History

Peace Lutheran Church found its beginning in 1949 as a branch Sunday School, initiated by Immanuel Lutheran of Twin Falls and later sponsored by Clover Trinity Lutheran Church.

Initially, the Sunday School classes were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Dierker in Filer. When the group became too large for their home, classes were held in the American Legion Hall, followed by the LDS Church, and then in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The first regular Sunday morning worship service was held in June 1954 with the Rev. Carl Losser, Clover, serving as pastor. The Peace Mission Congregation rented the former Seventh Day Adventist Church on 5th Street, paying a rental fee of $5.00 per Sunday, until the new church was dedicated in 1965.

1963 was a year of firsts for Peace Congregation. The first congregational meeting was held on January 20, 1963 and the annual budget of $6,445.60 was approved! Looking toward the future in faith, a Building Fund was started by setting aside one-half of each special service offering and the remainder was divided among three charitable organizations. The Board of Trustees was instructed to look for possible building sites and by mid-year, voters agreed to purchase 10.41 acres from H.L. Cedarholm at $1,500 an acre for a total of $15,615.


1964 - 1965 Church Construction
In March 1964 a special meeting of the congregation was held with 32 in attendance. Voters (men only) approved a motion to move forward with the building project. After several years of renting out the prop-erty, the ground-breaking ceremony was held on October 14, 1964— the newly harvested field of mixed grain became the future home of Peace Lutheran Church. Upon the Northwest District ‘s approval, an architect was chosen and Don Neumann was hired as the general contractor at $4.00 per hour plus 1% of the total project cost estimated to be $65,000. Myrl Schroeder served as building committee chairman and Henry Westendorf was congregational chairman. The pews came from Payette, Idaho, at a cost of $3,333 made of Appalachian Red Oak with an 8” Latin Cross on the aisle end. During this time Pastor Losser accepted a call to Sherwood, Oregon, and Pastor Frey of Kimberly served as vacancy pastor for $100/month plus mileage at 8 cents per mile!



Construction of Peace Lutheran Church continued in 1964 until completion in 1965 and the dedication took place on May 23 with Pastor Losser as guest speaker.

Rev. Thomas Johnston accepted the call to Clover/Filer and was installed on August 22, 1965.

A Baldwin console organ was purchased and the colored glass windows added to the beauty of the church. The original skylights on either side of the altar area were later removed due to leaking problems.

A cornerstone was set in place with the inscription “Dedicated to the Glory of God.”

Peace Lutheran Church - A Church on its Own - 1975 - 1979During the voters’ meeting in 1975, the voters resolved to have members stay seated until ushered out! They also approved to build a parsonage for Rev. and Mrs. R. C. Muhly; however, they found a house located at 825 W. 5th in Filer for approximately $34,000. A new Gestetner duplicator was purchased to replace the aging Geha mimeograph. (Can you imagine we actually used those machines for printing??) New bulletins were used that had a picture of the church on the front. Members busied them-selves cleaning the church and sprucing up the grounds in preparation for the 10th anniversary celebra-tion which was held on October 26.

The Northwest District secretary responded to Rev. Muhly’s letter which said Peace was going to be finan-cially independent of District subsidies....the Mission Committee and the Board of Directors would com-mend you good people of Peace for the responsible action taken in assuming self-support...we would en-courage all members of Peace church to continue in the fine spirit of Christian Stewardship which is so much in evidence in your midst.

The members of Peace and other congregations responded with flood relief in dollars and goods for the victims of the Teton Flood. The Christian Stewardship of Peace was also evident as the annual Mission Goal was met, leaving the bank balance in the black with $222 to spare!


Did you know that a Building Committee was formed after Pastor Muhly suggested Peace members think about expanding its facility? Well, it’s true! In 1979 the first Building Committee meeting was held to establish a master plan to add more Sun-day School rooms and enlarge the parish hall. They consulted with Brent Thaete who was an architecture student at the University of Idaho. Members serving on this committee were Linda Aufderheide, Keith Detmer, Dean Fischer, Paul Kalbfleisch, Dorothy Maxson, Roger Newton, Judy Orthel and Grover Pettigrew, Chair. Peace members are great long-term planners!



In 1979 Peace congregation formed its own AAL (now known as Thrivent) branch. Now 32 years later, we can look back and remember the many activities done for our church and the community.



The chapel lights that are in the church now were installed in 1979 in memory of Lydia Mueller.



