were installed to safeguard the stained glass windows and to save energy considering our national struggle for conservation The large stained glass window i the rear of the church still bears the inscription "FRAUEN-DEREIN-DER-GEMEINDE" (Women Who Are Members of The Congregation) The reading of the inscriptions of names on the various stained glass windows in the church is like going back into the history of New Stover Some of the names are: HEINRICHT. TAMBE, one of the founders of New Stover: GUSTAV ROITER, Louis. EBELING, MICHAEL GATTERMEYER, HEINRICH KIPP, CAROLINE KIPP, MICHAEL KRANBERGER, FRIEDRICH BRAUER, HEINRICH F. BAUER, HEINRICH PEPER, FRIEDRICH GOETZE, and FRIEDRICH KOCH. The original Christ Lutheran Church (1870-1904) was in the settlement of Stover which was later called Old Stover. The second (1905-1916) and third (1916 to present) church structures were in the community first known as New Stover; but it became known simply as Stover about 1906. This third tructure is the present-day sanctuary to which a brick educational unit has been added. This addition, completed in 1964, joins the main sanctuary on it east side In 1946, the few remaining members of Bethlehem (St. John's Lutheran at Boeschenville decided to disband. Most of these members became members of Christ Lutheran. The two congregations had shared a pastor since 1912. The congregation of Nolting Church (another Bethlehem Lutheran) voted to disband on October 22, 1961. Members were encouraged to join with sister congregations in the area; 26 of the 39 members became members of the Christ Lutheran later the same year Growing from a handful of members in 1870, Christ Lutheran of Stover has a present baptized membership of 350 During the ministry of Rev. Vernon R. Rode (1957-1962) some members of this congregation joined with other Lutheran families to organize a new congregation in Sedalia-Christ Lutheran Church of Sedalia (1959) Following World War II, a concern had been growing in the congregation for replacement of the old parsonage with a completely new home for pastors and their families. The new parsonage was completed in 1958 just to the west of the church on the northwest corner of Walnut and Second Streets During the centennial year of Christ Lutheran Church (1970), new carpeting was installed in the sanctuary and a new lighting system including sanctuary fixtures completed. A permanent outdoor sign was also was constructed and number of redecorating service projects were a part of a centennial celebration preparations. In 1965, the congregation committed itself to an extensive four-year plan of adult Bible called the Bethel Bible Series. Over one-hundred adult study members were enrolled in this weeknight study of the Bible. The congregation has been involved in various ALC Spiritual Service Projects such as LIFE (Lutheran Ingathering for Education), KEY 73 and UMA United Mission Appeal). The congregation has a deep interest in The Oaks (a mission in Oklahoma for Indian children) and the Martin Luther Home in Nebraska (for training of the mentally handicapped). Since 1973, Christ Lutheran Church has sponsored Cub Pack 23 for boys 8, 9, and 10 from the Stover and Florence communities.