Pastorate of John S. Goserud


Reverend John S. GoserudBrother Goserud assumed the pastorate of Calvary on July 15, 1956 and remained until January l, 1962. Born at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, he had received his A.B. at Moravian College and B.D. at Moravian Seminary, receiving the latter degree in 1947. After a pastorate at Bethany Moravian Church in Altura, Minnesota, he took leave to become Associate Pastor of the West Allis United Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee. From there he was called to Konnoak Hills Moravian Church in Winston-Salem in May 1950 and remained there until his call to Calvary. Married to the former Irene Wukovitz of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the couple had three children.During Reverend Goserud’s pastorate the Junior Chapel, a project of the Burke Fellowship Class was completed, almost entirely by our own members: Larry Landreth made the pews, Albert Atwood engraved the memorial plates on the pews, Charlie Scott, Richard Fulton, Paul Rule, Bill Barkley and E.A. Huffmann made the paneling and other woodwork in Charlie Scott’s workshop, the pump organ was electrified and chimes added. Mrs. W.J. Dizor was Superintendent and the Chapel was dedicated to her on November 24, 1957. During Goserud’s pastorate, the Church’s total budget hovered around $55,000.00. The staff comprised Reverend Goserud as pastor; Paul Snyder, Minister of Music; Timothy Cahill, Organist; Louise Wommock, Secretary; and Doc Hall, Custodian. P.W. Blum, Sr., was Sexton and H.M. Brandon in charge of the Church grounds. Additionally in July 1959 the Reverend C. Bruce Weber was called as Assistant Pastor.

Goserud loved plays and pageants and enthusiastically supported our traditional Christmas pageants, assisting with lighting, costuming, etc. to make it more professional. A highlight of 1957 was Mrs. H.H. Kapp’s production of “Our Moravian Heritage.” Mrs. Kapp, for years a splendid, dedicated teacher and later Superintendent of the Junior Department, loved her Church, was an authority on its history, and concerned that the younger generation was not being adequately inculcated with our traditions either from the pulpit or from the Sunday School literature provided. So she wrote a play. Performed in March of 1957 it was splendid and ought to be resurrected.

“New” Parsonage, c. 1958 Another highlight occurred on July 23, 1958 when the joint Boards, feeling that the Holly Avenue neighborhood was no longer appropriate for a parsonage and that the existing one could hardly be modernized, asked and received ratification by the Church council of the purchase of a new parsonage at 2500 Country Club Road—the new home was a total surprise to the Pastor.

Other important events of 1957 included the establishment of an Organ Fund by the Ben Cahill family in the memory Helen Keith Cahill, and the Southern Provinces celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Unitas Fratrum, concluded by a mass service at the Memorial Coliseum.

As Lent approached in 1958, Brother Goserud announced that he would during that season pray in the sanctuary for each individual and family in the congregation between 8:30 and 9:00 o’clock a.m. He invited the congregation to join him. This deserved to become a custom, but has sadly been abandoned.

On May 14, 1959 an era ended: Calvary’s beloved Bishop Schwarze, our pastor for 34 years—through 2 world wars and the Great Depression—was called home at the age of 73.

Reverend Goserud realized the teaching value of theatre and used the stage in the Fellowship Hall repeatedly for performances of religious plays. The traditional Christmas pageant was made a centerpiece of the Advent season. Of course, the star role was that of Mary. Celeste Abernathy and Blanche Stone were among those who played the Virgin. The Calvary band during the first part of Goserud’s tenure was directed by C.B. Fordham, assisted by Peter W. Blum, Jr. C.B. Fordham was succeeded in 1960 by N.D. Fordham, Jr. and assistant band directors were Peter Blum, Jr. and John I. Shore.

During Goserud’s tenure the sanctuary was again renovated with new beige rugs replacing the former green ones, new Tiffany glass chandeliers replacing the former ones, and a window installed between the sanctuary and entrance foyer. Also in 1961 plans were begun for building a new education wing. Douglas F. Peterson chaired this effort.

Reverend C. Bruce Weber who had become Assistant Pastor in July of 1959 was called to become Pastor of the Oak Grove congregation on July 1, 1961. 1961 was also the year Girl Scout Troop 66 was begun. The original members included Shannon Chandler, Ann Womble, Gaye Moser, Diane Moser, Patty McCollum, Sandra Page and Janet Cornelius.

The congregation was saddened in November 1961 when the Reverend Goserud received and accepted a call to Nazareth Moravian Church in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Another blow was the death of longtime Sexton, Doc Hall on November 27. The Provincial Elders Conference called the Reverend C. Truett Chadwick to succeed Goserud.

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