Pastor Axthelm and the pulpit in Eckartsberga

Source: http://www.pfarreebg.de/willkommen-in-den-kirchengemeinden/eckartsberga-seena/, by Pastor Bettina Plötner-Walter

Heinz Axthelm

Pastor Heinz Axthelm 1935

“Some of the elderly will probably remember that Pastor Axthelm worked in Eckartsberga and the surrounding area during the war and post-war period. Now it happened recently that distant relatives of Pastor Axthelm contacted me to visit the pulpit, which is also connected to a distant Axthelm ancestor who was a pastor in Oschersleben in the 17th century. So I got a short extract from the life memories of our Pastor Axthelm, in which he reports about our pulpit.

Background information about the pulpit in Eckartsberga

pulpit in Eckartsberga

pulpit in Eckartsberga © Parish area Eckartsberga and surroundings

When he took up his position in Eckartsberga in mid-1939, he immediately noticed the pulpit. On closer inspection, he discovered the year of construction 1670 and the fact that the pulpit originally comes from Oschersleben. Both of these can be seen today without any problems when you visit the pulpit.

But he knew from his own family history that around 1670 his ancestor Sixtus Axthelm was cathedral vicar and builder at the St. Nicolai church in Oschersleben (cathedral vicar is a clergyman assigned to the main church there – if I understand that correctly, the name cathedral vicar in this case comes from the fact that Oschersleben was affiliated with the Halberstadt monastery, so the pastor of Oschersleben was legally assigned to the Halberstadt cathedral chapter).

Pastor Axthelm therefore suspected that his ancestor must have stood and preached at least in this pulpit, if not involved in the construction or design of the pulpit. The pulpit later landed in the attic of the Oschersleben superintendent – presumably it had gotten there during the neo-Gothic church renovation of the Oschersleben Nikolai church.

After the fire in our church, the local parish started a question about new church interiors. The pulpit in Oschersleben, which is probably more valuable than the one that is now in the St. Nikolai church in Oschersleben, has come to Eckartsberga and has been restored.

Coat of arms on the pulpit?

When the Axthelm relatives mentioned above visited our church and pulpit, they looked for an Axthelm coat of arms. As far as they knew, the coat of arms was adorned with a helmet with an ax on top. This description could apply to one of the coats of arms at the pulpit, with a little imagination.

Further memories of Pastor Heinz Axthelm

Pastor Axthelm has probably left us in Eckartsberga the text of our popular Eckartsburg song “Wide valley at my feet” – at least it has been reported to me on various occasions. His name has also been mentioned to me several times – during the war and especially after the war, he probably achieved a lot in and around Eckartsberga, e.g. also the retrieval of the Lißdorfer bell from the “bell cemetery” in Hamburg.”

© Parish area Eckartsberga and surroundings
Link: http://www.pfarreebg.de/willkommen-in-den-kirchengemeinden/eckartsberga-seena/


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