Wednesday, August 24, 2016

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Waverly, Iowa

On one of my site-seeing trips with Yai this summer, I took a couple wrong turns in Waverly, Iowa and ended up at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.  "It looks like a pretty neat church," I told Yai.  "Do you think we should see if the doors are open?  Or should we continue to our next stop?"  She replied, "We're here.  We might as well see it."
We walked up to the front door...and it opened!  The church is attached to a more modern building (right), which is a Christian school.  So, I headed down to the office, and the folks there gave us the go-ahead to take a tour!
The front room was decorated for an upcoming event.  We walked down a few stairs to a hall with three large windows looking out into a small garden quadrangle.  

To one side of the windows is the fellowship hall.  Tables and chairs fill the room, which also has a stage.  Doors on the other side lead to the sanctuary.
The congregation of St. Paul's Lutheran was first organized by German immigrants in 1872.  They worshiped at rented locations until 1886, when they purchased an old church near the present location.  The church used today was built in 1907-1908.

Education has been a concern of the congregation from the church's inception. They organized their first school in 1872, and in 1890 they bought land near the church to build a schoolhouse.  The current school building was constructed in 1964.  You can read more about the history of the church and school at their website.
After walking into the sanctuary, I was very glad we had stopped!  It was more beautiful than I had expected.  I resisted the urge to try out the grand piano.

A window at the back of the church depicts Martin Luther.  Other windows in the sanctuary feature Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Jesus with the woman at the well, knocking on a door, and saving Peter while walking on water.  
The two largest windows in the sanctuary are pictured above.  The inscription on the left is Herr, Bliebe Bie Uns or "Lord, Stay With Us." (thanks Google Translate!)  This comes from Luke 24:29, when after Jesus had talked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they invited Him to stay with them.  

This verse inspired the 1847 hymn "Abide With Me," which was very popular during World War I. 

The inscription on the second window is Gestiftet Von Dem Frauenverein, which the translator seems to indicate means "Donated by the Ladies' Club."  The window shows Martha serving while Mary listens to Jesus (in the town of Bethany).
At the back of the sanctuary, there's a beautiful pipe organ.  
"Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying." --Martin Luther

"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man 
could stake his life on it a thousand times." --Martin Luther


If every wrong turn I took brought me to a church like this one, I might consider making a point of getting momentarily confused more often!

I hope it's a good place for lost souls to end up.  It wasn't bad for a lost blogger.

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47 comments:

  1. Wow nice church and typucally which I Saw in germany

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  2. Isn't it wonderful that our 'mistakes' can often be turned around and become a boon! That is a beautiful church and your photo looking up to the organ is fantastic.

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    1. I wish all mistakes would turn out so well! But if they did, I might start making mistakes intentionally, so it's probably a good thing mistakes are generally bad. :D

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  3. Hello!:) This is a most beautiful church, with lovely stained glass windows and your photos are wonderful.

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  4. That third group of photos, that one yellow on the corner. Love that one.

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  5. That's a beautiful church! Love the stained glass windows. Glad you got lost!

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  6. Very few churches around here are attached (or almost) to a school. I know of a Independent Baptist one, and one for a Seven-Day Adventist school. I think that's it.

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    1. Most of the churches and schools that I know of are separate around here too. This one seemed a bit of an exception.

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  7. Magnificent church and beautiful images.
    Fantastic stained glass windows.
    Greetings.
    Lucja

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  8. It is a beautiful church, Bethany! I love the sky, too!

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    1. Just this evening I was admiring some neat cloud formations. The Creator does a great job keeping the sky looking beautiful and interesting!

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  9. Oh, WOW! How beautiful! We love visiting old churches, too. If you ever get a chance to go to St. Augustine, FL, you will love seeing all of the old churches there. We used to love walking downtown and stopping in and sitting in them, just imagining who used to worship God there, etc. Thank you for this post...my favorite part (can you guess??) was the road to Emmaus reference! Oh, that passage of Scripture stirs me so deeply each time I think of it!

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    1. Thanks for the tip about St. Augustine. Nearly all of my travels have been west of the Mississippi. Someday I would like to check out the east.

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  10. I especially enjoyed seeing the stained glass windows and the pipe organ, and thinking about the Martin Luther quotes. Thanks for making the best of being a bit lost :)

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    1. Being lost can be stressful when one is in a hurry...but taking a couple wrong turns can actually be a pretty pleasant experience on a site-seeing trip! :)

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  11. That is a beautiful old church. I'm glad you ventured in!
    I never knew that the hymn 'Abide with me' was inspired by that section of the Bible. Very interesting!

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    1. That hymn has an interesting story: see here to read more. :)

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  12. WoW!! very beautiful and not overstated!!!

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  13. The church is very beautiful ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  14. Hi Bethany, Thank you for sharing these lovely building. The windows are breathtaking. I was church pianist during college years, so I enjoyed seeing the piano and pipe organ. It would be fun to attend services and hear the instruments. Wishing you a lovely weekend.

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    1. Awesome that you used your talents to benefit others as church pianist. Have a great week!

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  15. Beautiful, reminds me of the Lutheran Church I attended as a kid in Michigan and where I was married, there is something so special about the old churches, and you found out a lot of great info about it. Our school was on the other side of town that I attended :) it wasn't next door like this one but I think that is because our church is downtown and there was no land next to it to build on.

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    1. Sounds like you have many good memories of your church!

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  16. It is a very beautiful church. I love all those windows! Thanks for taking us on this tour!

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  17. Beautiful church. The Stained Glass windows are gorgeous and the Pipe organ is awesome.

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  18. So pretty inside! Glad you were able to go in.

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  19. i enjoy the Jesus shot, I love how they make him look so friendly. i have always enjoy his hair and shoes. i have a picture in my mind of what i enjoy seeing him as. i love seeing the pipes. i grew up in a church where i wish they would seen. ours were behind the wall. need to see in the front and center. i am happy when you join us. makes the party extra fun. thanks for that!! have a great week! ( ;

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    1. Thanks for hosting, Beth! It is awesome to see the pipes of pipe organs. I think it would have been wonderful to meet Jesus when he walked on earth, but it is even more wonderful that someday we will meet Him.

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  20. I love your shot of the organ.

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  21. What a great church to visit, I like the organ loft and the stained glass is beautiful

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  22. love the interior and the choir loft. how nice they were so welcoming.

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