Location *L* on Church Map of Oberlin
(Oberlin Historical and Improvement Organization)
"We are Lutheran!", the introductory pamphlet to Grace Lutheran states, "we belong to an historic tradition that seeks to believe and confess accurately the teachings of the Bible. These characteristically Lutheran beliefs are recorded in the Book of Concord, 1580." Grace Lutheran is one of the few Missouri Synod Lutheran churches in this area belonging to the non-geographical English District, so designated since 1911 when the first church in this large District encompassing U.S. and Canada used English instead of the traditional German language services. Though authority rests with the local congregation, each church participates in Circuit, District and Synod organizations. As a member of the English District, Grace Church has been from its beginning a mission-oriented church, participating in starting new congregations and directly sponsoring churches in foreign lands, such as a mission church in Eritrea. Grace Lutheran Church regards its official birthday as November 19,1936, the date it was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio. However, a year and a half's work had gone into canvassing, church meetings, and church services before that. Before the property at the northwest corner of Lorain and Prospect streets was bought, the congregation met at the John Baumann Farm and at the home of Mrs. Minnie Worcester and services were held at the Christian Science Hall above the Apollo Theatre and at the Grange Hall on S. Main Street. Ground was broken July 2,1939; and a series of Dedication Services were held December 17,1939. The years 1943-1960 saw steady growth as a strong Walther League program for youth was organized, an organ was dedicated, a parsonage was built, an Altar Guild was formed and the increasing Sunday School enrollment required more space. In July of 1995 a traveling crew of "Laborers for Christ", an organization of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, moved on site and began work on a long considered renovation, demolition of a section of the church and construction of new sanctuary, offices, library, conference room and kitchen. From 1963 the hymnsinging and service music had been accompanied by a pipe organ built by Homer Blanchard, a member of the congregation. As part of the 1995 renovation, this was replaced by a new instrument built by the Bedient Organ Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska.
The present pastor is the Rev. Dr. Robert Shriner and Director of Music is Dr. Daniel Zager. Two hymnals are in the pews - The Lutheran Book of Worship, which has been used since 1979, and Lutheran Worship, the hymnal of the Missouri Synod (Concordia, 1982) added this past year. Favorite hymns are "Praise the Almighty"; "Immortal, invisible, God only wise"; "Now thank we all our God"; "Thy strong word did cleave the darkness"; and "Jesus has come and brings pleasure" J. Allendorf (1693-1773), tr. Oliver Rupprecht to COTHEN.