Schäfer was founded as a Lutheran colony on 1 August 1766 by LeRoy & Pictet. The colony was looted by the Kirghiz in 1774.

      Colonists left to resettle in the Caucasus in 1780. Emigration to America began in 1877-1878 when 50 people left. Another wave of immigration occured in 1905.

      A new Lutheran church was built of brick in Schäfer in 1906. It was one of the largest among the colonies, seating 4,000 parishners.

"We, the residents of the village of Lipovka of the Engels district of the Saratov region, are looking for people who would like to restore our church," Tatyana Lukasheva of Lipovka writes to us in the hope that thanks to the publication of information there will be someone who wants to help restore the historical monument in their village. - We defended the bell, now we want this beauty to come alive! Help - let the rumor, maybe there is another Loor. "
Residents of Lipovka look with envy at the neighboring Zorkino, an hour's drive from them. There, the Belgorod businessman Karl Loor, in memory of his parents, who lived before the deportation to Zorkino (at that time it was still called Zurich), restored an abandoned Lutheran church at its own expense. October 3, 2015, the opening of this monument of German temple architecture, built in 1877 by the project of Berlin architect Johann Eduard Jakobstahl. After the restoration of the church began to revive and settled. Karl Loor built in it a small hotel - for tourists who want to see the church and relax near the Volga. Helped and with the repair of kindergarten, school, built a market. In a good old house near the church, the villagers decided to open a music school, and again asked a philanthropist, who here likes to call "our Carlos".
The temple in Lipovka, it would seem, was more fortunate than Zorkinsky, survived not only the hard times of the 30-40's, but also the fire in the 90's. Built in the beginning of the XX century, the Lutheran church in Lipovka (the German name of the village - Shefer) became the pride of local residents and one of the largest in the Volga region: the church was designed for 4,000 worshipers with a total village population of 2,600 people. For more than 100 years of history, the church is well preserved: there are walls with elements of Gothic style, a tower and an original bell. Thanks to him, the church is the only one of its kind. It is included in the list of objects of cultural heritage and is subject to state protection. Almost every weekend to admire the church come tourists.
But the unique bell attracts not only travelers. In January this year in Lipovka there appeared the head of the municipal formation of Krasny Yar of the Engels district Tatyana Golovko. Under her leadership, according to local residents, "an attempt was made to remove the bell and take it to an unknown destination." Villagers stood up for his defense. They managed to attract media attention and avoid dismantling the bell. However, his fate, as well as the fate of the Kirkh, remains uncertain.
After this incident, it turned out that the Lutheran church, despite the status of the object of cultural heritage, is abandoned. About this at a press conference in mid-March, said the head of the department for the protection of cultural heritage of the Government of the Saratov region Vladimir Mukhin. "Within a year the decision will be made, and we will find the owner of the property," he said.
To the search for a man who will become a diligent master, the residents of Lipovka also joined in. They write letters to various instances, including the prosecutor's office of the region, UNESCO and the Russian president. "We are for the restoration of the church. God is one, and it does not matter that we are talking about the Lutheran church, "the inhabitant of the village of Catherine explains her active position." We are all told in the village: nothing will happen to you. But money is born. " In Lipovka opened an account for the restoration of the church.
At present, restoration work is being completed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Marx. "MNG" wrote a year and a half ago that its bell tower restored in 2015 can be decorated with a bell from the church in Lipovka ("MNG", No. 15/406). Tatiana Lukasheva recalls that when the workers arrived in January to dismantle the bell, they allegedly asked: "Where is the bell that needs to be taken to Marx?" There are rumors that the bell has already been sold for a lot of money, and still it will sooner or later be removed. "This is a bell of God's punishment," recalls Lukashev, who has recently become interested in the history of her village. - Do you know that all five workers who dismantled the roof of the church in the early 1990s died? We believe that this bell is the guard of Lipovka. "
"In the Russian archives, no drawings of the church in the former Schaefer have been found. The name of its architect is also unknown. However, even ten years ago, we knew nothing about the architect of the Zurich church and did not believe in the possibility of its restoration, "says the Saratov historian Olga Litzenberger, thanks to whom Karl Loor learned about the existence of the drawings of the church in Zorkino. - Who knows what secrets are stored in the archives. In addition, in the history of architecture there are thousands of examples, when architectural monuments were restored without drawings, just from photographs. I would like to see a similar miracle happen to the church in Lipovka. "

Waiting for restoration

Sources: CVGS 
Article in russian, Google translated