Kent Memorial Lutheran Church 65th Anniversary Celebration
September 25, 2016
Sixty-five Years of History for
Kent Memorial Lutheran Church
The congregation began in 1951 as a mission church of the Kansas Synod of
The United Lutheran Church. Our church-wide body, The United
Lutheran Church in America, became the Lutheran Church in America through a
merger in 1962, then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through
another merger in 1988. As a part of the ELCA, Kent Memorial is included in
the Central States Synod, an organization of 180 congregations in Missouri
50th Anniversary Celebration brochure: “On February 10, 1949, Harry and
Dorothy Zimmerman along with their children, Carl, Kent and Gilbert, were
occupying for the first night their new home in the Hurricane Deck area of
the Lake of the Ozarks. During the night, a tragic fire completely destroyed
the home. In this catastrophe, twelve-year-old Kent lost his life and Mr.
Zimmerman suffered severe burns.
same time, an increasing number of permanent residents of the area saw the
need for a House of Worship for themselves and the thousands of vacationers
who came to this region each year. In 1950, The Synod of Kansas and Adjacent
States of the United Lutheran Church in America showed an interest in this
project and committed a gift of $3,500. People in the community committed an
additional amount of $4,000 in pledges and labor.
A site for
the church was needed. The Zimmerman family gave an initial three acres
which included the place where their home had burned. It was decided to name
this church in memory of Kent Zimmerman, and as a place to proclaim the
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ who brought life and immortality to light.
Truly a church has risen out of the ashes to the Glory of God.
broken for the new church in December 1950. On April 22, 1951, the
cornerstone was laid. Earlier, on Easter, March 25, 1951, the first service
of public worship was held in the Oak Hill School. Pastor John Shirck, Cole
Camp, assisted Kent Memorial as Mission Developer. Pastor Clarence Hansen
arrived in November to be the first pastor of Kent Memorial. The date for
organization was December 16, 1951, with 59 adults and a total baptized
membership of 78 signing the charter.
building was dedicated on April 26, 1952. It was built of native stone,
pine, cedar, and native oak. It stands like a lovely jewel in an
incomparable setting. When it was finished, a total indebtedness of $10,000
was all that remained.
the years, the congregation was blessed and grew in number. This called for
some changes. In 1980, the Fellowship Hall was added and the worship area
was enlarged. Later remodeling of the worship area was completed during the
1980’s. Along the way, stained glass windows were added and new windows
installed facing the lake.
the Ireland Memorial Outdoor Chapel was added, which houses the early
service during the summer months. It faces the lake in a most inspiring
setting with a tree being used to form the cross. This area has already been
recent addition was the enlarging of the kitchen, completed in year 2000. We
Lutherans have to eat! A 1/8th
mile paved walking trail has also been added.”
Much has happened at Kent Memorial since our 50th Anniversary celebration.
In true Lutheran tradition, music continues to be a large part of the
worship life. Vocal and Hand Bell choirs, soloists and instrumentalists,
continue to enhance our worship and provide opportunities for service to our
church. The “CIA” evolved into the Kent Krew, and we have graduated many
fine young women and men from our youth program.
Richard “Hair” Brown, who died in 2014, left us a legacy of more than 10,000
handmade crosses given to visitors and campers over many years.
The women of Kent are active through the Women of the ELCA (WELCA) chapter,
holding annual Rummage Sales, Soup & Chili Luncheons, Cookie/Candy Sales,
Christmas Bazaars, and holding multiple fundraisers that benefit Kent, the
wider church and the community. Bible study for both men and women continues
to meet weekly. Our Social Ministry group has expanded their work in the
community, and the Evangelism Committee reaches out to involve both members
and friends alike.
members volunteer at area schools, mentoring and reading to children,
helping with back-to-school fairs, filling Buddy Packs with food that will
last a family with elementary school-age students through the weekend or,
during the summer, for an entire a month. we gather dental kits for the
annual Festival of Sharing, make quilts for Lutheran World Relief and serve
meals at the senior center. We ring the bells for the Salvation Army at
Christmas time and we have ensured children from the Show Me Home and
Citizens Against Domestic Violence shelter have gifts at Christmas. We lead
community worship services, support local food banks and make stuffed
animals and infant hats and booties for Lake Regional Hospital.