Peace members sponsored a Laotian refugee family, Mr. Tay, and his two daughters, Sonevilay (11) and Done Savanah (4). When they arrived at the airport, their eyes brightened with joy as they recognized old friends who had come to Idaho several months previously. They lived in a small trailer home on the Ray Lassen farm and shared meals with other Laotian families. Tay was ambitious and found work right away at Green Giant and then later at Idaho Frozen Foods. Members of Peace reached out to this family with donations of money, food, clothing, home furnishings, and medical care. The Tay family was very appreciative!



—Excerpts taken from the

40th Anniversary History of Peace compiled by Lydia Yoder and Shirley (Yoder) Hansen

Peace Lutheran Church - Continued Service to Christ 1980 - 2000


Did you know that 1980 held many important events at Peace Congregation? Rev. R. C. Muhly’s farewell service was held on Mother’s Day 1980. He was also honored for his 49 years in the ministry which began in 1928.



During his five years at Peace, the congregation grew from 110 communicant members to 234 and the annual budget climbed from $20,810 to $42,000. Rev. Muhly was quoted to have said, “After some 3,500 trips to the pulpit somewhere in the Synod, it’s still the high point of the week.”



Rev. Arthur T. Lewis served as vacancy pastor for a period of time and then the call process began. The first call was sent to Rev. E. Paul Riedel of Nampa who declined the call. A second call was sent to Rev. Gary Benedix who accepted the call and was installed July 13, 1980.



The parsonage was sold for $50,000 to the Filer High School Principal, Mr. Larry Roberts. The children’s sermonette became a part of the Sunday worship service after Pastor Benedix arrived.



Excerpts taken from:

40th Anniversary History of Peace compiled by Lydia Yoder and Shirley (Yoder) Hansen


Did you know that in 1981 Walter Mueller made a secretarial desk for Vicki Benedix and it’s still being used by the Sunday School superintendents?


— The addition to the storage shed was built on by the LLL members.

— A Valentine Dinner was held at North’s Chuck Wag-on and the attendees enjoyed entertainment by

Linda Aufderheide and Sandra Ulrich, the SOS Quartet from Clover and also the Lutz Barbershop Quartet: John, Dennis, Clinton and Mark.

— The City of Filer celebrated its 75th anniversary of its founding. Peace members joined other churches in the community worship service at the park.

— A women’s softball team led by Laura Detmer had an undefeated season in 1981.

— In 1982 Clyde Smith donated pipe and labor to in-stall a new underground water line to get more water to the pump. Ellis Fouts, Kent Lierman and Eldon Grosshans assisted.

— Linda Aufderheide was asked to join Marjorie Lierman to serve as organist.

— The 1982 church’s annual BBQ picnic was held at the fairgrounds and members were entertained by the Budweiser Clydesdale horses!!

— During the Good Friday Tenebrae Service, a new method of serving the Lord’s Supper was utilized—continuous “walk through” as we have been doing at times since then. A loaf of bread was used with the common cup.

— The Church Council was initiated. The Council’s responsibility was to coordinate the work of the three boards and to handle business between voters’ meetings.

— Excerpts taken from the

40th Anniversary History of Peace compiled by Lydia Yoder and Shirley (Yoder) Hansen



Did you know??


1984:

 Hired the first church secretary.

 Marveled at the strength of Mr. Edmond Ulrich’s 96-year-old voice as he sang “How Great Thou Art” at the confirmation dinner on June 3.



1985:

 Formed a Planning Committee to discuss a building project.



1986:

 Participated in the AAL Walk-A-Thon to raise money for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.

1987:

Adopted a “no smoking” policy within the church building.

Painted the Stricker House and made picnic tables for the Filer City Park (AAL and LLL).

Gathered recipes by LWML members, Judy Orthel typed them and the cookbook, Cooking with Peace was printed and sold.

1994:

· A bid for repair of the parish hall roof was accepted for $3,800 with a silver coating which was to last for 15 years. (Oh, aren’t we so blessed to be beyond the point of the flat roof repairs??!!)

· The congregation voted to move forward with the building project in stages, 1) roof; 2) kitchen, fireside room and restrooms; 3) change the direction of the sanctuary; 4) new parish hall, and; 5) remodel present parish hall into Sunday School rooms.

· Members of AAL helped to construct a kiosk at the Nature Conservancy’s Thousand Springs Preserve.

 

1995:

· The first Friendship Sunday was held with 37 guests present.

· The voting age of members was changed from 21 to 18.

· The congregation voted to install a complete lawn sprinkler system.

· The AAL organized a fund-raising parking project at the TF County Fair in Joyce Harding’s field north of the fairgrounds.     


 

—Excerpts taken from the

40th Anniversary History of Peace compiled by Lydia Yoder and Shirley (Yoder) Hansen