The History of Grace
Grace Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We’re a community-oriented, multicultural congregation with Swedish roots. Grace was founded in the 1920s, when the western edge of the city of Des Moines touched corn fields.
It was Mrs. John Beck who said, "It is by the grace of God we have come as far as we have," in making the motion that the congregation be called Grace. And so on June 30, 1927, 42 charter members officially organized to establish Grace Lutheran Church on its current site. These original members had been part of a small group of Lutherans who began gathering in a rented home across from our present location in November 1924 and later built the first worship space, a single room called the Lutheran Community Chapel, dedicated in March 1925.
Among the congregation’s major milestones:
- 1956 New sanctuary and fellowship hall, including a gym to help fulfill a vision of reaching out to the neighborhood and working with children
- 1966 Remodeling of the facility and expanded education unit
- 1986 New pipe organ
- 2000 Establishment of La Voz de la Esperanza to serve the Spanish-speaking community
- 2002 $3 million renovation and expansion of the Grace facility to include a gathering space, a new large fellowship hall, a 125-seat chapel called Esperanza Chapel, a prayer chapel, a daycare center, and handicap accessibility.
- 2007 Celebration of 80 years of ministry