Klowns continue to share Jesus with the community at large through balloons,
face painting and laughter. Every Halloween, we dress up, decorate our cars
and trucks, and hold “Trunk or Treat” in the church parking lot, giving
upwards of 300 area children a safe place to trick-or-treat. Blood drives,
thanksgiving meals, disaster relief… The work of God is done every day at
history of Kent Memorial Lutheran Church continues to be written. We trust
that we will remain faithful to our mission and calling:
Hearing God’s Call & Responding in Love.
We Share Jesus With All!
+ + + + + + +
who have served Kent Memorial under regular call:
J. Hansen November
1, 1951 - June 30, 1953
December 1, 1953 - November 15, 1966
Johnson, Jr. March 1, 1967 -
September 23, 1973
April 15, 1974 - July 6, 1981
November 15, 1981 - July 1, 1984
January 1, 1985 - May 31, 2000
May 1, 2001 - June 30, 2006
February 18, 2007 - December 31, 2017
Highlights of Kent Memorial’s History
Zimmerman dies in a home fire trying to save his little brother.
1950 Ground is broken in December for Kent Memorial.
1951 First service held on Easter Sunday, March 25, at the Oak Hill School.
Laying of Cornerstone on April 22.
Pastor Clarence Hansen arrives in November as Mission Developer.
Basement now used for services.
Service of Organization held on December 16.
Memorial dedicated on April 27.
of the Church organized.
Pastor Clarence Hansen leaves in June and Pastor Raymond Johnson arrives in
December and served 13 years.
The parsonage is finished.
Celebrate our 10th
A mission church in Camdenton was started. [Our Saviors Lutheran]
on Kent Memorial is liquidated.
Lutheran Church of America is formed through mergers. Kent becomes part of
Central States Synod.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Camdenton was built.
a new constitution.
Pastor Raymond Johnson observes his 25th
Anniversary in Christian ministry and
resigns as pastor of Kent Memorial, leaving in November.
Pastor Herb Johnson arrives in March to begin his ministry at Kent.
Community Easter Pageant “He
begins at Kent.
addition is added to the parsonage.
Celebrate our 20th
Additional land purchased from the Zimmermans.
Additional land between Old Highway 5 and the present Highway 5 is purchased
the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Pastor Herb Johnson leaves in September.
Pastor J. Glen Sandquist begins his ministry at Kent in April.
Groundbreaking ceremony for new addition. They called it a “multipurpose”
now call it the Fellowship Hall.
Fellowship Hall addition completed and dedicated.
Pastor J. Glen Sandquist leaves in July. Pastor Richard Dunning begins his
Kent in November.
Pastor Richard Dunning leaves Kent in July.
Pastor Jim Trutwin is installed as pastor of Kent in January.
Communion rail is approved.
“Sinking of the Church Mortgage” in the Lake is celebrated.
Renovation of the sanctuary is approved.
Completed renovation, new paint, carpeting, etc.
New Organ purchased and a platform built for it.
siding is put on the parsonage and new roof on the parsonage and Fellowship
by the Kent men.
1993 The Ireland Outdoor Chapel is built.
1994 Renovation of the basement area is completed.
Kent Klowns started.
1995 Garagnani Memorial Garden is dedicated.
1999 Engelstad Walking Trail is dedicated in memory of Orlyn Engelstad.
New playground is built by the family of Steve and Linda Latham and
memory of their son, Nathan Kraviec.
The kitchen is remodeled and expanded, including new appliances, cabinets,
through for serving, and a
new landing and steps to the outside Garagnani Garden and
2000 Pastor Jim Trutwin and family leaves to accept another call to Trinity Lutheran Church
in Golden, Illinois.
2001 Pastor Eugene
Moll begins as pastor of Kent in May.
