The video below was produced in 2002. Pastor Kevin Loughran has been serving as Senior Pastor since August of 2006.
 
  • September 1927: The Southern District called Rev. Robert C. Steinbach as Missionary to St. Petersburg. He canvassed the city, and on September 18, 1927 E.C. Gale and other Lutheran “snowbirds” met in the former Masonic Temple at 519 Second Avenue South.
  • 1928: Nineteen communicants (five voters) initiated a drive, purchased two lots, formally organized the congregation and dedicated the new sanctuary on November 4, 1928.
  • 1928: Services moved to the unfinished building at 28th Avenue and 8th Street North, now the American Baptist Church of the Beatitudes.
  • 1929: The cornerstone was laid in January and the church was officially dedicated in February.
  • 1937: The church declared itself self-supporting.
  • 1941: Debt was eliminated and Grace helped start First Lutheran in Clearwater.
  • 1955: Pastor Steinbach and Pastor Walker dedicated nursery February 13, 1955.
  • 1955: Rev. Steinbach died suddenly from a heart attack on April 20, 1955
  • 1956: Interim pastor Rev. Julius Walker died in January 1956.
  • 1956: Grace Lutheran School begins with 18 Kindergartners.
  • 1956: Rev. Martin W. Rupprecht installed Sunday, February 26, 1956 (5 years before the move to the current location).
  • 1956: Rev. Martin Rupprecht was called in February Mrs. Rupprecht was commissioned by the congregation to supervise and teach a day school kindergarten.
  • 1959: Grace Lutheran School enrollment was more than 100 K-4 students.
  • 1960: Ed Eggerman accepted the call as principal of the school.
  • 1960: 226 students attend Grace Lutheran School in grades K through 6.
  • 1961: The current 910 seat sanctuary, nine-room educational wing were dedicated. Read the Saint Petersburg Times newspaper story. You can also download the church bulletin from the dedication service.
  • March 5, 1961: Moved to 4301 16th Street North location. The new church was built to seat 910 so that the entire congregation could worship together. However, 1,246 came to the initial service and 100 were turned away, so a decision was made to have two services with Bible classes in between. There are 20 Sunday school classes and 9 classrooms for the day school, fellowship hall seats 400 and dines 300 with a fully equipped kitchen. An article dated March 4, 1961 describes the church as “the most beautiful Lutheran church in the South.”
  • May 1961: 116 pupils receive diplomas for their graduation from Kindergarten and the 1000th communicant member was received.
  • 1963: Rev. Walter Pinnt served as assistant pastor until 1966.
  • 1965: Mrs. Ella B. Buenger donated funds for the 3-manual Schlicker pipe organ, and it was dedicated on October 24.
  • 1968: Mr. Edwin Temme was called as principal of Grace Lutheran School. He served until his retirement in 1998.
  • 1969: Stained Glass windows are given and fire destroys the East wing.
  • 1969: Rev. Robert G. Rupp served as assistant pastor for one year.
  • 1971: Rev. Walter Reuning began serving as winter pastor and continued through 1983.
  • 1973: Pastor Rupprecht retired and Rev. Edward Stammel was called to be senior pastor. He was installed November 25.
  • 1974: Rev. Robert C. Haupt, Jr., arrived as assistant pastor, and was later installed as senior pastor in March of 1982 after the death of Rev. Stammel in November of 1981. Rev. Haupt entered his Heavenly Home in November of 1985.
  • 1981: Rev. Ervin Oermann served as assistant pastor until 1984.
  • 1982: Rev. Richard C. Noack was called as assistant pastor. He was later called as senior pastor in May 1986, after the untimely death of Rev. Haupt.
  • 1985: Rev. Marcus Buuck served as winter pastor until 1998.
  • 1989: Rev. Stephen Bongard was ordained and installed as assistant pastor. He served until accepting a call in 1994.
  • 1992: Rev. Noack accepted a call in December.
  • May 1993 to September 1994: Under Pastor Noack a building renovation program was in progress which included a new roof, a complete remodel of the music room and nursery, and the north and east wings had a second row of classrooms added to them to accommodate 380 students. Fellowship Hall was remodeled with the addition of the Alpha and Omega meeting rooms. There were also renovations to the church offices and additional office and meeting rooms added.
  • 1994: Rev. R. Richard Armstrong was installed in April and served until accepting a call on July 25, 2004.
  • 1995: Rev. John R. Hopkins was ordained and installed as assistant pastor and served until 1999.
  • 2001: Growing with Grace campaign was begun with the intent to raise funds to help pay the annual mortgage and begin a process of planning for future financial needs.
  • 2004: Rev. Richard Eissfeldt served as interim pastor until 2006.
  • 2006: Rev. Kevin Loughran was installed as the senior pastor in August.
  • 2006: Rev. Drew Ross was ordained and installed as assistant pastor.
  • 2008: Rev. Drew Ross served as assistant pastor until September 21, 2008.
  • 2010: Deaconess Amanda Bundy was commissioned on August 08, 2010.
  • 2013: Rev. Jared Hartman was called as Associate Pastor of Youth and Outreach. He was ordained and installed on August 11, 2013
  • history-pdf-download-icon Download an Adobe PDF file that contains original notes, pictures and history that were the property of Helene Steinbach.