Sunday, December 26, 2010

Guest Post for Sunday Special by David Reinhardt

David Reinhardt provided the additional info on Rev. Victor Brugge.  Thank you David for sharing this with us:

Victor Brugge was the minister in Memphis where Aunt Stella Reinhardt worked for many years.  He shortened his name to Brugge.  Victor was in Gordonville, Missouri when his father died.  Victor was called as successor to his father.  He was installed July 3, 1927 by Rev. Paul Koenig of Holy Cross in St. Louis.  The text was, "Even as I am sent, so send I you."
From the 75th anniversary book, "Through the death of Rev. Martin J. Brueggemann, the mantle passed from father to son, in Trinity congregation.  Prior to coming to Trinity in the capacity of its pastor, Rev. Brugge served as missionary in Clarksville, Texas, and later as pastor of Christ Church, Gordonville, Missouri.  Rev. Brugge was not only confirmed, united in marriage, and ordained as a minister, at Trinity's altar, but a short time after his father's death, in the plan of God's unfathomable wisdom, was installed as Trinity's pastor.  Under his able leadership the congregation has grown steadily larger, until now it is frequently a difficult task conveniently to place all of those who are in attendance.  On the day of Trinity's Seventy-Fifth Anniversary, the solemn prayer is offered that it may please God to sustain our pastor in all his undertakings, and to preserve him unto us.  We pray also that God's Word and Luther's Doctrine remain with us to the end of time."  Theo. J. Doepke
Rev. Victor L. Brugge, who retired last Sunday after 29 years of pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, died unexpectedly at his home at 262 N. Avalon at 6 a.m. today.  He was 61.
The highly aggressive, popular pastor, who divoted all of his energies to the church thruout his life, worked long hours even after his health began to fail three years ago.  He was a leading figure in the community, familiar to thousands outside his denomination by virtue of his radio and television appearances and  vital personality.  He traveled widely, and was influential in having the networks sign up the Lutheran Hour, one of the major church programs in the country.  An excellent public relations man, he easily won people to his viewpoint.
There was never any thought but that he would succeed his father, the late Rev. Martin Brueggemann, as a Lutheran minister.  He was born in Manila, Iowa, and his family moved to Memphis during his early boyhood.  After attending the old Market Street School, he worked two years as a railroad clerk and then entered St. John's Academy to study for the ministry.  Next he entered Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, where his graduation picture hung next to that of his dad's.  Trinity Parish helped pay for his school expenses.  He met the balance by trucking express in St. Louis.  He completed the nine-year course in eight years and was ordained by his father in 1920 at the age of 25.
His first pastorate was at Clarksville, Texas, and he rode his circuit on the plains on a mule.  Those days brought him many a chuckle, "I'm proud to say I never missed an appointment on that mule." he said.  He became pastor of Trinity Church in 1927, the year his father died.
He married a Memphis girl, Miss Mynette Keller, who survives.  The three Brueggemann brothers, aided by their father, had their name abbreviated by the court to Brugge. 
For nearly 30 years he was on the committee of public relations for the Western District of the church.   He also was district chairman for Valparaiso University in Indiana for that period.  He was service pastor for the Lutherans in the Navy at Millington.  He was chairman of an interdenominational subcommittee on Community Service to the Armed Forces, which annually urged Memphians to extend the hospitality of their homes to serviceman and women over the holidays.
The church at 210 Washington was the oldest Lutheran church in Memphis, having been founded in 1855, and he and his father built a strong membership from a congregation that survived the yellow fever epidemic and Civil War.  He was active in the Lions Club for many years.  Besides his wife, he leaves two sons, Vernon and Warren, in the wholesale candy business in memphis in the firm of Purity Products; two daughters, Mrs. Sam Watson and Miss Ellen Jeanne ; two brothers, Arnold and Otis of Memphis and five grandchildren.
National Funeral Home is in charge.

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