Grace Lutheran Church History
Here is the Church Bulletin from the Dedication Service on March 5th, 1961
Read the St. Petersburg Times newspaper story published on March 4th, 1961
Take a look at our virtual tour and see what Grace Lutheran Church looks like today.
Rev. Robert C. Steinbach
Services moved to the unfinished building at 28th Avenue and 8th Street North, now the American Baptist Church of the Beatitudes.
The two-story parish building was dedicated on February 13, 1949.
A capacity crowd attended The Lutheran Hour Rally at Al Lang Field, with Rev.Steinbach hosting Dr. Walter A. Maier.
Rev. Steinbach died suddenly from a heart attack on April 20, 1955.
Grace Lutheran School begins with 18 kindergartners.
Rev. Martin W. Rupprecht was installed on Sunday, February 26, 1956 (five years before the move to the current location).
Rev. Martin Rupprecht was called in February. Mrs. Rupprecht was commissioned by the congregation to supervise and teach a day-school kindergarten.
Grace Lutheran School enrollment was more than 100 K-4 students.
Ed Eggersmann accepted the call as principal of the school.
Two hundred and twenty-six students attend Grace Lutheran School in grades K through 6.
The current 910-seat Sanctuary and nine-room educational wing were dedicated. Read the St. Petersburg Times newspaper story. You can also download the church bulletin from the dedication service.
The move to the 4301 16th Street North location took place on March 5, 1961. The new church was built to seat 910 people so that the entire congregation could worship together. However, 1,246 people 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 nine classrooms for the day school. The 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.”
In May, 116 pupils received diplomas for their graduation from kindergarten and the 1000th communicant member was received.
Mrs. Ella B. Buenger donated funds for the 3-manual Schlicker pipe organ, and it was dedicated on October 24.
1969: Rev. Robert G. Rupp served as assistant pastor for one year.
1994: Rev. R. Richard Armstrong was installed in April and served until accepting a call on July 25, 2004.