God’s grace at St. Paul’s

I just read “Uncovering History,” the June/July Lutheran Witness article about Rev. Franz Julius Biltz and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia, Mo. In July, our granddaughter, Layla Denine Oetting, was baptized at St. Paul’s, becoming the sixth consecutive generation of Oettings to be baptized there.

Layla’s great-great-great-great grandparents, Christian and Marie Knigge Oetting, homesteaded land east of Concordia 170 years ago

on June 18, 1839. On May 1, 1840, which is considered the date on which St. Paul’s was founded, Maria Oetting, third child of Christian and Marie, became the congregation’s first Baptism. Since 1840, all the children of Christian and Marie’s descendants remaining on the homestead, which is still owned and farmed by Oettings today, have been baptized at St. Paul’s. With Layla, that number is now 27. Indeed, we have been blessed.

Sharon Oetting
Concordia, Mo.

An early member of St. Paul’s, Concordia, Christian Oetting was one of three men murdered at point-blank range by Confederate guerillas the night of Oct. 5, 1862, after he, Pastor Biltz, and nine other men were taken hostage at a Baptism supper in Concordia, Mo. Three other hostages were shot also but survived. —Ed.


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