In 1917, the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America was formed by merger of the Hauge Synod (est. 1876), the Norwegian Synod (est. 1853), and the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (est. 1890). The NLCA changed its name to The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) in 1946. In 1960, the ELC joined with other Lutheran churches to form the American Lutheran Church. This coalescence of Lutheran churches continued into recent times, with the ALC joining others to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988.
The Norwegian Lutheran Church of America was the parent organization for both churches in Peterson, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, founded in 1894, and Peterson Evangelical Church, founded in 1872.
In December of 1946, Peterson Evangelical and the Arendahl Evangelical, already a parish together, held special business meetings to discuss the possibilities of forming a new parish with Our Savior’s Lutheran. As both congregations were in favor, both sent a letter to Our Savior’s Lutheran informing that congregation of their desire to form a new parish and asked them to act upon it. Although initially rejected, Our Savior’s Lutheran accepted the proposal for the merger to create a new parish with a vote in May of 1947.
After a failing vote in 1947, Our Savior’s Lutheran church body voted in favor of merging with Peterson Evangelical Church on February 26, 1951. The following evening, Peterson Evangelical Church approved the proposal of the merger between the two church bodies to form a new single church congregation. During a meeting in March of 1951, Grace Lutheran Church of Peterson was selected as the name of the new congregation and was to continue its affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
The two churches of Peterson continued as separate congregations, but slowly began combining some functions such as Sunday schools, confirmation classes and brotherhood groups. With the combination of the two churches, there were recommendations from the union committee, which included various service norms, Sunday school schedules, and that the two cemeteries continued to be maintained, allowing members to have choice for burial rights in either cemetery.
After a lightning strike on a June 5, 1901, burning a recently built church to the ground, the church building in which we worship today was built in 1901, and has seen numerous improvements and changes over the years with the most recent being the addition of a ramp on the east side of the building in 1994.
Grace congregation continues its ministry as we work, pray, study and worship together serving the Lord.
East Grace Cemetery Records:
West Grace Cemetery Records: