After Pastor Stiemke accepted the call to Trinity Lutheran Church in Houston in 1879, Holy Cross had no pastor for about two years. During this time, the congregation was served by the Rev. Carl Ludwig Geyer of St. Peter’s in Serbin until the vacancy was filled by the Rev. Gottfried Buchschacher.
Buchschacher was born in Switzerland in 1852, and came to the United States not out of any desire to serve the church, but rather to find his father.
When Buchschacher was still a young child, his father, David, left to go to the United States to seek a better life. After some time, he sent all of the money he had earned overseas to his wife and child, only to hear that both had died.
But the information he received was incorrect; while his wife had indeed died, his son was alive and well.
Young Gottfried was raised in an orphanage but never forgot his father. His desire to find him was so great that as a young man he went to the United States Embassy, where the consul encouraged him to travel abroad to find his long-lost father.
In 1872, he arrived in Washington, DC. Though he had no luck finding his father there, he became active in the church and eventually was drawn to the ministry. A few years later, he relocated to Texas, where he was ordained in the Methodist church and served congregations in Fredericksburg and Yorktown.
At some point during his stay in Texas, Buchschacher began to read the Missori Synod’s paper, Der Lutheraner, and then corresponded with the synod’s president, the Rev. C.F.W. Walther for some time. In 1879, he relocated to New Orleans and joined the Missouri Synod via the colloquy process.
He soon was serving as pastor of a Lutheran church in Algiers, Louisiana. After about two years there, he accepted the call to Holy Cross in Warda, where he was installed by Pastor Geyer in 1881.
Pastor Buchschacher was finally reunited with his father after a druggist in New Orleans, who had seen a notice placed by Buchschacher in the local newspaper recognized the name from an earlier story about a fire in his father’s floral shop there.
David Buchschacher then wrote to his son, and after many years apart, the two were joyfully reunited. The lost-but-now-found father came to Warda, where he lived with his son until his death.
Pastor Buchschacher died on August 17, 1930 after serving Holy Cross for forty-nine years.
You can read more about Pr. Buchschacher and Holy Cross’ history here: