History of TKLC and Honoring of our leaders.

By Keith McGraw on July 10, 2011 on the event of our 50th
followed by
A history included in our Self Study done during 2018 and 2019

The church is not just a building, it is the people who worship there and the servants the Lord gives as their shepherds.  TKLC has been blessed for just over 50 years with willing/worshipping members and six excellent Pastors.  I was asked to conduction this part of the celebration.  It is my pleasure to help recall our history and honor some of those instrumental in helping this congregation be what it is today.

NW district chose our Lake Oswego location as a mission congregation started by several people who volunteered to leave their churches and attend this mission congregation.  They, our charter members were lead by Pastor Francis Smidt.  He helped to bring about the construction of this church building and to make it into a house of those who would listen to the preaching of the word of salvation and who would then take that word into their lives and serve their LORD, this Triumphant King. 

As you witnessed at the beginning of our service part of our mission is to baptize.  Over the years there have been dozens of baptisms!  Praise Be to God!  We believe that the only charter member present here today is Vel Zimmerman.  Thank you Vel for Ward and yourself being faithful in the founding of this church.  We wish to give this bouquet of flowers as a small tribute to the Zimmerman family being a big part of the founding and then the years of service you, Ward and your four sons did in this place.  (Later we found that Melba Stiles was present, also a charter member.  Jack and Melba remained with us for many years.  Melba was our organist during part of their tenure.  Thank you Melba.)

Bob Baltes is giving out the flowers today.  When it comes to serving the LORD in one place over many years Bob is a model!  He has been a long time Elder in this church and all have seen how he serves His LORD.  We are blessed in having strong workers in this church.

Our second professional Pastor was Corliss Stockamp called from Salt Lake City.   Corliss blessed us for many years being faithful in preaching Law and Gospel, Word and Sacrament.  Verna, his wife and their four boys quietly and lovingly made an impact on those at TKLC.  Verna has continued with us for these many years, enough to be considered “mother” of this church.  We wish to give this bouquet of flowers as a small tribute to you individually, and for your role in Corliss’s ministry and for the raising of such a wonderful family of four boys.  

During the time Corliss served we were even able to hire a Director of Christian education Steve Endicott and his organist wife Ruth Ann.  They successfully helped with our youth and served us for two years before accepting a call to Bellingham and a few years later served in Bothel, Washington, until retirement.  Steve replied to the invitation saying “We treasure the people we met and we even experienced the eruption of Mt. St. Helens while there.”  Janis and I recently visited them in their home on Angel Island, Montana.  Both are retired but are still faithfully serving as members, working members, of the Libby LCMS church.   

Five of our young men, one young women, and one thirty-something man went on to full or part-time church work mostly during the years of Pastor Stockamp and Cliff Kaufmann’s years with us: Darrell Zimmerman, John Nordling, Mike Meranda, David Stockamp and Ryan McGraw.  Rebecca Rossman trained both in Christian and Public education and is a presently a Vice Principal in Texas.  In more recent years Brad Stadvold was supported by this congregation in his four years of seminary.  More about him later.

We are so happy to see Pastor Darrell Zimmerman here today taking on a new role by serving as interim vacancy Pastor in St. Louis, Missouri.  Darrell helped work with the TKLC youth for one or two years.  He, two of his brothers Craig and Alan, and others of their family planned a family reunion with Vel without knowing of our celebration today.  It is so wonderful it worked out this way.  May God continue to bless you in your ministry, Darrell.  Pastor John Nordling is teaching at Fort Wayne Seminary after having taught at Valpariso and Baylor.   Pastor Mike Meranda is in his 30th year of ministry and is currently Pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Astibulla, Ohio.   Ryan McGraw is one of three pastors at Good Shepherd in Irvine, California and is in charge of discipleship ministries. 

Please know there are just too many of our children, to mention here by name, but who have gone on to successful lives and are using their baptism and training here at TKLC in serving their LORD in churches all over the country.  For example several have gone into various branches of the military.

During Pastor Stockamp’s time we had our first introduction into supporting a Preschool.  Over the years our preschool directors and workers have served to bring Christ to the little one.  Later you will see the Child Care building that Maureen Goodpaster, David Kaiser, and so many of our own members have put together.  David Packard, a long time TKLC member, has acted as site-superintendent.  He has literally put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours, in seeing this building up to what you will witness today.  Thank you David!  His wife, Cheryl Packard is director of our current preschool and one of its teachers.  Cheryl please accept this token of what you and David have done for the LORD’s work.            

Pastor Cliff and Rosie Kaufmann served us faithfully through some years of declining attendance.  During those years many of our families had raised their families and moved for new jobs or other family needs, and others retired and moved to other locations.  Pastor Kaufmann was a man on a quiet mission, delivering his messages with kindness and love.  Today Rosie is helping her 91 year old mother in Tillamook, who requested that Rosie be her transportation to a memorial service.  Rosie expressed to me that she would have loved to be here today and to help in our celebration and the honoring of Cliff’s ministry.

