The History of Grace Lutheran Church
The beginnings of Grace Lutheran Church go back to the mid 1940’s when Rev. Gustav Biar of Concordia Lutheran Church in Nashville conducted a monthly worship service in Murfreesboro. These services were held in the homes of Lutheran families living in Murfreesboro. The schedule increased to weekly services in December of 1959. In January of 1960 the people began worshipping in the church building recently vacated by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On Sunday, February 7, 1960, the entire group met and selected Grace Lutheran Church as the name for the congregation. On February 28, 1960 the members of Grace voted to officially become an organized congregation of the then Western District (which later became the Mid-South District.)
There were nine households that officially chartered Grace Lutheran Church and the congregation grew from then on. The constitution and by laws were adopted on March 13, 1960. The first Pastor was Rev. Paul Donner who was installed on September 18, 1960. Present property was purchased in March 1961 with groundbreaking held in January of 1962. The building was dedicated on October 7, 1962.
The ladies of the congregation formed a Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) in September 1961, and the men of the congregation formed the Lutheran Laymen’s League (LLL) in August 1963.
The current fellowship hall along with the connecting classrooms was built in 1984. Groundbreaking services were held in conjunction with the morning service on June 12, 1983. Construction started on August 15th. Dedication was April 29, 1984.
The congregation increased staff by calling a Director of Christian Education. Becky Bradfield served her DCE internship here in 1993 and was called as the DCE in 1994. She served at Grace through July 2003. Becca Geisler accepted the call in November of 2008 to become the next DCE at Grace. She served until August of 2010.
Grace began participating in the Mission 2000 project of the Nashville Circuit in 1998 and helped plant a new mission church, Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church here in Murfreesboro.
Pastors who have been called to serve Grace Lutheran Church include:
Rev. Paul Donner – September 1960 until April 1966
Rev. Thomas Carlson – September 1966 until July 1974
Rev. Alan Bachert – April 1975 until April 1978
Rev. David Brabender – November 1978 until May 1999
Rev. Jason Dail (assistant pastor) – July 2000 until November 2002
Rev. Carl Wenck, Senior Pastor – September 2000 to the present Rev. Alan M. Thoe, Assistant Pastor (SMP) – June 2013 to the present