C. Frederick Stoerker

M, #115, b. 20 September 1917, d. 19 August 2003
1st cousin 1 time removed of Sheila Sue Altenbernd
Father*Frederick Stoerker b. 5 October 1889, d. 1 November 1958
Mother*Hildagarde E Becker b. 4 May 1889, d. 24 June 1981
     C. was born in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USAG, on 20 September 1917.1,2 He was the son of Frederick Stoerker and Hildagarde E Becker.

     Photo of Standing: Flora and Hilda Stoerker and Frieda Mohr. Seated: Alma, C.Fred, and Julia Stoerker circa 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)3

Standing: Flora and Hilda Stoerker and Frieda Mohr.
Seated: Alma, C.Fred, and Julia Stoerker

     Photo of C. Frederick (#115) and Josephine (#106) Stoerker circa 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers(#132.)

C. Frederick and Josephine Stoerker

     His common name was Fred.

     Photo of C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, May 1918 in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, May 1918
C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker -- May 1918

     Photo of ?, C. Frederick, Fred, and Billie Stoerker in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

?, C. Frederick, Fred, and Billie Stoerker -- May 1918

     Photo of C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker on 20 June 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, June 20, 1918

     Photo of Hilda, Flora and C. Frederick Stoerker on 20 June 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Flora and C. Frederick Stoerker on 20 June 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Hilda and C. Frederick Stoerker and Flora Altenbernd on 20 June 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#176.)2

Hilda and C. Frederick Stoerker and Flora Altenbernd

     Photo of C Fred Stoerker (#115) circa 1919. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)

C Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker
Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker

     Photo of Flora and C. Frederick Stoerker on 18 June 1920. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo of Hilda Stoerker, Flora Stoerker, Will Altenbernd, Wilhelmine Stoerker, Alma Stoerker
on ground: Frederick and Eleanor Stoerker. Unknown who is being held. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Hilda Stoerker, Flora Stoerker, Will Altenbernd, Wilhelmine Stoerker, Alma Stoerker
on ground: Frederick and Eleanor Stoerker
unknown who is being held

     Photo. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Eleanor and C. Frederick Stoerker.

Eleanor and C. Frederick Stoerker

     Photo of Hilda Stoerker, Flora Stoerker, Will Altenbernd, Wilhelmine Stoerker, Alma Stoerker
On Ground -- Frederick and Eleanor Stoerker circa 27 May 1927. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)2

Hilda Stoerker, Flora Stoerker, Will Altenbernd, Wilhelmine Stoerker, Alma Stoerker
On Ground -- Frederick and Eleanor Stoerker

     The following item appeared Warrenton Banner, Warrenton, Missouri, USA, on 19 September 1930
Foristell and Community by Mrs. Etta Schemmer
Rev. Adolph Stoerker of Cincinnati, Ohio, and his mother and sister, Julia Stoerker, of St. Charles, accompanied by his aunt, Mrs. H.H> Schaper of this place, motored from Wright City last Wednesday to Boonville and visited Mrs. Stoerker's son, Rev. Fred Stoerker. Later in the day they drove to Lawrence, Kans., and visited Rev. Stoerker's sister, making the return trop to Wright City Friday.

NOTE: The sister in Lawrence is Flora Altenbernd.4
Warrenton Banner -- September 19, 1930

     C. Frederick Stoerker was a minister.
     Fred went to college in Baldwin, Kansas. In 1942 he was living in Hartsburg, Missouri. He later moved to Columbia, Missouri.

Fred and Mildred didn't have any children. Fred started out as a minister and later became a professor of political science at City College of New York.

In 1952, Fred received an honorary degree of doctor of divinity from Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri.

In 1984 he retired and moved to Claremont, California.

According to John Altenbernd, Fred is the genius in the family and Mildred ranks very close to him.

As of December 1991, Fred and Mildred were living at 567 Mayflower Road, Claremont, California 91711. Fred does some preaching at Claremont United Church of Christ. Fred and Mildred both work at Pilgrim Place.

