James M. Herzog obituary photo
 
In Memory of

James M. Herzog

December 26, 1935 - March 25, 2015

Obituary


Rev. James Martin Herzog of Kempner, Texas, passed away on Wednesday March 25th 2015 at the age of 79.
He was born in Loebau, Texas on December 26th 1935, the eldest son of the late Martin O. Herzog and Hermina (Kruemcke) Herzog. He resided there for his first 8 years speaking only German.
He graduated from Killeen High School and was accepted to North Texas State University in Denton on a full-ride scholarship to be a commercial artist. It was during his first year there that he felt God's call into the ministry. He...

Rev. James Martin Herzog of Kempner, Texas, passed away on Wednesday March 25th 2015 at the age of 79.
He was born in Loebau, Texas on December 26th 1935, the eldest son of the late Martin O. Herzog and Hermina (Kruemcke) Herzog. He resided there for his first 8 years speaking only German.
He graduated from Killeen High School and was accepted to North Texas State University in Denton on a full-ride scholarship to be a commercial artist. It was during his first year there that he felt God's call into the ministry. He transferred to Concordia Junior College in Ft. Wayne Indiana. In 1957 he began his formal studies in the ministry and entered Concordia Theological Seminary, then located in Springfield Illinois. While on vicarage in Winsor Canada, he came back to Texas to marry his high school sweetheart Elizabeth Janell Wells (Betty) on January 15th 1961. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary and was ordained at Grace Lutheran Church in Killeen, Texas in the summer of 1962. Three months later, James, Betty and their then-infant son Jim Robert set off for missionary work in New Guinea. During their five-year stay on the Pacific island, the Herzogs saw the conversion of several hundred "stone-age natives" to Christianity, as well as the birth of their second son, Sam.
After returning to the United States in 1967, Rev. Herzog served three congregations in Texas (Grace Lutheran in Killeen and the dual parish of Ascension Lutheran in Cleburne, Texas, and Trinity Lutheran in Weatherford, Texas) before moving his family, in 1968, to River Forest Illinois. There he began studies at Concordia Teacher's College and became a certified teacher for high schools of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. In 1969 he began a six-year post as a religious instructor, counselor and chaplain at Luther North High School in Chicago. In 1974 he added the pastorship of St. John Lutheran Church in Niles, Illinois, to his duties. On September 17th, 1978 Rev. Herzog became pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in the Chicago Suburb of Glendale Heights. On Wednesday, August 20th 1980, Rev. Herzog and his family arrived back on the mission field'''this time to Guadalajara Mexico. While there, preaching in English, Spanish and even German, he helped move the church from a rented building at St. Mark's, to a brand new church building, establishing All Saints Lutheran Church in Guadalajara. In 1984 he took a call very near to his birth place at St. Michaels Lutheran Church in Winchester, Texas. In 1985, at the age of 50, he suffered a massive heart attack putting him on a heart transplant list, but he never did receive a new heart. He was given a life expectancy of about five years at the time. With his resulting congestive heart failure, he was unable to continue any full time ministry positions, but for the next 29 years, he continued to do the Lord's work in any way that he could. He established his own "Intercessional Support Ministry" where he would mentor young pastors, support other pastors and churches through prayer and encouragement. He volunteered part time in churches throughout Texas including Bay City and Port Isabel to name a few. He continued to preach, teach, guest-lecture and support God's ministry in any way that he could find. He also found time to write a book for his grandkids called "Tell the Children - What Glorious Things God Does" so that they could at an older age appreciate the many stories he wanted to tell them regarding the early years of his ministry. He recently finished re-writing the entire New Testament in his own words for the purpose of creating a writing style that would be more attractive to the modern generation. He served on the board of directors for the Bethesda Lutheran Communities Home for the mentally handicapped. He spent several summers, 4-6 weeks at a time in the most economically disadvantaged areas of the Appalachian Mountains bringing much needed items gathered from local Texas churches, and spent time with the local pastors, encouraging them as well as learning from them.
Rev. Herzog loved to sing and write music. One could always hear his voice, well above the rest whenever he sang in a group. He also loved writing poetry, art (mostly painting, drawing and wood carving), camping and traveling. His art was as prominent as his singing was. His wife Betty states that he hand-carved over 50 wooded crosses and gave them away to people over the years.
Rev. Herzog writes in a recently found letter that he was happy to have been able to fulfill a life-long dream of traveling to "Lutherland" in Germany some day. He was very honored to have been able to preach six times over a two-week period in Martin Luther's two churches in Wittenberg, in the late fall of 2003. He was equally excited to explore his roots there. The town of Loebau, Texas (where he was born) is named after the city of the same name in the Lausitz area of Germany. This is the same area of Germany in which Rev. Herzog's ancestors once lived.
Rev. Herzog's heart for people is exemplified in a quote from this same letter mentioned above. "I love people of all ages and backgrounds and enjoy sharing the gospel with them. This includes preaching, teaching, counseling, and just befriending them in His name."

Rev. Herzog is survived by his wife, Betty of Kempner Texas; and his two sons Dr. James Herzog and wife, Heather of Argyle, Texas; Sam Herzog and soon-to-be wife Susan of Lewisville, Texas. The grandchildren include Jared Herzog of Denton, Texas; Leah Herzog of Lewisville, Texas; Nathan Herzog of Denton, Texas; and Chloe Herzog of Denton, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his father Martin Oswald. Herzog Sr. on Dec. 18, 1967; his mother Hermina S. Herzog on Feb. 8th, 2003; his sisters Vere Thrash, Lillian Cruddas and his brother Rev. Martin Oswald, Jr.
A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 AM Saturday April 18, 2015 at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Belton, Texas.