Preaching after death
Anyone visiting Montrose Cemetery at 5400 N Pulaski Avenue in Chicago will certainly pass by the most imposing grave of the Reverend Gotthilf J. Lambrecht. Every day, since his death, he appears to continue to steadfastly preach from his granite pulpit, as he did in life. . His family members are buried in rows in front of the monument much like they would be sitting in front of a pulpit in church, as if listening to his sermon.
Gotthilf J Lambrecht was born Jul. 13, 1841 in Bernsee, in the province of Brandenburg (Prussia) the son of Johan Carl Lambrecht and Wilhelmine Prochnow.
His parents decided that he should enter the teaching profession and sent him to the seminary at Bromberg (province of Posen, Prussia), from which he graduated at the age of twenty-one in 1862.
He married Charlotte Heidenfeldt on September 15 1864. This marriage produced three daughters and one son, namely, Mrs. Ida Burkhart, Mrs. C. F. Weisse, wife of the Reverend Mr. Weisse; Miss Thalita Lambrecht, and Johannes R. Lambrecht.
After he had been a teacher for two years, he decided to emigrate to the United States of America, where friends persuaded the highly talented young man to study theology. For this purpose he entered the theological seminary of the Synod of the Northwest at Lake Zurich.
Two years later, on May 16, 1866, he was ordained as a preacher at Immanuel Lutheran Church located on Church Road, north of Grand Avenue, opposite Zion Lutheran Church, both now in Addison, Illinois. (The area used to be called Churchville because it had two churches and two cemeteries. The Zion Church congregation dates from 1838. A split in the church in 1848 produced St. John’s, which currently stands on Route 83 and Foster Avenue. A second split in 1859 produced Immanuel Lutheran.)
His first call was to become pastor at the Evangelical church at Hoosiers Grove, north side of Roselle rd (old Church Road) west of Barrington Road, now Streamwood,
After a brief period, he was called to 4th German Evangelical United Lutheran St. Peter’s, which was just being established at Chicago Ave & Noble circa 1898. Organized in 1864 as a member of the Evangelical Synod, the congregation for a time was a union congregation of Lutherans and Evangelicals. Later a member of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, it is now a member of the United Church of Christ, and is known as St. Peter UCC..
In the course of time, the character of the neighborhood changed and the Germans moved further west, making it necessary to abandon the old church. n 1911 the church building on Noble was sold and the congregation built anew at Cortez and Oakley where he dedicated almost his whole life’s work.
.In 1916, he and the congregation celebrated his fiftieth anniversary as a clergyman having faithfully preached during Sunday services, conducting untold number of weddings, christening and funeral ceremonies. Parish records from 1864 are at the current church office, 2805 N. Linder, Chicago, IL 60639
Reverend G. J. Lambrecht died on Nov. 22, 1918.
Well done, thy good and faithful servant
References; Findagrave, Sonntagpost — November 24, 1918, and other sources