     C. Frederick Stoerker married Mildred Booth, circa April 1942.5
     C. Frederick Stoerker was employed as a pastor in 1947 at Evangelical Church, Columbia City, Missouri, USA.6
     They resided at 311 Hitt, Columbia City, Missouri, USA, in 1947.6
     They resided 311 Hitt Street, Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, USA, in September 1952.7
     Mildred and C. traveled from Le Havre, France, to New York, New York, USA aboard the ship M/S Anna Salen from 4 September 1952 to 13 September 1952.7

     Photo. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Eleanor Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker, John Altenbernd, ?,?, Mildred and C.F. Stoerker.

Eleanor Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker, John Altenbernd, ?,?, Mildred and C.F. Stoerker

ME by John Altenbernd

Preaching for Uncle Fred

     Uncle Fred Stoerker invited me to preach in his pulpit at Zion Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Sunday before my ordination. He would be the one ordaining me the following Sunday evening at St. Paul's Church in Eudora, and he said he wanted the privilege of introducing me to his congregation. Needless to say, I was flattered. This would be Sunday, June 20.

     Mom and I drove to St. Joseph on Saturday. Uncle Fred did things up in style. He put my name on the church's bulletin board along with the title of the sermon, "Our Father Comes to Meet Us." That was an old sermon I had used as a student pastor in Berger earlier on, but it was Uncle Fred himself who suggested my using an old one. "An old one does best when you're in a new place for the first time," he said. It was a sermon based upon Jesus' parable on the Prodigal Son.

     Lorenz ("Ike") Eichenlaub was also there, serving as Uncle Fred's student assistant for the summer. We were old friends, of course, so we went out together on that Saturday night. We had a few beers somewhere in town. I came back to Uncle Fred's house rather late, and Mom was a bit perturbed that I came in "smelling like a brewery," as she put it. I had not over-indulged, but I did have the smell on me. Whether or not I got close enough to Aunt Hilda for her to smell it I don't know. Aunt Hilda was always most disapproving of any kind of alcohol in any amount - despite a brewery owner in Zion Church who was one of the financial mainstays of the congregation.

     The sermon went fine the next morning. I wore the pulpit robe St. Paul's Church had given me. (I had been given it early so that I could wear it the night of graduation from Eden.) This was my first ministerial function wearing it.

     Afterward the congregation came by with "Fine sermon" and the like. After all, what else were they going to say to the nephew of their pastor?

     I thought a great deal of my Uncle Fred. He was my favorite uncle. I was pleased that he had asked me, and I was glad it went as well as it did.

     My friendship with Ike Eichenlaub would continue over the years as we served together in St. Louis and then in the Illinois South Conference. Ike would die of cancer in 1981.

Luke 15:11-52

     Our Father comes to meet us. This is the thing about the Christian faith that makes it unique. Other religions believe that the worshipper must work his way up to God, must somehow through his own efforts, win favor with God. But the Christian faith believes that God comes down to us and lifts us up to where He is, at least those of us who are willing to be lifted up. God does not force anyone. We remember the words of Scripture, "God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." God, through Christ, came down into the world to confront us and to save us. He did this while we were yet sinners. We did not have to work for it. It was given to us as a gift from God's own out-flowing love. He came down to meet us, both the righteous and the unrighteous, both the willing and the unwilling. This is the God of the Christian faith.

     Christ preached and taught about this God in many different ways, in many different parables, the greatest of which probably is the parable of the prodigal son. Or perhaps we should not call it the prodigal son. It is better to use the plural and call it the parable of the prodigal sons. This father in the parable had two sons, both of whom were prodigals, only in different ways. Both alienated themselves from their father, one by riotous living in sins of the flesh; the other alienated himself in spirit, in the sin of self-righteousness and pride. And does not our Father God have these same two kinds of some in us? Some of us wastrels in one sense or another, and others of us self-righteous and prideful?

