Book Reprint Connects Alumni

September 6, 2012

by W. C. Spenn '71

“Are you going to visit your Mom and Dad any time soon?”

I never would have guessed that such a simple question from my Aunt Laura (Geiger '36) would have eventually led me to where it did?

When I replied that I was planning to visit my parents (Melvin '51 and Alma '38) that weekend, she placed a book in my hands and continued talking, but my mind was elsewhere as soon as I read the book title: All Preachers Are Hypocrites.

My thoughts returned to my aunt’s voice.

“Since your Dad is a pastor, I think he would appreciate this book.”

I queried back.

“So, how did you find a book with such a title?”

“Pastor H. A. Heineke spoke at church about his book. I thought it was interesting enough to get a copy for both your Dad and Uncle Paul (Geiger '34).”

I delivered the book to my Dad that weekend and other than confirming the delivery to my aunt, I never thought of or heard about the book again, until…

It became necessary to move my aunt into a senior care facility just after her 90th birthday. The move required my wife Norma '70 and I to go through things in my aunt’s house. During one of our sessions, I found myself suddenly looking at a book in a box with the strange title I had encountered many years before.

That night I started a book reading session, which didn’t stop until early the next morning. What kept me reading were the descriptions of how primitive rural and semi-rural Texas was during the first part of the 20th century.

Lynn, the digital media editor on a book project I was working on: San Antonio Radio Memories, suggested I might want to see if there was the possibility of getting All Preachers Are Hypocrites back into print.

I decided to visit Ron Schmidt ’69 to see what he thought of the book. Not only did Ron like the book, he was able to place me into contact with H. A. Heineke’s son James Heineke '47 to receive permission for the reprint.

Thanks to James, All Preachers Are Hypocrites is now available online at: and It can also be ordered from most bookstores. Texas Lutheran University and Saint John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund are the beneficiaries of all the profits from the sale of the book.

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