Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


District conventions have always played an important role in lives of pastors, teachers and other leaders in the Lutheran Church. These days, conventions gather hundreds of people, usually at a nice hotel with all of the amenities that one could enjoy. Such was not always the case. In the very earliest days of the District Convention, the gathering was held at a selected congregation. Delegates stayed at the homes of parishioners. Meals were home cooked by the ladies of the congregation. Mrs. E.A. Heckmann, wife of Dr. E.A. Heckmann (who also served as District President from 1942-1948) wrote the following in her diary regarding the meals served at the convention held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Riesel, Texas, in 1945, at which there were 288 registered participants:

"The ladies of Riesel congregation served 215 loaves of bread, 60 dozen doughnuts, 45 pounds of sugar (which they got from the ration board), in addition to 1-2 cups of sugar from each member. Also, 25 dozen cinnamon rolls, 72 cans of peas, 48 cans of corn, 48 cans of large black plums, 45 pounds of coffee, 7 1/2 pounds of tea, 60 pounds of potato chips, 25 pounds of bologna, 12 cans of Spam, 30 pounds of cheese, plus donated sausage, boiled ham, home cooked cheese, 8 jars of mustard, 12 bottles of catsup, 30 jars of beets, 30 jars of pickles, 100 jars of green beans, 100 jars of sauerkraut, home made noodles, 100 pounds of potatoes daily, 100-125 fryers daily (for two days), 50 baking hens and dressing for one day, 100-110 pounds of beef (for meat loaf), 2800 pounds of ice, 70-80 homemade pies (served each noon), plus fruit salad or canned or fresh peaches each supper."

So it was. Remember these were the war years and items such as sugar were severely rationed. These ladies, however, took the task given them with joy and worked tirelessly to serve these pastors and teachers who had so faithfully served them. God grant us such servant hearts always.