     Jesus, in telling this parable, speaks first of the younger son. Most likely it is unfair to assume that the younger son was a bad man when he left home. There is no hint given that he was any sort of juvenile delinquent in his younger days. Most likely he was just a young man with dreams, with initiative. He was looking for new worlds to conquer. A young man with ideas is seldom content to remain in his own small town. Usually it is right that he should go. The world needs such initiative and dreams of young men. Abraham Lincoln did not stay in his Illinois log cabin. Harry Truman did not stay on his Missouri farm. Neither was President Eisenhower content to spend his life in Abilene Kansas. These young men took their share of the heritage that had been left to them by their fathers and moved on with their dreams, and the country has benefited from their statesmanship. But these men did not forget their fathers. They did not throw their heritage to the four winds in riotous living. They became stewards of their heritage and used it for the betterment of their fellow men and to the glory of their God. These men had dreams and doubtless high resolves when they left home. The younger son in the parable might have had equally high resolves as well as high hopes when he left home. But this younger son made the mistake of putting himself in the center of his dreams. And he said to his father, "Give to me what belongs to me." He intended to do with his inheritance as he saw fit. No father was going to tell him what to do. He would trust his own wisdom in how to spend it. He intended to be a success and he was going to be free. He was going to strike out on his own. He knew better than his father. And so the younger son went out on his own, forgetting all, or disregarding all, that his father may have told him in former years. Trusting only his own judgment he sank into a degenerate life of wine, women, and song. Most of us can take a look at ourselves and find ourselves not guilty of such excesses of immorality as is attributed to this younger son. Most of as do not make a habit of getting filthy drunk. Most of us do not keep mistresses. Nor do we paint the town red several nights a week. Consequently there is the temptation to point our finger at the other fellow and condemn him as the type of the younger son. But the sins of the flesh cover a wide territory and all of us are guilty of some of them. An intense desire for fame,fortune, and popularity, regardless of cost or compromise with ideals, can be just as deadly in the line of sinning as the more obvious things of wine, women, and song. There is the story of the financially successful father who told his son, "Son, make money. Make it honestly if you can, but make money." Or the American statesman of our early history who said, "My country, may she always be right, but my country right or wrong." Or the pathetic figure of the salesman in the broadway play of several years ago, The Death of a Salesman. Willie Loman believed that the only thing that counted in life was that people like you. Certainly such philosophies of living are just as much sins of the flesh as were those committed by the younger son in the parable. All have thrown their Father God out the window. All have forgotten they are sons of a heavenly Father, created in his image, and have set out on their own.

     But this man had two sons. There was also an elder son who was just as distant from his father in spirit as his younger brother was in body. We can also assume that this elder brother had made a good start in life. He was going to stay home and work hard. Certainly this was a noble aspiration which no one can find fault with. But just like his younger brother, he put himself in the center of his dreams. He was doing just what his father wanted him to do. He was proud of that and was quick to notice when others did not come up to his own set standard of righteousness. He liked to take sidelong glances at his own goodness. He was a leading and respectable citizen of the community who looked down his nose at his less perfect neighbors. He was playing the role of the self-righteous Pharisee all over again. He was not staying home and working hard because he loved his father. He wanted to make a name for himself by showing the community what a good man he was. He was not a sinful wastrel like this other son of his father was. No indeed! And he would be the first one to tell you so. He was not a wastrel like his brother, but actually he was something worse. A man wrote an article on snobbishness in Life magazine a few years ago. And he said the worst kind of snob was what he called an "I'm-not-a-snob snob". The worst kind of snob is one who insists he is not a snob. Certainly also the worst kind of sinner is the one who stoutly maintains he is not a sinner. The temptation to such a sin is probably the greatest that any Christian, any church member has. Just by virtue of professing to be a Christian, we tend to consider ourselves to be better than other people. We are the preferred sons of the Father who do His bidding and so deserve much more from Him than those wastrel, prodigal brothers of ours outside the church. It is so easy for us who are in the church to be the worst type of self-righteous individuals. We're good. We obey the Ten Commandments. We attend church. We do as our Father bids us. We're the deserving sons. But we become so calloused in our self-righteous, legalistic code of religious living that we forget one thing. We forget to love our Father. The younger brother forgets to love his father because he is having such a good time being disobedient. The elder son forgets to love his father because he is so proud of his obedience. Both sons then become prodigals, having alienated themselves from their father by forgetting to love him. And no one can receive love unless he also gives it.