A Building Committee is named for Kent.
We celebrate our 50th
Anniversary with monthly emphases and with retiring Bishop
Charles Maahs beginning the celebrations and new Bishop Gerald Mansholt completing
2002 Cruise Worship began in
2004 Construction begins on
new sanctuary addition.
2005 New sanctuary and altar
are dedicated on April 24.
2006 Pastor Eugene Moll
retires in June.
Pastor Keith Lingwall serves Kent Memorial as an Interim Pastor.
The Carol and Gene Gerschefske Memorial Columbarium is added inthe Garagnani
Kid’s Klub was started in the fall by Diane & Jim Ziehl.
2007 Pastor David R. Beese is
installed on February 18.
Music Coordinator Jan Ellis
conceptualizes a concert program featuring talent from Kent
Afternoon With the Classics [Evening With the Classics]
gave their first
performance on June 23. The
tenth annual concert will be performed in 2017.
2009 Participated in Partnership
for a Missional Church (PMC) process with 14 other
congregations in the St.
2010 Renew, Revive & Rekindle was
established to introduce new members of Kent and
renew interest in our
Easter Garden established to celebrate Easter morning.
Congregational vote to remain affiliated with the ELCA.
Rededication of Kent’s Mission Statement.
On Reformation Sunday, October 31, new Stained Glass Windows, installed on
side of the sanctuary, were dedicated, along with new communion ware and the stone
into the columbarium garden.
Kevin Gerschefske, Sara Peterson and the family of
for their contributions to these memorials.
2011 Stewart-McFaden scholarship
fund established to assist graduating high school seniors
headed for higher education. First scholarship awarded to Zoe Bibbes.
Kent Constitution was revised to match the ELCA model constitution.
Building loan was refinanced. Loan amount was $300,000.00.
2012 Started new mission with
Hurricane Deck Elementary School and South School.
Outdoor worship area refurbished.
2013 Participate in first “God’s
Work. Our Hands.”, the ELCA’s dedicated day of service.
2014 Improvements to outside
worship area, including a shelter for the keyboard platform, a
memorial gift from the family of Ken Mueller.
2015 Grounds improved with new
rock beds, trees replaced, trimmed and removed so the
lake can be seen during outdoor worship.
2016 Mini Barn Quilt Trail created
along the Engelstad walking trail.
New carpet was installed in Fellowship Hall.
Mortgage paid in full on new sanctuary and expansion of the fellowship hall.
Pastor David Beese retired on December 31 after more than forty years in the
ministry, the last eleven of which were spent here at Kent.
Pastor Carl R. Gauck joined Kent Memorial on January 7 as our Transitional
50th annual performance of the Easter Pageant “He Is Risen!” was
held on Easter
Sunday, April 19, 2018
[As printed in the Sunday Bulletin,
September 25, 2016]
Dear Members and Friends of Kent Memorial,
On our 65th
Anniversary as a congregation we think about our church and community, our
past, present and future.
So on this Anniversary weekend we give thanks for those who first organized
this congregation and who first built a place of worship here on this site.
We give thanks how for 65 years the Scriptures have indeed been read and the
Gospel proclaimed. We give thanks for this place where the risen Christ is
alive and has indeed stood among us and spoken to his people. And of course
we can never forget Harry and Dorothy Zimmerman and their original gift of
land to make this church possible. As they grieved the loss of their son,
Kent, in the fire of their home on this site back in 1949 they thought of
the on-going work of the Lord. From these ashes a Church was born.
We give thanks for the generations who have worshipped here, and heard the
gospel proclaimed not only in word but in deed. I think about all Kent’s
members, past and present, who have witnessed to Christ’s love in the
community we serve and beyond. You indeed are a congregation focused on
helping people in need.
As we continue to work together into the future, supporting one another,
ministry will continue to happen in our part of the kingdom here at the Lake
as we lift high the cross and serve Christ through our gifts of time,
talents and treasures. What a delight it is to serve Christ in this place
we call Kent Memorial.