Our next pastor was really two servants at once.  We were becoming so few in number that the district asked a pastor to come and help us, though at the time we did not know it, to help us learn how to close our doors and dissolve this church.  Pastor Rich Schmidke and Concordia President emeritus EP Weber, who was already attending TKLC, joined together to serve this congregation.  They were not very good at this assignment of “closing doors”.  Through their team approach in leading us and through their many encouragements we began to see that the LORD still had a reason for us to continue to be witnesses in this place.  We are so happy that Pastor Rich Schmidke and (his fiancé Patty Jean) can be with us today.  Thank you for your help during those lean times.  Rich, we’ll let Patty Jean handle this token of our love for you.  Thanks!  It is so good to see you.                     

The other half of that partnership was EP Weber.  A church man second to none, EP labored to keep the WORD alive in this place.  He and Pastor Rich shared the load, with Rich doing much of the preaching and EP tending to the myriad of things needed to keeping us functioning as a church.  His beloved wife, Nancy has been with us for a long time.  Nancy we wish to honor you and EP at this time.  Please accept this floral token of respect to EP and yourself.  At the same time we wish you God’s Peace in your move to Chicago where you will be closer to your family.   Know that we will dearly miss you.                       

The last 15 years we have been blessed with not just a Pastor, but a dynamic team: Daniel and Debbie Faragalli.  Their son Francis and daughter Vita were 8 and 9 years old when the Family moved here.  Francis works locally and Vita is one of our current preschool teachers.  Pastor Daniel brings us Christ both by the words of scripture and his enthusiasm for having Christ in his own life.  I have had the pleasure of working with Pastor Daniel, in a program he modeled after the Catecuminate, Journey in Faith, or as we affectionately refer it as JIF.  I, and so many others, have grown in their understanding of the OT and the NT:  the plan of God to bring people to himself through His Son.  Pastor Daniel has developed other programs, as Lectio Divina to help worshipers grow in their personal Christian lives.  So many of our ladies have been blessed in working with Debbie in Bible After Dark.  Many others, have witnessed the tireless efforts of both Debbie and Daniel in our VBS programs.  At this time lets honor our current team:  Daniel, Debbie, and Vita, all helping TKLC serve this worshiping community.  Debbie, please accept this small token of our appreciation for all that Daniel and you and Vita do. .                       

I mentioned earlier the Brad Stadsvold family.  Pastor Daniel counseled with him and helped direct his interest in serving in full-time ministry.  Our congregation was blessed to help the Stadsvold family through 4 years of seminary.  He has served one congregation so far.

I mentioned Journey in Faith.  An example of how it works in this church is that even members go through it:  Warren Klinkenberg grew up in this church and is now back serving along side us; he is an enthusiastic member.  Teresa Klinkenberg went through adult baptism here.  Both went through this past year of JIF.  Both take on church assignments as they come along.  Thanks for helping us put on this celebration today.  Accept this floral token of our appreciation to both of you.           

As we enter into our second 50 years may our pastors and us continue to follow the teaching in Colossians: “… to make the word of God fully known.” And also in Acts: “…to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Let me end this part of our celebration with words from The Reverend Paul Linnemann, President of NW District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod who wrote to express his desire for this congregation:  “We pray that our Lord will continue to bless and guide you in your ministry.  You have a rich history of answering God’s call to provide a place of worship and nurture in your community, and we are especially grateful for the commitment you have made to Christian education and children through your preschool.”

We pray for our continued witness in this place: Triumphant King Lutheran Church.  Praise Be to the Lord our God!

Brief History of TKLC contained in

Self Study – Triumphant King Lutheran Church, Lake Oswego, OR

Decade of the 1960s

     In 1960, new seminary graduate Francis Smidt was dispatched by the Northwest District board of missions to organize a new congregation in Lake Oswego.  With the support of several families who volunteered to leave their own churches, the new congregation was begun and given the name Triumphant King Lutheran Church.  The baby church began with 29 souls, 15 communicants.

     For two years the congregation gathered in Lake Grove school’s gymnasium until a sanctuary was built.  That new sanctuary was dedicated on September 23, 1962. The cost of the building was $65,000.

     The fledgling congregation grew quickly.  By 1966 there were 266 baptized, 138 communicants (including the Klinkenberg family and Chester and Daryl Jean Nelson).  The Sunday School had 121 enrolled children and 10 teachers.

      In 1967 a cast iron bell was acquired and installed.  Until the present day it has been used to waken many ears with its call to worship.

      That same year, Pastor Smidt left Triumphant King to assume a new position as a U. S. Army chaplain.  The congregation then called Corliss Stockamp to be its second pastor.  Pastor Stockamp would serve the congregation for the next 14 years.  He is remembered as a conservative pastor with a more formal approach.  Some felt him to be “standoffish.”

