Pastor and Mrs. G. H. Raedeke – 1927
Candidate Gilbert H. Raedeke accepted the call to the Camrose parish and arrived in Edmonton with his young bride on Friday, August 26th, 1927. They were met by Pastor C. Thies who took them home for the night and then accompanied them on the C.N. train to Camrose where they rented rooms at the home of Mrs. Ted Wakemeyer. After clearing their effects through customs and making arrangements for the installation service Sunday afternoon, they returned to Edmonton.
Sunday morning they drove down to Camrose with Mr. John Armbruster. The service was conducted in the old Norwegian Church, then occupied by the Seventh Day Adventists. Pastor Thies preached the sermon and officiated at the installation, Miss Albertina Fetzner served as organist. About 30 people attended the service, the majority of them members of four families, Charles Fetzner, Joshua Kaser, Mrs. Eda Cole and Walter Stumph.
Lunch at the Cole Home
Following the Service there was a reception for the new pastor and his wife at the home of Mrs. Eda Cole. A long table was placed on the lawn where the group enjoyed a very fine meal.
The young couple then took possession of their first home in Camrose, a two room apartment. Meals were prepared on a stove in the hall which was shared with several boys, students at the normal school, who also rented there.
Pastor Raedeke preached his first sermon in Camrose on Sunday, September 24th, 1927. The group continued to use the SDA church building until they were able to dedicate their own church. At first attendance was very poor, sometimes no more than eight or nine people.
Nevertheless, on December 1st Pastor Raedeke made a down payment of $100.00 on the old Roman Catholic Church which was for sale for $1,100.00
At Camrose the instruction of the children and young people presented quite a problem since most of the members lived five, ten and even twenty miles from town. At the outlying stations many of the children were enrolled in Sunday school by mail. Some also received instruction for confirmation by mail. We had regular Sunday school and Saturday classes but many of the children did not attend regularly because of the weather and road conditions and especially since many families lived a great distance from the church. Some of the parents still used the horse and buggy for transportation.
The August and Adolph Majeski families would come to church with a three seated buggy and an additional platform on the back. The adults and small children would occupy the seats and the boys would generally stand on the platform in the back. It is too bad we have no picture of the buggy and occupants.