Thanksgiving in Jacob

Christ Lutheran Church and School, Jacob, gathered on June 13 for a Service of Thanksgiving for 145 years of Lutheran education.

Christ Lutheran School closed following this past academic year. Many former teachers, principals, students and families as well as current students and friends attended to celebrate a long history of spreading the Gospel. A catered lunch and program were held in the gymnasium following the worship service.

In 1876, 100 years after our nation declared its independence, immigrants to the area built a small log cabin church, naming it Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church U.A.C. of Fountain Bluff of Jackson County. The settlers were grateful for a place to worship God. This small church also served as their one room school. In 1887, additions were built on the front and the back of the church.

In 1904, the five acres of land on which the church and school currently rest were purchased. The school house on the Haehnlein farm was dismantled and moved to the new location. Many activities and traditions were held yearly and into the present


School, of course, was not just about fun and games. A lot of study, hard work and difficulties were part of the students’ lives. World War I broke out in 1917 and the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918 claimed many lives, including three members of the church. A tornado in 1925 killed 37 people. Several locations in the area endured extreme flooding in 1927, 1943, 1944 and 1947. Some families grew weary of the mud-laden waters in their homes and businesses and moved away.

In 1958, a new school building was erected at a cost of nearly $55,000. The school had two large classrooms, a big lunch room, a kitchen, two indoor bathrooms, an office, storage room, indoor plumbing and running water! The next addition to the school building was a gym, built in 1968. The school continued to grow throughout the years.

The Great Flood of 1993 proved to be a very difficult time for people up and down the Mississippi River Basin. The river was above flood stage for 186 days, up to the top of the levee. A volunteer evacuation order was issued and many people evacuated their properties to live temporarily with family and friends. The school possessions were moved to higher ground. Over time, families moved to higher ground. Younger people moved from rural areas to the city. School enrollment began to drop. On May 8, 2009, a tornado destroyed the gym. A rebuilding committee was formed and the new gymnasium was dedicated on Feb. 14, 2010.

Rev. Michael and Alice Kettner have devoted 20 years to the school. Julie Lalis taught the upper grades for 14 years. Principal Karen Hall dedicated 13 years, and Rachey Yankey has cooked for over the last nine years.

The Gospel message continues to be preached every Sunday at Christ Lutheran Church. To God be all glory, honor and praise.