Reverend Henry Strube had connections with Canterbury long before he moved here in 1951. He and his wife, Lois, were missionaries working in Columbia, South America in the 1940s. As they were supported by Calvary Chapel, they visited Canterbury each time they came to the US.
Mr. Strube was full of fun and life. He liked to tell jokes and had some he told a lot, like how he asked his wife to marry him. “I said to her, ‘Wilt thou marry me?’ and she wilted.” And about his first night living in the jungles of Columbia. They stayed in a thatched roof hut and after getting into bed, creatures began to fall from the rafters onto the bed. He said he wasn’t sure what all of them were, beyond rats, lizards and a snake or two, but as each one fell, he’d hit it with a stick and throw it on the floor.
In one rainy season when they were living in the jungle, their oldest child became ill. Since the roads were impassable because of the deep mud, they were unable to get the boy out for medical care, and he died.
It was, of course, a tragic happening and they mourned the boy’s death. But Pastor Strube said that the Indians attitude towards them changed much to the positive after that, as they saw how the Strubes were willing to live and lose as they did.
After they moved to a ministry in an urban center, Pastor Strube survived three assassination attempts. In one incident, his whole family was fed food containing ground glass, but miraculously they were not injured.
Later when Pastor Strube was preaching on the street, a mob came after him. He was able to get into his truck, but they surrounded him and turned the truck over, hoping to kill hime, but only succeeded in cutting off two of his fingers.
Another time he was in his kitchen moving the galvanized container they used for a bath tub. Just when he bent over to move it, a bullet came in the open window and went right through his hair. Later the gunman became a follower of Jesus and told Pastor Strube that the local religious leader had promised to marry him for free if he killed Mr. Strube!
He liked to tell how, after moving to Canterbury, he prepared his sermons at night, always keeping a 22. rifle on the desk so he could shoot the rats that came out of the baseboards of the old parsonage. In his time the parsonage was the house next to Creative Interiors.
He was very interested in meeting people where they were in life, as willing to help folks get in hay, milk a cow or take them to the hospital as he was to preach, teach a class or visit the sick. He was also a good mechanic, fixing his own car and anyone else’s that needed work.
In interviewing people about him, one word they used a lot to describe him was “fun.” He and his wife led the youth group and he was always finding a new place to take them. Claire Ellston remembers how entertaining their times were in the “Young Peoples” group with Pastor Strube: swimming, ice skating, roller skating, trips to the beach and to camp.
He bought an old hearse to take the young people to events, including Word of Life Camp in Schroon Lake in NY. More than once that “re-hearse” broke down on the road, but with Mr. Strube along, they always got it running again.