     Our Father God finds Himself with both these kinds of sons, probably more elder sons than the younger variety. But God comes to meet both, whether they are consciously trying to come to Him or not. The younger son in the far country met with calamity. In his riotous living, he spent all he had. His new found friends he had substituted for his father's love deserted him. He had nowhere to go, nothing to eat. Finally he becomes a servant for a swineherd, and tending hogs was the lowest thing a Jew could do. A man had really sunk down to the lowest depths of shame when this was the only thing he could find to do. And to make matters worse, he found that the pigs were better off than he was. They at least were getting enough to eat. But then he comes to himself and again remembers the father he has so lightly forgotten and he realizes that his shame and lowliness is the result of his own doing. And he begins to feel repentant for the life he has led. It is calamity that has driven him to this repentance. But that is not for us to scorn at. It is almost always only in calamity that we do repent of our sins. When things go well for us, we do not give much thought or time to any idea of repentance. But having met with calamity, he is now ashamed. He knows his sin. He has sinned against heaven and before his father. And he remembers his father who has seen him through so many things in his younger years. And he decides to go back. He considers himself unworthy to any longer be called a son, but he is going to ask his father to receive him as a servant, as one of the slaves of the household. He was now a man who had truly repented and he started now on his homeward journey. But in his absence his father had been looking for him every day. Every day he looked down the road to see if he could see his son coming in the far distance. Then one day he sees his returning son off in the far distance, and he rushes out to meet him and embrace him. This is the Christian God, a God who comes down to meet His son and to take him. The son does not have to work his way into God's favor. God accepts him as he is, asking only that he return again to his place as his father's son. And the father is glad, very glad, to have his son back again. Here was a son whose soul was dead, who had glibly tossed his father's love aside and turned to his own independent way. But now he had found himself and was alive again. And the father was very happy and he rushed out to meet his son.
But this younger son, this repentant sinner, was on his way back to his father. He had chosen to come back willingly. He had realized his sin, confessed it, and was ready to make up for what he had done. But what about those who do not recognize they have sinned and are not on their way back to their father because they do not even realize they have left home? What about those prideful, self-righteous sons who consider themselves not in need of repentance? Does God confront them too? In the parable Christ says yes, God does confront the unrepentant sinner, the elder brother who considers himself the preferred son who deserves the father's favors as a matter of course. God does confront the elder brother.

     A calamity also fell on the elder brother. He had served his father all his life, not out of love for his father, but as a duty. He had served his father in the hope of material reward and popular respect and notice for his loyalty. He wanted everyone to contrast him with his wastrel brother that all might see how much better and much more righteous he, the elder brother was. But he found that the universe does not always honor such a coldly respectable code. He could never have believed that a wastrel would be welcomed as an honored guest. This younger brother he had despised and looked down upon all this time was actually accepted and even welcomed in his father's house. A fatted calf had been slaughtered for a banquet in his honor. What had he ever done to deserve this? He, the elder brother, had been the one who had stayed home and served his father. Why should the younger brother get anything? He cared nothing about his younger brother or his father's love for his brother. He didn't care how repentant his younger brother might be. He still didn't deserve anything. All the elder brother cared about was himself and what he was going to get. The younger brother be damned! He didn't deserve anything! So instead of sharing his father's happiness over his brother's return, he is filled with self-righteous self-pity. And he refuses to go in and join the merrymaking.

