107-year-old Hope Lutheran Church honored for its place in Omaha civil rights motion | State and Regional Information

In 1946, Pastor Helmut H. Schauland became the first full-time minister called to a Black Lutheran congregation in Omaha.

Rev. Helmut H. Schauland

The Rev. Helmut H. Schauland

In the 1950s, the Church publicly worked to integrate its members.

Rev. RF Jenkins was hired by the ward in 1954 and was the first minister of the Missouri Synod of Black Lutheran Church in Nebraska District. He then co-founded the Citizens Coordinating Committee on Civil Liberties, which campaigned for the integration of the Peony Park swimming pool, fair employment, better housing and access to public housing, equal police protection and an increase in the number of black teachers.

Rev. RF Jenkins

The Rev. RF Jenkins

When news reached her that Hope Lutheran Church was on the National Register, Annette Bland knew that her late stepmother Evelyn McIntosh “looked down from heaven and smiled.”

McIntosh’s family held services at their home before moving into the Hope Lutheran Church building in 1946. Bland, an active member of Hope Lutheran, said, “There are no words to describe the importance of seeing this story recorded.” She and a team of Church members worked together to write the nomination.

Bland hopes that the history of the Church will attract new members who will enable the Church to continue to grow and prosper.

Coupled with the historical significance of Hope Lutheran, the building itself is impressive, History Nebraska said in a press release. The church retains many of its original features, including oak throughout the sanctuary, pine floors, wooden benches, and stained glass windows. The bell is located in the original bell tower and is rung before every Sunday morning service.

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