At the LCMS Convention we had many discussions about the need for, the importance of, and the great blessing that Parochial School teachers are in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Our congregations operate 880 elementary schools which serve approximately 113,000 students. We operate more than 130 domestic and international Lutheran high schools, three international schools, and there are nearly 200 Lutheran schools operated by our partner churches worldwide. They constantly need dedicated and competent teachers.
664 names of church workers that had died over the last three years was scrolled during a very moving worship service. One of the names that hit me was Louis Eberhard of the Rocky Mountain District. Lou was a parochial school teacher and much, much, more In the summer of 1951 he accepted the Call to Peace Lutheran in Antigo, WI. At Peace he was in charge of the entire music program, organ playing, children’s choir, high school choir and adult choir. In addition, he also taught the middle grades in the day school. (One year he had 4th 5th & 6th graders in his classroom!) In 1956 he accepted the call as Principal of the school, teaching the upper grades while still being responsible for the entire music program. His joy was to put all three choirs together for special services such as Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, etc.
In 1963 Trinity Lutheran, Greeley, CO, called him as principal, teacher of 7th& 8th grades, director of music programs, church musician/organist & bible class instructor.
After serving Trinity for 14 years he accepted a call to Zion Lutheran, Brighton, CO, as principal in 1977. After 5 years at Zion, he retired as a Lutheran school teacher and administrator and became a District Representative with AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans), which he did for 5 years. In 1988 Zion was again short one teacher and Lou was persuaded to teach the 5th grade.
After that year, Lou looked forward to retirement, but was asked to become the Rocky Mountain District Promotion Director for the LCEF (Lutheran Church Extension Fund). He served in that capacity for ten years, finally retiring for good in the year 2000.
I met him when I was the promo director for LCEF in North Dakota and Lou was one of those throw backs that could do anything and when he took on a job he did it well and put his life into it. He used the fact that many churches only had one organist and if they went on vacation they needed a replacement. He would play the organ and ask to be able to talk about the LCEF.
Lou was to me an inspiration in the idea that whatever you can do for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom you should do and work hard to do it well. The world has rolled over many times since Lou was born and the prevailing attitude today seems to be that if you can jam time for church into a busy schedule of self interested nonsense you might deign to be of service somewhere.
They don’t make them like Lou anymore.