I close with the words and encouragement of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:58:
“Therefore, my beloved brothers and sister, be steadfast, immovable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is
not in vain.”
Pastor Dave and
Anniversary – Golden Jubilee
Anniversary Jubilee Church service bulletin & Banquet Program.
of the Lake of the Ozarks -1996
A-J and Packet Pages 1-27, with descriptive tabl of contents in each.
Small Catechism by Martin Luther in contemporary English, with Lutheran Book
of Worship texts.
currently in use:
Book of Worship
His Praise (cover, contents page and general index only); most often used at
Anniversary Cookbook with autographs of contributors.
Annual Report of Congregation.
Moll’s Presentation of Paraments with Narration.
sketch of annual Easter Pageant held on the grounds of Kent Memorial.
Committee items of greeting to first-time visitors.
Event Sunday Bulletins (2001 – 2002).
blessings and/or memories by congregation members.
of thank you letter sent to Kidwell-Garber Funeral Home for donating the
time capsule container to Kent Memorial.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
photograph of Harry & Dorothy Zimmerman
of Harry Zimmerman’s December 1993 recollections.
approved constitution of the Lutheran Church in America (1962). Amendments
approved in 1964.
Bylaws (revised 02/14/93).
Dedication Booklet (April 27, 1952).
20th Anniversary Banquet Program (April 17, 1971).
of Service for Laying Cornerstone (April 22, 1951).
25th Anniversary “Kent Challenger” Newsletter issue (October
40th Anniversary Banquet Program (April, 28 1951).
40th Anniversary Church Service Bulletin and Scripture insert.
Table of Contents
Packet Pages 1-27
of hand-carved engraving by Mrs. Clarence (Lois) Hansen, wife of the first
Pastor of Kent Memorial.
and white postcard of church upon completion, color postcard of church after
completion with view of the Lake of the Ozarks inset.
view of church with new roof (no steeple). Original wooden steeple destroyed
by woodpeckers. Photograph of church courtyard sign (erected 1984). Color
photograph of State Highway 5 sign (built 1971). Engelstad walking trail
steeple newspaper article with two color photographs (dedicated 09/11/94).
postcard of original sanctuary with cedar pews (black hymnals), color
photograph of sanctuary after 1988 renovation and color photograph of
fiberglass nativity figures purchased by WELCA in late 1980s.
Christmas card of original sanctuary (red hymnals), 1957 black and white
photograph of chancel, color photograph of chancel after 1979-1980 expansion
& color photograph of sanctuary after 1979-1980 expansion (green hymnals).
insert of Worship dedicated July 1998. Resurrection Window bulletin insert
with color picture (1979).
insert with color photograph of 5 stained windows (dedicated October 16,
Use Policy, note card picturing water color painting of Ireland Outdoor
Chapel and color photograph of Ireland Outdoor Chapel (built 1993).
photograph of Garagnani Memorial Garden (dedicated July 25, 1997) and color
photograph of Nathan Kraviec Memorial Playground (dedicated Memorial Day
for Jubilee” lyrics and music score (signature song for year-long
(2001-2002) Golden Jubilee Celebration.
picture of bell choir (1988); third octave of handbells dedicated on All
Saints Day 1977; color picture of 1988 adult choir, color photograph of 1996
adult choir and color photograph of Kent Combo.
of December 16, 2001 Sunday School Christmas program.
photographs of Sunday School children Christmas program.
tops of communion celebrant’s host and communicant’s wafers.
Women of the Church yearbook, 1972 Lutheran Church Women yearbook and L.C.W.
