Grace Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Grace Church was originally named Northeast Community Lutheran and was formed in 2007 as a consolidation of three previous congregations: Emanuel, Holy Triune and St. Paul’s. The congregations were within a 2-mile radius of one another and each had been a part of Northeast Minneapolis for over 100 years. The founding churches were formed in the 1880s, a time when the area was experiencing large waves of immigration, especially Swedes, Germans and Norwegians. They had all originated as churches with a strong community connection and were an ethnic retreat as the city grew and changed. Their memberships peaked during the 1950s through the 1970s.
Like many urban congregations, each of the previous congregations experienced loss of membership through suburbanization and demographic changes in the 80s and 90s. Memberships dwindled, but each church had an enthusiastic group of members that felt committed to the area and willing to make courageous changes in order to become more relevant and vibrant to a community that was completely different ethnically, socioeconomically and socially than during the heyday of the founding congregations.
Grace Church moved into its new facility, Grace Center for Community Life, in July 2010. It was the third location change for the church in its first three and one-half years, but is now its permanent home. Being a former elementary school building, Grace Center is an excellent facility for many different types of neighborhood outreach and service activities.
After three years that were largely consumed with facility issues – first with a structurally damaged building, then pursuing a new building – the congregation is now focused on its mission: “To create a welcoming faith community called to love God, serve our neighbors, and tell the story of Jesus Christ.”