This article appeared in a local German newspaper. Adolf Scherer of Monsheim and his wife Marina sent it to me, along with a translation. They tell me that a full history of the church is being prepared and that when it becomes available, they will send it to me.
IN A COLORFUL GARMENT
- Lutheran church in Hohen-Sülzen will be consecrated after renovation -
"A beautiful house of God has arisen from a formerly colorless church." Not without pride, vicar Volker Hudel looks at the new old Protestant church in Hohen-Sülzen. After extensive renovation, the house of God will be consecrated on Sunday the 14th of April at 2 PM with a special service. The vice president of the Protestant Church of Hessen and Nassau, Senior Church Councillor Hans-Helmut Köke, will give the ceremonial sermon. The gospel choir of Eich, "Magic Voices," will provide the music for the service.
The Protestant church in Hohen-Sülzen is first mentioned (in historical records) in the year 1140. It was under the authority and patronage of the "Andreasstift of Worms" until 1802. The present church was built as an alteration and extension between 1792 and 1812, wherein the nave was extended and the choir (loft) and tower were rebuilt. The old building was partially demolished and some fragments were used in the new building. During renovation, services were held in the town hall. Regarding the completed work, church historian Dr. Wilhelm Diehl wrote, "Out of a very miserable church an entirely dignified house of God has emerged."
In 1837 the organ was purchased. Financed by the civilian community and donations four years after the war, the tower was rebuilt, and on the 7th of August, 1949, the two new bells were consecrated. The church was used by both religions until 1954. After this simultaneous usage arrangement ended, the church was renovated extensively. On the 20th of June, 1954, Probst Becker carried out the consecration. Again the church was changed into a colorful house of God by a renovation. The tower was rebuilt, and the front exterior was repainted.
The most obvious gem in the church is the freshly installed ceiling fresco, created by the Rhine-Hessian artist Damaris Wurmdobler from Erbes-Büdesheim, which depicts Jacob's dream about Jacob's ladder.
The caption under the picture reads: "The Lutheran church in Hohen-Sülzen stands as a gem after renovation."
Until just recently, there were only two churches officially recognized in Germany as "state" churches, the Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church. The majority of the people in Germany belong to one or the other. To the German way of thinking then, and historically, the phrase "The church was used by both religions until 1954" presumably means that the church building was supported by and used for services by both Lutherans and Catholics. Rather than giving tithes or offerings as we do in the U.S., in Germany a percentage of one's paycheck is designated for the church of one's choice, but only "state" churches qualify for payroll deduction. The "free" churches such as Baptist and various other Protestant denominations receive support solely through donations. Within the last several years, the Mormon (LDS) church has been added to the list of "state" churches.
Photos of the Hohen-Sülzen UM graves in the churchyard will be posted to this site at a later date.
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