Friday, July 24, 2009

Grace Lutheran, Toledo

This information comes from a copy of the history section of a church directory, that was graciously provided to me by Pastor Merlin Jacobs:

Grace was founded on September 7, 1900; in a meeting room over a storefront that was located at Dorr and Hoag at the time. By 1902, this once-charming little church at Forest and Pinewood had been dedicated.
My mother was confirmed in this little old church, and my parents were married there. The Grace congregation hasn't been here since 1952, when they relocated to their current location near Monroe and Secor - which at the time, was really out in the sticks!

However, the wonderful Gothic interior furnishings: altar, pulpit, lectern, font, even the hymn board, are happily still in use at Ascension Lutheran, which bought this old church after Grace moved, and took it all with them when they moved to their current church at Dorr and Collingwood, nearly 30 years ago. That will be another post.

The front of the church is a bit tricky to photograph because it faces north, and looking at it from the front, you don't always get a sense of how big it really is --
... until you look at it from the side ...
To the right can be seen the roof of the smaller church built in 1952. When this larger sanctuary was built in 1959, the older church was incorporated into the design and is now the chapel, where contemporary services are held on Wednesday evenings. I will highlight the chapel in a different post.This is the remarkable view as you come in the front door ...
... much of which is commanded by the soaring, shining wood-beam ceiling, with the buttresses creating a latticework pattern as it progresses forward.
The windows all display this multicolored rectangular pattern that creates something of an abstract appearance.
Lots of 1950's-style diagonal lines ...

This huge cross is the centerpiece of the chancel.
A view back from the chancel steps, with just the arcade backlights on.
The big, beautiful window over the door.Lectern and pulpit.
The eternal flame burns against this backdrop of organ pipes ... and that organ is a roaring steamroller that can make those padded pews shake underneath your butt, especially when Debbie rides it in her special way - aided by a state-of-the-art sound system that was just installed over the last couple of years.
The unusual font ...
One of the chrismons that adorn the communion rail.
Oh-so-50's chandeliers ... notice the crosses on the individual lights.
Brickwork crosses line up along this low wall behind the last row of pews.
Straight down that hall will take you to the chapel; to the right puts you on the long hallway toward Brenner Hall, named in honor of Pastor Karl Brenner, who served the church for 43 years.

They want to make sure you're properly equipped!

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