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.