River Cities Gazette

Grace Lutheran Church statue gets cleaning

FACE-TO-FACE: Bud Bladow got close to God while cleaning the welcoming statue at Grace Lutheran Church.
FACE-TO-FACE: Bud Bladow got close to God while cleaning the welcoming statue at Grace Lutheran Church.
Gazette Photo/WALLY CLARK

River Cities Gazette

Everyone in South Florida knows that when something is outside the weather will have its way, and anything that’s white will slowly turn dark with mildew. Upkeep is a necessity, but when something is out of reach, it doesn’t get regular maintenance.

On Saturday, Nov. 30 Reid Bladow and three other men took on the chore of pressure-cleaning the welcoming God statue high on the front of Grace Lutheran Church on Curtiss Parkway.

Bladow was the man with the pressure gun on the ladder, while Leo Justo, Bud Gishler and Charlie Henry assisted from the ground. Of course, you can’t get that close to an image of Jesus without good-natured comments.

“I did this five years ago,” said Bladow, a longtime church member and RN at the University of Miami. “But we didn’t have a hose long enough, so we only got up to His neck. He had a dirty face for years.”

Pastor David Imhoff said, “Jesus has been welcoming folks for over 60 years with His arms outstretched. In the course of doing so, the elements have been attempting to wear Him down. So our men’s group decided to give Him a bath and clean Him up for Christmas. Reid Bladow climbed up and did the job. It’s the first time someone has seen Jesus, face to face, and lived to tell others about it.”

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

PASTOR SCHMIDT WAY: From left, Councilman Jaime Petralanda, Councilman Michael Windrem, grandson Erik Schmidt, son Mark Schmidt, Diane Schmidt (Mark’s wife), son Matthew Schmidt holding the proclamation, Councilman Billy Bain, grandson Jason Schmidt, Pastor David Imhoff, and Mayor Zavier Garcia. Family members were given commemorative street signs.

    Former Grace Lutheran Pastor Albert Schmidt honored by City of Miami Springs

    Kind, caring, and a leader. Those were some of the words at a recent tribute used to describe the Rev. Albert R. Schmidt, the beloved former pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Miami Springs who passed away in 2013 and was the subject of a dedication ceremony when the City of Miami Springs designated a portion of Curtiss Parkway as “Pastor Schmidt Way.”

CHARTER INDUCTEE: Doug Orr (second from left) was inducted onto the Miami Springs Wall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, April 12. Members of the Miami Springs City Council, from left Mayor Zavier Garcia, Billy Bain, Michael Windrem and Jaime Petralanda were on hand to make the presentation.

    Doug Orr earns spot on Miami Springs Community Center's "Wall of Fame"

    There was a lot to celebrate last weekend as people came from near and far for the River Cities Festival but not all of the celebrating occurred around the Circle and Canal Street as there was an entirely different kind of celebration going on at the Miami Springs Community Center.

BIG CROWDS, BIG FUN: The annual River Cities Festival enjoyed one of the largest turnouts in its history last weekend and the success was due, in part, to the variety of music and vendors offerring something for everyone as these three festival-goers proved.

    Annual River Cities Festival hits all the right notes for Miami Springs

    The City of Miami Springs Public Works cleanup crews were out in full force on Monday morning, April 14. And with good reason as another River Cities Festival was now in the books and there was plenty of cleaning up to be done as the weekend was highlighted by great weather and big crowds.

Miami Herald

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