OUR HISTORY

On April 2, 1832, Springfield, Illinois was incorporated as a town.     

September 19, 1841, that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Springfield was organized in the home of Rev. Francis Springer on the southeast corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets. This home was directly across the street to the south of the Lincoln Home. During its first few years, the congregation met in various locations for its meetings. From 1851 until 1859, the parish worshiped in a church at Third and Washington Streets.

In 1854, the English and German-speaking members chose to reorganize into two separate congregations. At this time, the English-speaking members became the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of the City of Springfield. Abraham Lincoln pledged $20.00 to help finance the construction of the first church building in 1855.

Although it took four years, the first church building was constructed in 1859 at the corner of Sixth and Madison Streets.

In 1891, the congregation adopted the name Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The cornerstone of the present church was laid a year later. On March 19, 1893, the congregation dedicated the new building on the corner of 7th and Capitol Streets.

In 1912, the church was re-frescoed, an oak floor was laid in the auditorium, and electric lights were installed. The parish education building was added to the original structure in 1926. The sanctuary, which originally faced north and south, was turned, the chancel was relocated to the east, and the ceiling was vaulted, exposing its massive beams in 1942.

Grace Lutheran Church is presently located within the Lincoln Home Historic Site which was first administered by the National Park Service in 1972. The relationship with the parish and its neighbors is strong and mutually supportive.

The most recent renovations to the building include the addition of an outdoor ramp into the sanctuary in 1981. Accessibility to the communion rail for the physically challenged was completed in 1984.

During the fall of 1992, the congregation completed yet another step in its commitment to making ministry accessible to all people. The extensive remodeling of the education building now allows access to not only the sanctuary, but the entire first floor and basement of the building. A long-awaited dream of the parish became a reality.