Affiliated with WELS

History

Grace Lutheran Church was established in 1953. Grace is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), a nationwide Lutheran church body with more than 1,200 congregations.

1953 - A group of concerned Christians withdrew from Peace Lutheran Church of Hutchinson, Missouri Synod. They approached the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod for spiritual guidance and financial assistance

1953 - On April 23rd, the congregation organized with 39 voting members and 93 communicant members

1953 - On April 26th the first service was held in the Episcopal Church with Pastor John Raabe of Litchfield serving as the vacancy pastor until a resident pastor could be called. A Sunday School was begun immediately, with the first classes held in the Paul Boettcher home

1953 - April 29th, In a special meeting of the congregation, the resolution was adopted to purchase two lots, located on Fifth Avenue between Lynn Road and Grove Street, from Henry Wendorff at a cost of $1000 the Wendorffs donated a third lot.

1953 - On October 25th, Rev. Harold Hempel was installed as the congregation's first full time pastor. At once the congregation entered a building program with the assistance of a $25,000 loan from the Church Extension Fund. Mr. Wilbert Kottke, Mr. Fred Rannow, Mr. Peter Miller, Mr. Leo Rannow, and Mr. Richard Slyter were appointed to the building committee.

1954 - The cornerstone was laid in the new church in a special service on July 24, 1954, and the church was completed for dedication on November 14, 1954. A ranch style parsonage, begun in March of 1954, also stood completed for dedication on the same day.

1954 - The Grace Lutheran Ladies Circle was organized on January 4, 1954 with 25 ladies.

1957 - The congregation became self-supporting in 1957. A new organ was dedicated in a special service in March of 1957.

1964 - Pastor Hempel followed a call to Michigan and was succeeded by Pastor Francis Machina

1965 - In November, Pastor Machina Resigned.

1966 - In May, Candidate Douglas Bode was assigned to Grace Congregation, and was ordained and installed on July 10, 1966.

1970 - In late Summer of 1970, Pastor Bode accepted a call to establish a new mission congregation in Denver, Colorado. The congregation then called Pastor Roland Scheele of Arlington, Minnesota, who was installed on December 6, 1970

1974 - Pastor Scheele resigns due to health reasons. The congregation then called Rev. Gail Johnson, who was installed as pastor on June 9, 1974.

1975 - The mortgage on the Church property was paid off, and a ceremony recognizing this achievement was held in the service on November 16, 1975.

1977 - In the Fall of 1977, Pastor Johnson accepted a call to serve two congregations in South Dakota and Pastor Lloyd Hahnke served as Vacancy Pastor until April of 1978

1978 - Pastor Edmund Schulz was installed on April 16, 1978

1980 - A second building program was begun, which included the edition of: a large narthex, new church entrance, church offices, multi-purpose room, lavatories, and a concrete surface parking lot.

1986 - A new organ and church lighting were installed.

1989 - Pastor Schulz retired in the Fall of 1989, and Pastor David Rosenow was installed on November 5, 1989.

1991 - The church basement was remodeled.

1993 - Grace celebrated it's 40th anniversary with the burning of the second mortgage. The parsonage was also remodeled that year, including: new steel siding, new windows, and the edition of a double garage.

1998 - In January, Pastor Rosenow accepted a call to Wisconsin and Pastor Karl Schultz served as Vacancy Pastor until June.

1998 - Pastor Brian Ewings was installed on June 14, 1998. A new roof was constructed on the Church as well.

2003 - The congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary with a catered dinner and special service in April. A number of past pastors and members were in attendance.

2004 - A new sound system was installed

2005 - The church is once again added on to, with the addition of an elevator and a lobby area.

2006 - Pastor Ewings resigned and Pastor Daniel Reich of Immanuel in Hutchinson served as the Vacancy Pastor. The congregation decided to call a candidate from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and Candidate Gregory Tobison was assigned to Grace. Candidate Tobison was ordained as a Pastor and installed on July 16th, 2006 in a 2:00 PM service. A lunch followed the service.

2007 - Grace begins broadcasting its church services on HCVN Channel 10