The Essex Street Church and Rudolph Scheibert

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

Hanging in the Heritage Room is this copper likeness of our old Essex Street Church. The edifice served as our home for almost 70 years, until the move to Salem Acres. A recent find in our archives revealed that this work of hammered copper was executed by a church member, Mr. Rudolph Scheibert.

Scheibert, along with his wife Amy, donated the piece to the church on Easter Sunday, 1942. Scheibert was the head of the Industrial Arts Department at Washington School, a junior high school located on Hopple Street. He worked with students teaching the manual arts. In addition, he and a number of other teachers sponsored an arts show every year where students could display and sell their works.

During the peak of World War II in 1944 when toys were scarce, Scheibert developed patterns so children could make their own toys out of scrap wood and metal. He took these templates to the annual Christmas Toyland held at the Masonic Temple and distributed them to children and parents, so they could go home and make Christmas toys for their families.

The Scheiberts left this beautiful work of art to honor their church and it continues to do so 77 years after their gift of love.

Image provided by Mike Roberts.