In 1920, there wasn’t a Synodical Conference on the rapidly growing west side of Akron. This left many Lutherans in the area without a nearby church to worship in.
So, on November 7, 1920, Pastor Yount of Concordia Lutheran Church started a Sunday School in the auditorium at Grace Elementary School at the corner of South Maple and West Exchange Streets. No Divine Services were held.
For the mission to grow, it needed its own pastor. On March 3, 1921, a call was extended to the Rev. A.E. Bay of Lima, Ohio. Pastor Bay accepted the call, and came to Akron on April 14th. He was installed on April 17, 1921 in the old Concordia Lutheran Church on the corner of Grant and Thornton Streets. Pastor Bay preached his first sermon in the gym of Grace School, and services were held there for the next 10 years.
In October 1921, the mission was officially recognized as a congregation by the state of Ohio. Two months later, the congregation voted to purchase a site to construct its own church on Trigonia Drive – about two blocks west of Grace School. Groundbreaking was held on May 4, 1930, and Pastor Bay conducted the first service at the new church on November 30, 1930.
Throughout the next three decades, both the city of Akron and Grace Church continued to grow. It became clear that Grace needed a larger building to accommodate its congregation. So, in 1960, the church bought a tract of land to develop on North Portage Path. Groundbreaking for the new church was held on June 14, 1968.
The church building on Trigonia Drive held its last service on December 31, 1967. While the church on Portage Path was being built, the congregation held all church activities at Stan Hywet.
On October 6th, 1968, under the leadership of Rev. A.H. Wismar, Sr., the cornerstone of the new church was laid. The consecration service was held on March 30, 1969. The formal dedication service was held on May 18th, 1969, led by Lutheran Hour speaker Rev. Oswald C.J. Hoffman.
And, for the next 43 years until August 12, 2012, all Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church services were held there. The building was sold in August 2012 to prepare for the next chapter in the church’s life. We are presently holding our services at Concordia Lutheran Church, 724 Sumner Street, Akron, 44311.