The First English Lutheran Church was established in 1936. Christian Klaerner, was a founding member of the First English Lutheran Church in Austin. Peter Mansbendel was a music lover. He became aquatinted with Prof. C. (Christian) Klaerner, a highly respected Austin Music teacher. Their friendship grew through the years. Both were members of the Saengerrunde, the famous and still existing German singing society of Austin. Theirs was a friendship blessed by God.
The congregation was charted by the State of Texas on July 23, 1936. As the church grew, on August 6, 1937 they decided to build a new church building. Arthur Fehr, an Austin Architect (also a friend of Mansbendel) was engaged as the architect. Ground was broken for the new building on January 22, 1939.
From the time when Professor C. Klaerner told Peter of the plans to build a new church building, Peter Mansbendel had a strong desire to make a contribution to the church in honor of his dear friend. The best contribution-was his talent as a woodcarver. He choose to carve a distinctive, hand colored emblem on the end of each pew in the new building. Unfortunately, Peter was in the throws of cancer when he took on this work for the church and so wanted to finish it, it is said the he carved and painted the pew ends in his bed before he passed away in 1940 to honor his close friend and this church.
This information is provided by The First English Lutheran Church
First English Lutheran Church-copyright 2005-photographs posted with permission.