Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


Mr. Otto Kieschnick was just an ordinary man. Born in Lee County, Texas, of parents who were Lutheran Christians, he later moved to Thorndale, Texas, then to Bishop, Texas and to Kingsville, Texas. One might wonder why this ordinary man would be featured in an article pertaining to the history of the Texas District. Well, here's why. On February 9, 1951, Otto Kieschnick, (who was affectionately known as "Grandpa Kieschnick" was honored by St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kingsville, Texas, for 25 years of faithful service as elder of the congregation. When he stepped down, he was honored with the title, "Elder Emeritus", making him an honorary elder for the remainder of his days. Now, this isn't the only reason that Otto Kieschnick is being remembered here. You see, his grandfather, Johann Kieschnick, was among the nearly 600 Wendish immigrants who came to Texas from Germany in 1854 and settled in Serbin, Texas. Johann Kieschnick, too, was a leader in his congregation. That's not all, however, regarding Otto Kieschnick. You see, his great-grandson was one of many Kieschnicks to enter full time ministry. . .and this particular great-grandson went on to become the 14th president of the Texas District, and ultimately went on to become the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. His name is Dr. Gerald Kieschnick. The Kieschnick family has apparently, through the years, taken to heart the admonition of the Psalmist ". . .But, tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderous works that He has done". (Ps. 78:4b)