Constitution and Bylaws.
sticker of WELCA logo, color photograph of WELCA’s “Red and Purple” meeting
day, color photograph 1990 WELCA May Luncheon (Fiesta, Fiesta) and WELCA’s
2001 May Luncheon with insert (Famous People from Missouri).
Bylaws and 2002-2003 directory.
explanation of the WELCA symbol with color photograph of banner made in
of minutes of June 24, 2001 special congregational meeting.
of Long Range Task Force evaluation and recommendations to the congregation
on June 24, 2001.
of minutes of congregational meeting (November 11, 2001).
of approved 2002 budget.
of minutes of February 10, 2002 congregational meeting.
black & white photograph of Pastor & Mrs. Raymond Johnson; color photograph
of Kent’s “Holy Rollers” bowling league (1988-1989); color photograph of
Caroling Family (department store mannequins) by courtyard church sign
(1984); color photograph of expanded kitchen (1999); color picture of Lena
Rice’s 100th birthday party (hot air balloon ride) and gold
Harry & Dorothy Zimmerman
Clarence Hansen, Pastor 1951-1953
Pastor Herb and Nancy Johnson
Reflections from The Johnson’s
served Kent Memorial from March 1967 to October 1973.
These were years of rapid growth in our community and our
church. By 1969 we began to expand to meet present and future
needs. An addition to the parsonage provided a dining room,
another bedroom and bath, plus a double garage.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Zimmerman were present and we
negotiated the purchase of their lot north of the church. Also,
a permanent Nativity Scene was built. Then we purchased the
property east of the church for a parking lot, new church sign,
and the Easter
additional 7:00 a.m. Sunday Service was added during the summer
as well as a once a month Mid-Week Communion Service for our
members who had Sunday work obligations.
These were exciting years as our church grew at the same pace as
the community. The parsonage family with two girls also grew
with the birth of our son in 1968.
With kindest personal regards on your 50th
Pastor Herb and Nancy Johnson
T.S.S.B.S. – 1974 – 1981
(The Sandquists’ Sunrise Beach Saga)
Greetings to all of you, “survivors” of that
era, and all who have been called by the Spirit to become
Christians active in love in and through Kent Memorial
Lutheran Church since that time.
For us, as a family, there are many
highlights and some low-lights during that period of 7 plus
years. That pastorate marked my longest congregational
ministry in the churches I served; two before Kent and two
after and in between, the 7 ½ years ministry as staff member
of the Texas-Louisiana Synod, LCA. Please note our ministry
at Kent was the longest parish ministry to date, as I have
now served 6 plus years as visitation pastor for St.
Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas.
From the date of March 7, 1974, when Bob and
Elva Buelick met Sharlene and me at the Springfield Airport
and the following opportunities for visiting with the Church
Council and membership, through the delightful Farewell
Dinner and Program at Millstone Lodge on July 12, 1981, our
family was richly blessed to have been partners in ministry
during those days of ‘yesteryear’.
Now, some highlights for us as a family
during that time: Janice, 2nd
grade, and Jennifer, 4th
grade, enrolled at Hurricane Deck School on April 16, 1974;
and Jeff, as a 7th
grader, at Camdenton Junior High. Johanna returned to Austin
for 6 weeks to complete her sophomore year; then enrolled at
Camdenton High School in September 1974. Both Johanna and
Jeff graduated from Camdenton High and both attended and
graduated from Central Missouri State University,
Sharlene served as an Elementary Music
Instructor at Hurricane Deck, Osage Beach and then at
Some Parish Ministry Highlights –
As the Evangelist, St. John, writes in his
gospel, slightly paraphrased, “If every event of these 7-1/4
years were written down, I suppose the world itself could
not contain the books that would be written.
The shared ministry with the Sunrise Beach
and Laurie churches was very special, noting here only the
annual Vacation Bible School held at Hurricane Deck School,
the youth roller-skating events, the development of
Cochurmin Homes, the weekly meetings with the other clergy,
and the combined Holy Week and Thanksgiving services.
In the wider relationship with the Lake of
the Ozarks Ministerial Alliance, the highlight for me and
many of the members, mostly youth, was the Vesper Cruises on
the Tom Sawyer, docked at Bagnell Dam.
