History of Lutheran Education in Evansville
Lutheran education has been an Evansville tradition since 1845 when Pastor J. A. Saupert accepted a call to the German Lutheran Church of Lamasco (today’s Trinity Evansville Lutheran Church on Illinois Street). Pastor Saupert studied at the mission school at NeuendetteIsau, Germany and completed his studies at the Lutheran Seminary at Columbus, Ohio. When he began his work at Trinity, he immediately opened a Lutheran school in his home. The first called teacher from the LCMS, Henry Bewie, came to Evansville in 1859. He served as teacher, cantor, and organist.
The years after the Civil War were a period of growth for Evansville and when the school enrollment reached 170 in the 1870’s, a second teacher was called. At this time, the newest public school buildings were designed for 60 students in each classroom. In 1889, a number of Trinity members were released from church membership in order to found a new congregation in the eastern suburbs—St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School. In 1895, Trinity built a new, modern school on Illinois St. next to Willard Library. The school doubled in size in 1913. This building was replaced in 1957 by a new building next to the church.
Evansville continued to grow east, and an east side mission was organized which eventually became The Church of Our Redeemer which had its own school. In 1970, Redeemer and Trinity schools merged. This merger made possible some dramatic changes. Previously there had been two classes per teacher. With the merger, grades 1-4 had a single teacher for each grade and grades 5-8 were departmentalized. The principal taught a half-time schedule.
In 1971, the Lutheran School Association of Evansville announced a new consolidation which included Redeemer, Trinity and St. Paul’s. Since this time, Evansville Lutheran School has continued to serve its children and prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow by equipping them with a superior education guided by Christ.
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