Decade of 70s

     The congregation’s growth continued to a peak of 360 baptized and 205 communicants in the early 1970s.  Members volunteered at Dammasch State Hospital in Wilsonville.  They raised funds for Good Shepherd Home.  The youth group fielded a basketball team for the Lutheran league at Concordia Portland.  A midweek Bible School on Wednesdays drew 40 students weekly.

     In Pastor Stockamp’s later years, the congregation began to decline in numbers.

Some families relocated out of the area.  By 1980, attendance had dropped from   

approximately 140/week to 80/week.  Pastor Stockamp’s health began to decline. He contracted emphysema and his energy was curtailed.  There arose some friction about his continuance.  Some felt he should retire or resign, but he resisted.

Decade of the 80s

     Near the end of Stockamp’s pastorate, the congregation called Steve Endicott to serve as DCE.  Endicott launched a telephone ministry called “Dial-a-Devotion” in 1981.  That same year, Pastor Stockamp retired. When Steve Endicott moved on, Dick Torrey took up the telephone ministry and served as “answer man,” fielding an average of 10 calls a day from people who needed information or personal help.

     Clifford Kaufmann was called and installed as TKLC’s third full-time pastor in November 1982.  He served 8 years.  Among his ideas was a sequence of “Faith Encounter” weekends at Marylhurst Retreat Center.  Early in his tenure,   “Discoveries” Preschool had its beginning in the church basement in 1983. Barbara Wood was teacher.     

     In the mid-eighties, women’s suffrage emerged as an issue.  It was discussed and finally approved over the strenuous objections of several elders in 1985.  Afterward, several families left TKLC.

     During the 70s and 80s, seven people from TKLC went into full or part-time church work.  In spite of these healthy signs, the congregation continued a slow decline, and there came with it times of increasing financial distress. The church was kept afloat with a $35K gift from a sister congregation and another $24K gift from member family.  In addition, the congregation requested and received a subsidy from the district of $500/month.  By 1990, attendance had declined alarmingly and the preschool had closed.

Decade of 90s

     In the year 1990, Pastor Kauffman accepted a call to the state of Washington.  There followed a five-year vacancy.  With the congregation now dwindled to only 17 people, the district dispatched Pastor Richard Schmidtke as interim, with the suggestion that he might have to “close the doors.” Those few faithful members, however, desired to persevere, and Schmidtke’s ministry managed to stabilize the situation.  After two years he recruited E. P. Weber, retired president of Concordia University, to assist.  Under the energetic leadership of these two men, the congregation began to grow slowly again.  A nearby Episcopal congregation disbanded, and several of its former members came to reinforce TKLC.

     An additional sign of life was that King’s Children Preschool was again begun in 1994. Dr. Weber was responsible for the school’s reopening under the Director-Teacher, Laurelle Klinkenberg.

     What’s more, the church’s finances grew healthy enough to receive a vicar who might be allowed to “convert” to a full-time pastor when his internship was finished.  Colloquy candidate Daniel Faragalli (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) was called as Deferred Vicar. He took up his post as sole pastor in July 1995 and was later ordained in July 1996.  The faith and zeal of the congregation enabled Pastor Daniel to begin a new phase, not least with partial financial support from the NW District (lasting 1.5 years). Having a full-time pastor once more encouraged people who had drifted from the congregation to return with enthusiasm. Pastor Daniel also engaged a vigorous visitation outreach to this end. The church grew sufficiently in numbers to become self-supporting.

Decade of 2000s

     Under Daniel’s pastorate, TKLC maintained itself as a traditional liturgical community.  That worship included the introduction of lectio divina to facilitate discipleship for newcomers. Faragalli designed and engaged a catechumenate ministry for many years called “Journey in Faith,” and new members entered the community regularly. Other small group ministries were also designed and engaged: Women’s Ministries, TriLight Ways (daytime group), Music Ministries, Family Action Network, and others over time. 

Decade of 2010s   

     As the preschool grew, it was profitable for a long time but later struggled financially, something that became a financial burden for the church for several years.  In 2010 a new Children’s Center was dedicated for Preschool which contributed to what is now a thriving ministry of TKLC. Approximately half the cost was covered by a generous donation from an outside party, the remaining funding came from TKLC coffers and general donations. In 2018 the now combined preschool and daycare under Cheryl Packard and Vita Faragalli became self-sustaining.

     Two recession periods over the past 20 years affected retention of younger families (job moves), and older members also moved to be closer to family. The demographic makeup of the present congregation is a challenge going forward, and membership is in slow decline.

     At present, Pastor Faragalli’s declining health and energy has moved him to plan for retirement in 2019.  Financial challenges have prompted the congregation to consider the sale of property to ensure viability in the coming time of transition to a new pastor.

     “However,” writes Pastor Faragalli, “as many times before, the faith of the congregation is steadfast and committed to yet another new beginning, in accord with God’s will, in to the praise of his glorious grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”