Within our own Kent ministry, the Wednesday
Recreation Nights throughout the summer were exciting,
wholesome times that were usually followed by the short walk
to Grandma Lillie Root’s Ice Cream Parlor. Another ministry
with youth was the Confirmation Camps at Tomah Shinga,
Kansas, for 5 of the 7 years of my pastorate. On one return,
with 7 of us in the LTD station wagon, as we drove up to the
toll plaza on I-70 in Kansas City, the attendant was
surprised by being greeted with a rousing camp song. (I had
to pay the toll anyway.)
Perhaps the youth ministry that touched the
majority of people was the Children’s Choir/ Sunday School
Musicals, e.g. “100% Chance of Rain” and “Cool in the
Furnace.” One of the special aspects of this was the
children’s work on constructing and painting the sets.
Several highlights and some low lights were
the conscientious work, over many months of study and
financial planning that eventuated in the frosty, but
festive, Groundbreaking Ceremony on Sunday, March 4, 1979,
where the entire membership and friends present formed a
living outline, of the soon to be constructed new building,
as council members took turns attempting to break the frozen
ground with the ceremonial shovel. However, all in
attendance were warmed by and feted to a delicious pot luck
dinner planned by the women.
One of the sadness’s of this period of growth
and change at Kent, was the difficulty a few members
experienced with the building program, causing a small
number of them to transfer to other congregations. During
this difficult time, I was reminded of the speech given by
the late Dr. John Ogilvie, entitled, “Nothing is Constant
but Change Itself.” This sometimes stressful time of 2 ½
years culminated in the festive Celebration of Church
Blessing on Sunday, April 27, 1980, with a noon picnic
following worship prior to the Church Blessing and Open
House at 2:30 pm.
Concluding Comments –
In conclusion, some brief family notes. As of
May 1, 2002, Sharlene and I have now resided in Lago Vista,
Texas, almost 9 years. She serves as a Stephen Ministry
Leader at Peace Lutheran Church, Austin, where we are
members. Sharlene also serves as Organist/Choir Director at
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Lago Vista and
accompanist for the Hill Country Singers, a 50 member
volunteer choral group. As noted earlier, I serve as
Visitation Pastor at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin,
and also serve on various committees/boards at Peace
Lutheran. Our daughter, Johanna, and husband, Pastor Jim
Erdman and their four children, live in Lake St. Louis,
Missouri, where Jim serves at Lord of Life Lutheran Church
and Johanna teaches elementary music in a neighboring school
district. Son, Jeff, and family (two daughters) live in
Rolla, Missouri, where he is the high school vocal music
director. Daughter, Jennifer and husband, Alan, and two
children, live in Bixby (Tulsa), Oklahoma, where both are
with State Farm. Daughter, Janice and husband, Tim, are both
veterinarians living in Stone Mountain, Georgia, with their
As is evident in these “jottings”, life does
go on, serene, stormy, joyous, sad, exciting, calm, but
moving on in the days God gives us and the opportunities we
share in that company of Easter People, who live with
gratitude to God in the shared ministry of the glorious
Gospel of the Lord Jesus. May all of us rejoice in God’s
gifts as we celebrate the Golden Anniversary of one of our
Lord’s ministry centers, Kent Memorial Lutheran Church,
Sunrise Beach, Missouri.
To God be the Glory,
Pastor J. Glen Sandquist
A Letter From The Dunnings
Dear Members of Kent Memorial:
Esther and I are sorry that we are unable
to be with you on this very special occasion, but we do
send you our congratulations, best wishes and prayers as
you celebrate your 50th
anniversary. An anniversary celebration is a joyous
occasion for a congregation. Enjoy!
I have been asked to write about my years
at Kent. Perhaps some background as to how we got there
might be helpful. After being ordained in 1958, my first
parish was a small rural congregation in Lancaster,
Kansas. About 1960 or 61 there was a district ladies
meeting at Kent and I decided to take four
ladies from my parish. I fell in love
with the little native stone church that overlooked the
Lake of the Ozarks. Ultimately I wound up in northern
Indiana. After seventeen years our children had flown
the nest and we began to think about moving back closer
to our Midwestern roots. I called Bishop Roger Gieschen
and indicated my interest in Kent. As it so happened, it
became available shortly thereafter. One thing led to
another and in the fall of 1981 we arrived on the scene.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that
there were problems. A recent building program had
caused some hard feelings and division in the parish.
