Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


It was 1922. The young man was from Wisconsin. He had attended Concordia Teacher's College in River Forest, Illinois, to follow his calling to be a Lutheran school teacher. Now, the time had come. He would receive his first call. Carefully he opened the call documents- and there it was - he would be called to Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, Copperas Cove, Texas. Where? He had never heard of Copperas Cove, Texas.

As he read the document, handwritten in the German language, he learned what his duties were to be. He would teach grades 1-7 in a one room school (in both German and English), serve as administrator, assist the pastor in youth work, direct the choir, play the organ for all worship services, be the janitor, post the hymns for all worship services, ring the church bell on Saturday night and one hour prior to services on Sunday morning, have the wood stove in church burning for services on Sunday morning as well as for the classroom on weekdays and regularly call on the parents of the children. What would his remuneration be? He would be paid $700.00 per year, as well as being provided a small house, water, wood for his stove and heater, and feed for the necessary farm animals he may have. His name was Mr. Arnold Koepsell. This wonderful man of God would serve at Copperas Cove for 19 years, then at St. Paul Lutheran in Houston, Texas, and finally at Trinity Lutheran in Austin, Texas. Here he would retire in 1969. The number of children who learned of the love of Jesus through this man of God number in the thousands. The positive affects of his tireless ministry to children, youth and adults alike, continue to this day.