History of our Church
In the early 1920s, the area we know as Gibson was little more than farmland, woods, a few dusty roads, and the Mill Pond.
By the late twenties, W.R. Gibson had built hundreds of homes. He developed many streets and eventually built a railroad station. A sign placed in front of the station that read; “A Christian Community”. It is believed to be one of the reasons the Gibson community would be a nice birthplace for the Lutheran Church of Our Savior.
The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour was a venture of faith, for it was then that a young preacher, Reverend Reinhold H. Zinter, a Good Sheperd Luthern Church in Laurelton, New York was assigned as a missionary-at-large. The first service in the little mission was held on November 9, 1930.
In September 1932, Pastor William F. Donahue preached his first sermon in this community. The service, with five people attending, was held in one of the Gibson stores near the railroad station. The same year the place of worship was moved to a house on DuBois Avenue, which served as a church and living quarters for Pastors for seven years. On August 16, 1933, Pastor Donahue married his childhood sweetheart, Grace Steup, the daughter of a minister from Holyoke, Massachusetts.
On November 26, 1939, our first church building was dedicated to the glory of the Triune God. For fifteen and a half years that structure served us well, but finally became too small for our growing congregation and Sunday School.
On February 19, 1946, Pastor and Mrs. Donahue announced the birth of their daughter, Catherine (Cathy) Frances. On July 6, 1947, the parsonage was completed and dedicated in the presence of about 200 members of the congregation. The president of the congregation presented Donahue with the key.
On March 27, 1955, we dedicated our new House of Worship. The original building was used as a parish center for Sunday School and the congregation’s organizational activities.
Pastor William F. Donahue served as our Pastor for 45 years until his passing on February 9,1977.
At this point in our story, we come to the “Acceptance” of the call, the “Invitation” and finally the “Introduction” of a new Pastor.
In May 1977, Pastor Alan F. Steinke, his wife Marie (Penny) Ann and their three-year-old daughter Holly Elizabeth, were invited to visit us here at Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. In a letter dated May 16, 1977, Pastor Steinke accepted the call extended to him to serve as Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour.
Pastor Steinke was installed on June 26, 1977, and served as our Pastor for 30 years until his retirement on October 31, 2007.
On December 20. 2008, Reverend David Stechholz of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod spoke with Pastor Steven Roth of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Laurelton, New York concerning serving our congregation on a part-time basis. On March 1, 2009, Pastor Roth accepted the position as part-time Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. We are happy and blessed to have Pastor Roth and his wife, Allison as part of our family of faith. Pastor and Allison have a daughter, Jen; son, Matt, and daughter-in-law, Anne.
Pastor Roth served as our Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour for 8-1/2years until his retirement on September 10, 2017. Upon the retirement of Pastor Roth, we were fortunate to have interim guest ministers through August 2018 which included Reverend Alfred Thiagarajan (also known as Pastor Alfy). Effective September 1, 2018, Pastor Alfy accepted the position of our part-time Pastor through January 31, 2019. During this time, the Council extended to him the position to serve as our full-time Pastor. Effective February 1, 2019, Pastor accepted the position as full-time Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. We are blessed and happy to have Pastor Alfy, his wife, Ruth and their two daughters, Anisha and Abisha to our family of faith and look forward to his upcoming installation.
The Lord God in his goodness has blessed us with 87 years of faith at the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. With thanksgiving for the past and hope for the future, let us dedicate ourselves and our lives to the mission which God gives us.
-Anita and Linda Schult
Rev. Reinhold H. Zinter
Rev. William F. Donahue
Rev. Alan F. Steinke
Rev. Steven Roth
Rev. Alfred Thiagarajan
September 2018 — January 2019