     But the father comes out to meet this brother also. And the elder brother upbraids him. "Lo these many years I have served you." Notice he uses the word, serve, not love. "And neither have I transgressed." No, he had never disobeyed his father. He had always obeyed his father's law to the letter. He had obeyed the Ten Commandments. He had never killed anyone. He had never stolen anything. He had never committed adultery as his younger brother had. But he had never loved either. And Christ has said that love is the essence of the greatest commandment. He was far too proud of his own virtues and righteousness to be capable of loving. Transgression of the law was transgression of the law, repentance or no repentance. And to the elder brother's mind, transgressors deserved nothing. How often this portrait of the elder brother resemble us members of the church. We can be so unforgiving of the unwed mother or the man who goes on a weekend binge, so calloused are we in our self-righteousness.

     But the father comes out to see the elder brother and he says to him, "All that I have is yours. You are always with me." The elder brother will still get what's coming to him. He isn't losing anything. The fatted calf is his as well as his younger brother's, if only he will come in and partake of it. God gives to all His sons, all that He has, all His out-flowing love. The sons need only to accept it. But the self-righteous find it hard to accept when those whom they consider less righteous also partake of God's love. And that is because their self-righteousness blinds them and makes them calloused and unable to love, and without love, God's gifts cannot truly be received.
But God confronts the elder son. He comes out to meet him just as he came out to meet the younger son. God always confronts us with His out-flowing love. But the younger son was a repentant sinner and could appreciate the love his father bestowed upon him. The elder son found himself in need of no such repentance. He was doing his duty and felt no more could be expected of him. He considered himself a good man having no need for His father's forgiveness so he could not experience His father's love as his younger brother had done. He believed that all he had was only what he deserved, and actually he felt he was not getting all of what he deserved.

     His father came out assuring him that all that had been given his younger brother was also his. But the elder brother would have to break out of his shell of self-righteousness to respond to his father's love and enter his father's house. This would be very difficult for the elder brother to do. It was much easier for the younger brother to respond. He had no self-righteousness to overcome. His sin had been brought all too clearly before his eyes. He returned home to his father. Perhaps the elder prodigal never returned. We don't know. The parable doesn't say. The parable ends with the elder son still standing outside his father's house.
A wandering young man once wrote home to his family, "Dear parents, I am coming home. I have come through things that I shall never tell to anyone but you. O home, home, home." The younger son could have written a letter like this. But could the elder son? The father has come out to meet the elder son, but he will not force him to come into the house. The father's love has gone out to him. It is up to the elder son himself to respond.
All of us are the sons of our Father God. Some of us are the younger son, who has wandered off into the pathways of worldly sin, seeking pleasure, fame, fortune without thought of our Father. More of us are the elder son, self-righteously pointing an accusing finger at the sins of others instead of sharing our Father's compassion for them. But most of us are a combination. We commit our worldly sins and still look down on others who do the same thing. God comes down to meet us all, no matter which of the sons we are. We have only to respond to God's outflowing love by returning that love. But that response is up to us. Our Father will not force us. It must come from our heart, and our heart can be opened only from the inside. Our Father has come out to meet us and to take us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God grant that we might be willing to accept such love.

( in 1955.)8
ME by John Altenbernd

Ordination Day

Ordination Day was a day to be approached with some degree of fear and trembling as well as with joy and anticipation. It marked the end of a lot of things as well as marking a beginning.
I was 25 years old. I had been in school ever since I was 6, and that had been a long time. There would now be no more of that. While school carries with it a great deal of responsibility, it is still a kind of sheltered responsibility. From here on I would be on my own. Instead of being a student under somebody, I would be the head man.
The farm house in Kansas would no longer be my home. And I did love that place. I had neither the desire nor the natural talent and knowledge to be a farmer, but I did love being there and working on it. There's a great difference between working on a farm and having the know-how to run it. My genes were primarily from the Stoerker family rather than from the Altenbernds, and I was smart enough to know that early on. Any attempt at farming as a living would have been doomed to disaster. I hated leaving the farm, but I've never had regrets for having done so.
I had already accepted the dual pastorate of St. John's and Bethany Churches in Berger, Missouri, so I knew where I was going. July 11 would be my first Sunday there. I had been serving there as student supply during the last few months at Eden, so I had some knowledge of the place and of the people. And although it was a farming community, as was the Kaw Valley of Kansas, it was a vastly different world. Around Lawrence and Eudora things and people were as much urban as rural, not at all the usual stereotype of country people. Berger, particularly around Bethany Church, was very definitely and exclusively rural. I wasn't at all sure I would like Berger, but I had to start somewhere. So this too was on my mind that day.
June 27 was a Sunday. The Ordination service would be that evening at St. Paul's Church in Eudora. Uncle Adolph Stoerker and Aunt Marie, with their daughter Joanne (now Kleuter), were there at the farm house from Aurora, Illinois, where he was pastor. Uncle Adolph was on vacation, and they were visiting my mother. Also there was Rev. Myron Ross, a friend from Eden (black) who had been ordained a year earlier. He was not yet married.
Uncle Fred Stoerker, pastor of Zion Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Aunt Hilda would come in that afternoon. He was to

