by Elaine Henson
Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church – Part II
Kure Memorial Chapel was “Serving the Savior by the Sea” and almost five years old when members and Kure Beach residents were invited to a meeting on August 21, 1951, to discuss its future. Those attending voted that the Chapel would become Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church and affiliated with North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America. That organizational meeting marks the birthday of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Eighteen adults were present at that meeting including Mrs. Laura Kure Williford, Miss Anne Kure, Margaret and Robert Ford, Bessie and Fred Schenk, Lawrence C. Kure, Oscar and Anna Lee Wren, Isabell and Merritt Foushee, Betty Kure (Mrs. A. E. Sr.) and Jean Gore (later Jean Kure, Mrs. A. E. Jr.). The group adopted a constitution and elected the following church council members: Lawrence C. Kure, Vice Chairman, Margaret Ford, Secretary, Anne Kure, Treasurer and W. E. Williford, Sunday School Superintendent and Council Members Robert Ford, Oscar Wrenn, Merritt Foushee and Fred Schenk. The council decided to leave the charter membership open until one month after the arrival of a full time Pastor.
On Sunday evening, August 26, 1951, the new church held a special service to mark the organization of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran in the barracks church building. Celebrants were Rev. K.Y. Huddle of St. Matthews Lutheran, Rev. J. Frank Davis of St. Paul’s Lutheran and seminarian, Jack Martin. The congregation applied for membership in the North Carolina Synod on October 7, 1951. Rev. Huddle and Rev. Davis continued with Sunday evening services throughout the winter months.
The first congregational meeting was held on January 9, 1952. There was $227.14 in the general fund and $86.10 in the building fund. 75 members were on the roll with an average Sunday School attendance of 64. The Council voted to budget $1,000 toward a pastor’s annual salary of $3,600.
In early 1952, men of the congregation began building a parsonage on the lot next door to the church. It was completed in time for their first pastor, the Rev. David Johnson and his family who arrived in June.
Attendance increased with Pastor Johnson’s ministry. In 1953, the church built its first educational building. It was brick with four classrooms and two bathrooms. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kure donated $1,300 for the building with matching funds coming from the N.C. Synod and labor from the men of the church. Dedication services were held for the classroom building on August 30, 1953.
Later that year plans for a new church building began with a fundraising campaign.
Next month: Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Part III