Telling the stories of Texas with photographs (and words too...)
Pastor Stiemke of Holy Cross was certainly aware of the interpersonal conflicts that had resulted in the separation of Holy Cross as well as St. Peter’s in Serbin from Kilian’s congregation in Serbin.
That’s why I find this tidbit from a letter from Pr. Kilian wrote to the Rev. F. J. Biltz in Concordia, Missouri on April 20, 1876 to be quite interesting:
…Pastor Stiemke came to me and informed me of the birth of his first-born child, a daughter, with the request that I would baptize the child. For sponsors he selected 1) Mrs. Leubner, wife of the teacher 2) my 19 year old daughter, Theresia and 3) Pastor Proft. So yesterday I had to conduct a baptism at Pastor Stiemke and be a guest at the baptism with C. Teinert.
Teacher Ernst Leubner had been called to Kilian’s congregation in 1868, and was to also play the organ. This situation led to a conflict with Teinert, who had been the long-time organist and cantor for Kilian. Leubner eventually left with the dissidents who formed St. Peter’s.
And (I’m reading between the lines here) it would seem that perhaps the way Kilian handled the Leubner-Teinert conflict led to the friction between Kilian and Teinert that eventually manifested itself in the Holy Cross split.
So it would seem that Stiemke intentionally sought to utilize the joyous occasion of the baptism of his firstborn child to bring all three men together, and to remind them that despite the disunity that existed in the physical realm, they remained united in one common purpose: to make disciples for their common Lord, Jesus Christ.
You can read Kilian’s letter to Blitz here: