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Heritage Day serves up fun with a side of service (photo gallery)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 22, 2013 at 4:22 a.m.
Updated Sept. 23, 2013 at 4:23 a.m.

Kristi Heidrich, of Victoria, greets her friend's daughter, Allie Kocian, 2, of Katy, at First English Lutheran Church's 12th annual Heritage Day in Victoria. "Heritage Day gives back to other organizations," Heidrich said, "It's good to see everyone come together and support each other."

DID YOU KNOW?

First English Lutheran was the first English-speaking Lutheran church in Victoria.

Lutheran services were previously offered in German before First English Lutheran.

First English Lutheran will celebrate its 100th anniversary in October.

The existing church building on North Main Street was dedicated in June 1917.

First English Lutheran services were previously held at Ryan Hall on West Santa Rosa Street beginning in 1913.

Source: First English Lutheran Church

Callie Mae Haug gently placed her new wall cross in a white paper bag.

She purchased the handcrafted wooden cross, made entirely of burned matches, in the general store of the 12th annual Heritage Day on Sunday at First English Lutheran Church.

"I have about nine or 10 on my wall, and I'm going to put this one on the wall, too," said Haug, of Victoria.

Haug has attended and volunteered at Heritage Day ever since the Rev. Bill Hassell launched the event 12 years ago.

"It's just a fun group to work with, and we enjoy getting to spend time with everyone and having the opportunity to serve the community," said Haug, who has attended First English Lutheran since 1969.

Proceeds from the day's events, which included silent and live auctions, barbecue plates, a cakewalk and general store, will be donated to five recipients, including Golden Crescent CASA, Victoria Young Life, Future Sight, Boys and Girls Club of Victoria and the First English Lutheran Church Heritage Day Community Assistance Fund.

"I remember the first Heritage Day, and we were feeling our way through. Every year, it gets bigger. It's growing, and we're so grateful for that," she said.

Dr. Aaron Muegge, a Victoria dentist, said Heritage Day allows the church to meet the needs of the community and serve God at the same time.

"It's such a family atmosphere here, and we're all working together to accomplish a greater good," Muegge said. "We're building stronger relationships and enhancing God's ministry."

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