Object of the Day

Redeemer Lutheran Church and Service Center

The back of this postcard stated that the Redeemer Lutheran Church and Service Center was dedicated in November 1948.

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Did you attend this church? What could you tell us about it?

Was the California mission style a popular architectural style in the Canal Zone?

Please share with us in the comments section below!


  • Julie J. Baglien

    I grew up attending this church in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The upper floor of the Service Center was the parsonage for the pastor and family. Many of us kids spent time relaxing in the breezeway between the buildings while our parents were at the after-church Coffee Hour. There was a small study for the pastor in the church tower. I served as the organist at Redeemer during my high school years, playing the two manual electronic Hammond organ. When the church population grew to the point where the Service Center could not be divided into enough sections for Sunday School classes, we arranged to use classrooms across the street at St. Mary’s Catholic School. My dad was the Sunday School Superintendent for years and my mom played the piano for the children’s songs that began the Sunday School time period. The church was eventually air conditioned during our time there. There were two services each Sunday morning and the pastor also served the Lutheran Chapel in Margarita.

  • Peggy Huff

    Thank you, Julie Baglien, for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate your attention to detail in sharing your memories of the Lutheran Church in Ancon. When I take the time to open and read a posting, this is the type of information I want to see. Comments such as yours are critical to preserving the American Era of the Panama Canal.

    • Julie J. Baglien

      Thanks, Peggy. I just want to clarify that Redeemer Lutheran is in Balboa, not Ancon. It is on Balboa Road as pictured. Owen Street ran behind the church property.

  • Peggy Huff

    For some reason I was “seeing” the church that is in Ancon near where the payroll branch was and couldn’t figure out the wooden structure in the background. Thanks for setting me straight – I now recognize the intersection; the Masonic Temple would be in the direction the Jeep is going.

  • Pastor Keith "Andy" Sievers

    I was an intern pastor or vicar at Redeemer August of 1975 to August of 1976. I arrived Pastor Allen Trapp came over from the Margarita Chapel to serve at Redeemer. Between the two of us we covered Redeemer and Margarita Chapel.

    • Bob Dillon

      I know it’s a little off topic, but… since you were there during the bicentennial, what can you remember of the bicentennial decorations, adornments and celebrations. The things I remember I’m sure everybody else does, but I’m looking for the hidden gems that we all forgot. I remember the fire hydrants randomly being painted in Bicentennial colors with stars and stripes and all kind of Bicentennial type thingies. I remember the train being painted red white and blue stars and stripes. I wasn’t there for the summer, we came to the states for that 2 year cycle to see the bicentennial. In fact Dad held off for 3 years on his vacation so we could come up just for 1976. I remembered that the sea Scouts had the boat, Chief at the kissick? That they sailed or were supposed to sail into New York with the tall ships. As I look back and see what dictation has butchered the name of that boat into, I ignore it and continue on. Tug boats in launches, but maybe that’s a hallucination or false memory. Do I remember Bicentennial paint on fire engines??? You get the gist… where’s that Hidden Gem that we all forgot. Dictated on my little Samsung Galaxy, but not proof read. We’ve digressed to the point where the President has a 4th grade English proficiency level. What’s the point? We’re all screwed. It’s the butterfly effect. Not only did Jimmy Carter lead to the US giving away the Panama Canal but just like a butterfly flapping its wings in India, now we have Donald Trump. Boy am I way off on a tangent. Alright you hyper party polarized political people you can ignore this. You’re bigger than that. Speaking of off on a tangent, my Aunt Helen sent me a bag of Cafe Duran coffee beans that she bought on Amazon, sent them to me for a Christmas gift. They were really good and they were really fresh ( got them in December and they had a date stamp on them from last summer). Taste just the way any good Colombian coffee should taste. Just like Cafe Duran, hecho in Panama. Thank you Auntie Helen, love you. The bicentennial was a very big deal on the Canal Zone and it was all over the place Spirit of 76 out the ying-yang.

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