The Bishop had indicated there was “some residual
bitterness” due to the building program. After being
there a while, I told him that calling it “residual
bitterness” was like calling Attila the Hun
“antisocial”. It soon became evident to me that if ever
there was a situation that called for an interim
ministry, this was it. With that in mind, we set about
to hopefully heal some of the wounds and bring the
congregation together again. It wasn’t easy but we were
determined to do the best we could. Eventually things
began to improve and progress was being made. Both
attendance and membership began to increase.
We enjoyed our ministry and the people at
Kent, and do have some fond memories of our time there.
I remember that for the first few weeks Tom Porter kept
referring to Esther as Ethel until Marge finally told
him, “No Tom, its Esther, like in the Bible”. Tom said,
“Oh, Queen Esther”, and from that time on she was known
as “Queen Esther”.
I also remember sitting in my office one
day and hearing the sound of bells. I didn’t even know
they had a bell choir. I went over to the parsonage and
brought Esther back with me. We sat and listened to them
rehearse. Eventually Esther became a part of the choir
and I would kid her about being “Esther one note” since
she had no previous instrumental experience.
Speaking of the parsonage, I will never
forget the problem we had with the furnace. For some
reason when the gas turned on the pilot light would not
ignite it for a short while and when it did ignite, it
did so with a very loud “Bang!” I reported it to the
council and they didn’t seem to be too concerned and no
action was taken at that time. That is until one evening
the council was meeting at the parsonage when the
furnace did its thing. Needless to say, a new furnace
was installed soon thereafter.
In 1983 the members of the parish had a
surprise party for me on the occasion of the 25th
anniversary of my ordination. They invited a number of
old friends and former church members from my former
parishes. Esther conspired with Jan Ellis to put
together a scrapbook and the program was a sort of “This
is Your Life, Richard Dunning”. I still have that
scrapbook and dig it out occasionally to renew fond
memories, not only of my time at Kent, but my life up
until that time. I shall always treasure it.
Well, I was asked to write a little bit
about our time at Kent and not publish a book, but that
is somewhat like asking a preacher to say “a few words”.
There are other things I could write about concerning
our time at Kent, but suffice it to say that we did have
some good times there, met some wonderful people who
were the backbone of the parish, and hopefully we were
able to do some good during our tenure there.
As I stated earlier, we felt that the
ministry there would be an interim one, a sort of buffer
between what was and what would come. We honestly felt
that now another pastor could come in and take the
parish in a new direction and we feel that is what
happened. It certainly was not an easy decision to make,
but as things began to improve and the spirit of the
congregation became more and more positive, we felt it
was time to move on and let another assume the
leadership. And even though it was a difficult thing to
do at the time, I feel we were right in our assessment
of the situation. According to the church newsletter and
Christmas cards we receive, things seem to be going well
at Kent, and Esther and I could not be happier for you
and pray that things will continue on course. You now
have a new pastor to lead you into the future and I am
confident that together you will continue to do good
things in the name of the Lord Jesus. Hopefully this
celebration of your 50th
anniversary will serve as a sort of launching platform
to inspire you to do even more in His name.
Maybe some day we will get back down that
way again. We would like to see your new outdoor worship
area and renew some old friendships as well. I have been
retired for almost four years now and do supply work in
the area for vacationing pastors and for parishes that
are without a pastor. Who knows, perhaps some day things
will work out and I could supply for Pastor Moll when he
goes on vacation.
Again, congratulations to all of you on
this special occasion and may God bless you and your
ministry at Kent Memorial. We think of you quite often
and rest assured that we will be thinking of you
especially on April 28th.
Have a wonderful celebration. We wish we could be there.