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be the ordaining pastor. They would be bringing with them his student assistant for the summer, Lorenz ("Ike") Eichenlaub, another old friend from Eden who would be ordained two years later.
Rev. Karl Baur and his wife, Betty, would come from Kansas City in time for the service. Karl Baur had been pastor at Eudora during my teen years, and I had dated his daughter, Joan, who was now married and would not be with them.
Dr. Harold Barr, Dean of the School of Religion at Kansas University, was to be the preacher at the service. He only had to come from Lawrence so he would go directly to the church.
Rev. James McAllister, my roommate my Senior year at Eden, was also scheduled to be there but couldn't make it. He was a Methodist, and he was transferred to Roodhouse, Illinois, from Payson, Illinois, that week. So he was busy moving.
All the ministers mentioned above would participate in the Ordination service, along with Rev. Joseph Polster who was pastor in Eudora at the time. Rev. Polster was a half-educated, boorish, obnoxious man for whom I had little use, but as pastor of the church he could not simply be left out and ignored.
We went to church that morning as usual. It wasn't long before it became obvious that this was going to be a very hot day - and it would remain hot into the evening.
There was a lot of picture taking that afternoon. St. Paul's Church had given me a pulpit robe (Not the one I now have. That one long since wore out), and there was a lot of posing in it for the benefit of other people's cameras, I would wear the robe that evening at the service.
My mother continued with preparations for a reception at the house after the service that evening. With a large front porch and a large lawn on a summer evening, space was no problem.
The service was splendid. Dr. Barr was at his preaching best. Rev. Polster behaved himself. I was afraid he might decide to say "a. few words" somewhere along the line (something he could do with embarrassing frequency, and when he did so it usually was a display of ignorance).
When the time came for my formal Ordination, Uncle Fred called me forth and I stood before him. Uncle Fred was flanked by Uncle Adolph, Rev. Baur, Rev. Ross, Rev. Barr, and Rev. Polster. Uncle Fred asked me, and I accepted, the vows of service to God and to the Church. I then knelt for the laying

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on of hands. Uncle Fred's hand was on my head, and the hands of the others were on top of his. Uncle Fred then pronounced the words of Ordination.
I then rose and accepted the hand of fellowship and collegiality from each of the ordained pastors before me. I was one of them now. I said a few words of appreciation to them and to the assembled congregation, pronounced the benediction (my first official act as an ordained pastor), and the service ended.
     I was very moved by it all, a highlight of my life.
The church was nearly full. St. Paul's congregation had turned out in force for me, only the second son of the congregation ever to be ordained. (Rev. Carl Schmidt was the other one a good many years earlier.) Other friends and relatives were there too. Among them was a surprise - Rev. Theodore Hauck from Higginsville, Missouri, who had baptized me years before when he was pastor of St. Paul's. He had arrived a little late, and we didn't know he was there or we would have asked him to participate in the Ordination.
A good many of them were at the house afterward for the reception, including Uncle Carl Altenbernd and Aunt Mattie, cousins of mine - Homer and Charlotte Altenbernd, Herb and Peggy Altenbernd, Helen and Al Wichman, Irene and John Vogel, and Frieda and Arthur Heck. There was also my father's hired hand when I was a boy, Oscar Russell. He was an old man by then, and I hadn't seen him in years.
     I wished my father had lived long enough to have been there.
There was only one negative note in the whole thing. Connie Peters had said she would drive down for the Ordination. I was expecting her. But she neither showed nor called. That hurt a bit.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I was the second son of St. Paul's Church to enter the ministry. Carl Schmidt, brother of Ralph Schmidt, had been ordained in 1930.

