The Foundations of Advent Lutheran Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Advent
was formed by nineteen people on
December 17, 1931. They decided to
form their own Lutheran parish rather than travel weekly to Greenport which, in
1931 was quite a trip.
This venture had really begun in 1929
when Mrs. Carrie Baldwin
organized a Lutheran Sunday School in her home and eventually in the top floor
of Fischer’s Hall (behind what is now
Orlowsky’s Hardware) on Pike Street.
The Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran in
Greenport, The Rev.
Charles Menge, was called as Pastor of Advent concurrently. In 1931 the people
of Advent rented a then vacant former donut shop on Hamilton Avenue (now Rt. 48) in
Mattituck, which became their sanctuary until 1944. Records indicate that
Communing membership hovered between 19 in 1931 to 25 in 1945. No wonder the
Synod did not approve a charter for Advent until November 23, 1942. When World War II hit,
maintaining their own building became harder and harder, so from 1944 until
1954 the People of God at Advent used the building of the Episcopal Church of
the Redeemer as their sanctuary, giving up the old donut shop for good.
By a tremendous leap of faith and the
personal investment of the
principle members and Church Council, in 1951 the property on which the church
building now stands was acquired. A basement was built and used for
worship. Membership grew to 87 adults
and 29 children.
A local engineer, Gordon Ahlers,
designed an “A frame” structure
that would fit over the existing foundation. Harold Reeve Construction Company
was given the contract to erect Advent’s new building. The finished sanctuary
on Legion Avenue
was dedicated on December
15, 1957 (the Third Sunday in Advent). At that time the program
listed 67 members and 23 in the church school. Pastor Arthur Olsen presided
at the dedication.
Encouraged by Pastor Olsen, in 1962
Advent called its own
Pastor, The Rev. Richard Van Wyckhouse, who was followed by young Pastor H.
William Johnson in 1963, and then by Pastor Harry Pfunke in 1967. Pastor George
Summers, began work March 1st and is Advent’s current Pastor
Throughout the history of Advent, in
the good years, in the lean
years; people gathered to hear the Word, to share the Sacraments and to engage
in ministry. Even in days that seemed dark, people were Baptized, people came
to faith, people were comforted in sickness, sorrow and death. Jesus and his
disciples never experienced worldly wealth and fame, but yet salvation has
been brought to all through them. These are the lesson we learn from the history
of the People of God at Advent
in Mattituck 1931 - 2011.
What will the church look like in the
future? The church is,
was, and will always be people – believing people, Baptized people, who are
shepherded by their Lord..