With love and prayers
Richard and Esther Dunning
“More Gifts To Come”
been asked to write some “brief comments” about my
years at Kent Memorial for this 50th anniversary
booklet. But I’m wondering how brief I can be about
fifteen and a half very interesting years in Sunrise
Beach? And it’s difficult to describe in a few words
the wonderful people Mary, Daniel and I came to know
and love during those years.
now been a year and a half since our move, but we
still feel like the Lake of the Ozarks is home to
us. We continue to miss friends at the lake and the
unique quality of lake life. Daniel was four when we
moved to Sunrise Beach January 2, 1985. He
would graduate from high school and be in college
several years before Mary and I moved to Golden
will always be thankful for the wonderful church
family we had in Kent Memorial.
My tenure as Pastor of Kent Memorial had some
stormy times, but there were many, many more sunny, summery days. Early on,
I remember the Sink the
Mortgage drive to pay off
the building loan.
Pastor Jim & Mary Trutwin
I will always remember the
Thanksgiving Dinners in our home that ended with hundreds being served a Thanksgiving
meal at the new Senior Center. There were the church softball and bowling leagues. Who can
forget the May Day Luncheons, or when an idea turned into Kent’s wonderful clown
ministry. I remember
young people born, baptized and confirmed. There were the Pastors in the
area who became my friends. There was the dream . had that someday a tree might become
a cross for an outdoor worship area, and it did. There were the many gorgeous sunsets
overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks.
I will never forget the many wonderful worship times and
opportunities to do Word and Sacrament ministry. There were those wonderful Saints
of God, baptized into Christ Jesus, who went to be with the Lord during those years.
I remember a sleepy
highway that became a busy
one, 15 years later. And there were dreams to build
a new church that somehow never caught on—yet.
These are but a few of the memories from our years
at Kent. There are many more that come to mindQ but perhaps more than anything
else, I remember
welcoming many new members
over the years. Kent Memorial’s face changed often
as new people joined the
church, and .’m sure it will continue to change. For some, so many new members seemed
I always felt that new
people were like Christmas presents.
It was so exciting to see what new gifts God would
send us with each group of new members.
I pray that you will
always celebrate the gifts of each and of every
human being as you seek to
live as members of the Body of Christ at Kent
Memorial Lutheran Church. As you celebrate and remember the past 50 years of
Kent Memorial’s history, realize that this is only the beginning. God has so much more
wrapped up for us and ready for us to open – when the time is right.
our home to your home, may God be with you ‘til we
meet again. And may God’s
richest blessings be with you and your loved ones.
Pastor Jim, Mary & Daniel Trutwin
From the 50th Anniversary
From Pastor Gene & Gladys
Fifty years of history as Kent
Memorial! What a joyous occasion to pause and celebrate! We extend a
gracious welcome to all of you as you come to celebrate with us
today. Many of you are
members. Some of you are returning from other
places. Some of you
are new to Kent. Welcome to all of you!
Having the privilege of sharing
this last year with the congregation [2001-2002], I
know what excitement there was as we celebrated the various events, marking things like
the beginning of the
building in April of 1951, the emphases on
Sunday, Bible Camping Day, Old Time Gospel Day,
Thanksgiving Memories, the 50th Anniversary of the actual organization on
December 16, 1951, Winter Fun and Who’s Coming
To Dinner Day, Time Flies Day with the naming of
in the Time Capsule,
the dedicating of the
quilts, and now the grand finale which coincides
with the 50th Anniversary of the dedication of the original church
building. Truly, this has been a memorable year.
Of course, none of this history
would happen without the guidance and grace of
God. It is this which holds us together as a
people. And, it is this same guidance and grace
that will propel us
forward into the next 50 years of life.
We can never celebrate without
remembering Harry and Dorothy Zimmerman and
their original gift of
land to make this church possible. And we always
shed a tear for them as we remember the fire of their home on
this site in which their son, Kent, lost his
life. From these
ashes a church was born.
May Kent Memorial remain as a
place for people to gather and to worship their
God, and a place from
which mission and ministry can happen.
Blessings to each of you.
Eugene A. Moll, Pastor