( at St Paul's Church, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 27 June 1955.)9

     Photo of C. Fred and Hilda Stoerker circa 1975. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)2

C. Fred and Hilda Stoerker -- Mid 1970s

ME by John Altenbernd

ME by John Altenbernd
My Grandfather's Ordination

The following is taken from an address made by my cousin, C. Fred Stoerker, to a group in Claremont, California, on May 24, 1992, on the subject of our side of the merger that created the United Church of Christ.


"On October 5, 1840, six (German) immigrant pastors meeting at Gravois Settlement -- St. Louis area -- formed the Kirchenverein des Westens (the Church Union of the West). It accepted the Augsburg (Lutheran) Confession and the Heidelberg (Reformed) Catechism. It recognized diversity at its very beginning!

"Within ten years it had established a theological seminary at Marthasville, Missouri (now Eden Theological Seminary of St. Louis). There is still the "preaching rock" at Marthasville where seminarians were taken for practice preaching, the test being to be heard on the other side of the valley! ....

"And in 1866 this group had grown and renamed itself the "Deutsche Evangelische Synode von Nord America" (The German Evangelical Synod Of North America).

"It was in this same year on March 25, 1866, that my grandfather (Conrad Frederick Stoerker), for whom I was named, was confirmed.

"And on July 5, 1874, my grandfather was one of a class of seventeen seminarians who were ordained as a group. They went from the seminary to the Missouri River, which they crossed by boat, and the entire class was ordained in St. Peter's Church in Washington, Missouri. .... While the building has changed considerably, its location in 1992 is the same as at the time of Grandfather's ordination."


July 5, 1874 was on a Sunday. It was just eight days short of eighty years later that I (John Altenbernd (#102)) was ordained after graduating from Eden Seminary.


Uncle Theophil Stoerker in his book about his parents refers to the rock at Marthasville as "pulpit rock".
( in Claremont, California, USA, on 24 May 1992.)10
Me by John Altenbernd

     C. died on 19 August 2003 in Clairmont, San Diego County, California, USA, at age 85.
Last Edited=18 January 2021

Family: C. Frederick Stoerker and Mildred Booth


  1. [S75] Marion Adolph Stoerker unknown date.
  2. [S25] John Stoerker Altenbernd unknown date.
  3. [S157] Sheila Sue Altenbernd unknown date.
  4. [S1291] Adolph Stoerker Foristell and Community, Warrenton Banner, Warrenton, Missouri, September 19, 1930, page 3, column 4, www.newspapers.com, viewed at www.newspapers.com on February 26, 2017 (Document Source Number: 00065-1930-09-19-03) . Hereinafter cited as Warrenton Banner.
  5. [S77] C. Frederick Stoerker unknown date.
  6. [S1590] Columbia City Missouri City Directory (n.p.: n.pub., 1947), Page 369. Viewed at MyHeritage (Document Source Number: 00115-1947-00-00-01). Hereinafter cited as City Directory.
  7. [S1335] C. Fred Stoerker (#115) entry; M.S Anna Salen Passenger List, Sept 4, 1952, line Lines 19 and 20; in unknown series (n.p.: n.pub.), roll T715, 1897-1957. (Document Source Number: 00115-1952-09-04-01).
  8. [S1409] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Preaching for Uncle Fred" in ME; Page(s) 608-608.4; Published:.
  9. [S1410] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Ordination Day" in ME; Page(s) 609-611; Published:.
  10. [S1331] John Altenbernd, ME (n.p.: n.pub., unknown publish date) (Document Source Number: 00102-1990c-00-00-21.11). Hereinafter cited as ME.
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