Grace Lutheran Church
46 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105

History

Grace Lutheran Church adopted its present name in 1943 following the merger of Trinity Lutheran Church, formerly located Russ and Babcock Streets, and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, formerly located at the corner of Park Street and Park Terrace in Hartford.

The baptismal font (to the right) is a replica of Thorwaldsen's original in Copenhagen, Denmark. The font was given in 1928 in memory of Ruth Neupert by her mother.

On May 14, 2000, the people of Grace Lutheran Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. Our year of celebration was highlighted by the Service of Rededication on Sunday, January 14, 2001.

From 2003 until 2005 the congregation completed major renovations to the building, making it more energy efficient, updating and refreshing the sanctuary, and installing facilities, including an enclosed lift, that make it handicapped accessible.


In the fall of 2004, the congregation concluded an Appreciative Inquiry process as part of its self study in preparation for calling a new pastor.
The inquiry was followed up by small-group conversations with Pastor Steege. As a result of these conversations, the Congregation Council prepared a new vision statement that was adopted by the congregation at its Annual Meeting on November 6, 2005.

In 2007 Grace was the church home for approximately fifty refugees from the Karen tribe from Burma (Myanmar), by way of a refugee camp in Thailand, many of whom came to Hartford under the auspices of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. Our new friends participated in worship with us for over a year until they were able to form their own Baptist congregation in downtown Hartford in the fall of 2008.

During the year 2008-2009 Grace was honored to be the church home of the Rev. Margaret Payne, Bishop of the New England Synod, and her husband, John. Bishop Payne chose Grace, she said, because it is a model of the kind of multi-cultural congregation she would like to see developing throughout the Synod.

On July 26, 2009, the Congregation approved expenditures to repair our beautiful steeple and to establish a campaign to raise at least $150,000 for that repair and other building projects as projected. Ten percent of the proceeds from the campaign have been designated as a tithe to ministries of the wider church in recognition of the steeple as a symbol of our faith in God's presence in the community.