Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Special: Rev. Victor Brugge (Brueggemann)

This is kind of Part 2 to last week's post about Rev. Martin Brueggemann.  His eldest son, Victor Ludwig Ottamar (born 1895) also became a Pastor and succeed his father at Trinity in Memphis.

I think he may require more than one post. If you remember from his father's post, he and his brothers changed their name from Brueggemann to Brugge.

 Again from Trinity's Website, a great history of his tenure. 

At the time of Pastor Brueggemann's death, Trinity called his oldest son Victor, who had also entered the ministry and was the pastor of a rural congregation in Gordonville Missouri, to be their next pastor. Pastor Brugge was a young, dynamic preacher who became immensely popular in the community. He was also a gifted speaker and became a favorite of reporters looking for a snappy quote to round out their story. His Christian influence was felt throughout the community by his numerous contacts with businessmen, politicians, and civic leaders.
He wrote a daily newspaper column, and in 1932 began preaching the gospel over the radio, and later by television. In 1935, the congregation granted him a leave of absence to help with the development of the fledgling The Lutheran Hour. The Lutheran Hour continues on the air today, making it the world's oldest continually broadcast Christ-centered radio program.
Under Pastor Brugge’s leadership, youth work flourished, a Men’s Club and a Couple’s Club were organized. The women’s groups and the Adult Bible Class continued their spectacular growth. Church membership now exceeded 600.

During World War II, when many of Trinity’s youth served in the armed forces, of which only three gave their lives, the church organized the Service Club and worked diligently with the Institutional Chaplin, W.C.Krueger, to provide spiritual care for service personnel in the Memphis area. In 1944, 86 members of the armed forces communed at Trinity’s alter. During those war years, members of Trinity became involved in ministering to a community of displaced Latvians that had been established in the Senatobia, Mississippi area.
Also that year, Trinity and her pastor, along with Rev. Vernon Koerper, helped erect a new building for a thriving black school, ably run by Ms. Emma A. Smith. In 1949, the congregation helped build a Lutheran Hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi. For some years, Trinity had lent its facilities to an integrated group of hearing-impaired Lutherans, and in 1950 when the church added a new education building, a new Chapel for the Deaf was included.
Throughout most of Pastor Brugge’s ministry, two Sunday morning services were held, along with Bible Classes and Sunday School and often Vespers (evening worship services). The gospel message was also delivered at Millington Naval Base, at railway stations in Memphis, and at civic gatherings. By the grace of God, these were years of great activity and of reaching out beyond the congregation itself. Devotions by the pastor and the choir which had started on radio, were telecast weekly on WMC-TV in the late forties.
About this time, Trinity played a vital role in establishing sister congregations in Jackson, Tennessee and Blythville, Arkansas.

Major renovations were made in preparation for the 1955 Centennial Anniversary. The interior was completely refinished. An educational building was constructed in the area once occupied by the parsonage with Sunday School classrooms and church offices. The most welcome addition was the small elevator installed to serve the elderly and handicapped. Since 1888, Trinity’s sanctuary has been located on the second floor. Ten years later, more space was added for classrooms and a chapel for the congregation of hearing impaired Lutherans.
Led by Pastor Brugge, the congregation raised its voice in hymns of praise for a century of gracious blessing and pledged to look to the future in faith.
In 1940, and again in 1953, Pastor Brugge became gravely ill, each time for almost a year. During these times, seminary students and vicars such as Edwin Coyner, George Plvan, Luther Kriefall and Walter Harms shouldered the responsibilities. Then in 1957, after another extended illness, The Lord called Pastor Brugge home on Thanksgiving Day. Vicar Harms served until Pastor Paul Martens accepted Trinity’s call in August of 1957.

It sounds like he was an amazing man.  I look forward to learning more about him.

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