HISTORY OF THE ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH AT LUCKEY, OHIO from the Luckey Centennial Book
Zion Lutheran Church at 303 Park Drive was organized, with the help of Salem Lutheran Church Pemberville, in 1883. The trustees bought property on the northeast corner of Park Drive and Eddy Street from Mr. & Mrs. I. W. Krotzer, and built a frame church. Timber for the church was cut from woods of members of the congregation. A parsonage was secured for August Cordes, the first pastor, and his family, right across the street on Park Drive.
A Christian Day School, known then as German School, was on the north west corner of Park and Eddy facing south. This school was conducted by the resident pastor: Rev. Cordes (1884 – 1891), William Lembke (1891 – 1901), and Emil G. Richter (1901 – 1906) and Martin L. Fredrick (1906 – 1919).
They taught Bible history, Luther’s Catechism, music reading, writing and geography and arithmetic, all in high German. Children of the congregation went to their English school until Catechism age. Then they attended both English School (1 or 2 days a week), and German School (the remaining days of the week for 3 or 4 years, until Public Examination. At Public Examination Pastor would ask each student questions. Motivation was high to perform well, before a church full of relatives!
At the turn of the century many families spoke low German at home, and as the years passed, English. So, it was a surprised class that heard Pastor Fredrick announce that everyone would speak high German, all the time at school, even when outside playing! The kids quickly learned where they could play and speak English, out of Pastor Fredrick’s hearing.
The one-room German School house was small enough to be heated by one long wood-burning stove. It had the capacity to keep your face hot, while your backside froze. Students sat at rough surfaced desks, two to a seat with first year students paired with older ones. Between the seat-mate and all the recitations, everything was memorized, it was a good learning environment.
But, it was hard to attend two schools, in two different languages. So, Zion hired A. F. Freytag (1917), as a full time parochial School teacher. H. C. Dyer (1919), Paul Domrow (1921) followed by William Grunst (1923) were all Parochial teachers. The Parochial School continued until 1927 when the Luckey Public School opened.
In the meantime, the original church building was lengthened and raised. In 1919 it was moved just to the east over a basement, remodeled and landscaped, all at a cost of $5,000.
From the beginning, the men sat on one side of the congregation, other older ones closest to the outside aisle. Or they sat in the balcony. The women and children sat on the other side on the main floor of the church. The men were served Communion first, followed by the women.