Peace Lutheran Church, Port Clinton, Ohio had a stormy beginning. We began in January of 1895 and started our congregation because of a difference in religious conviction. Prior to 1895 Peace and St. John’s were one congregation but because of language (services in German) and lodge membership disputes, the one church became two. The first services of this new congregation were held in the Methodist Church on Third Street (now Heineman’s).
After only one month, a group of ladies got together to organize the Ladies Aid Society with four charter members. Their first fund-raising drive netted a grand total of $25.72, more than enough in those days to purchase an organ book and a communion set. In just a few months their bank account had grown to $1,000 and their membership to 45. Together they raised money to help purchase a church building.
Under the direction of Pastor Bauch, a constitution and letters of incorporation were drawn up. On April 7th, 1895, Rev. Paul Hansen accepted the first call to be pastor of Peace Lutheran. A building committee soon began its work. Our first church building was at the corner of Forth and Monroe and was dedicated on October 20, 1895. In just three years a parsonage was added. By 1909 more space was needed and a Parish Hall began to take shape. We were on the move and growing!
In 1920, we were 25 years in the serving of our Lord and a two manual pipe organ was installed. By 1945 Peace’s ministry had extended another 25 years and additional facilities and furnishings were purchased for the sanctuary. Nine years later the parsonage was shingled and its furnace replaced. The church was painted and new stained glass windows were installed.
By 1960 the growth had reached such a situation that a new location began to be studied. In 1962 our present property was purchased.
By 1966 a building plan was adopted. On April 6, 1967, ground was broken for the first unit and on October 22, 1967, the dedication and move had taken place. (Last service in the old church)
By 1970 plans for the second unit were taking place. On March 2, 1975, the mortgage of the first unit was burned. With much vigor, a contract was signed in 1976 to create a sanctuary for Peace. On March 13, 1977 the ground was broken. One year later, construction was finished, the three crosses had been raised and the first service in the new sanctuary was held. In 1980 new pews were added and in 1981 new hymnals purchased. In 1983 siding was placed around the first unit and part of the sanctuary.
Yet another source adds that the original lot for the building of the first church as donated by Christ Paulsen along with $100. Louis Nissen, Paul Hansen and the Church Council donated another $300 and those hard working Women of the Church gave $1,000. This version of church history continues…
A people less courageous would have said this is not time for such a venture, for our country was still in the midst of a world-wide depression which followed the panic of 1893. However, our fathers remembered the Savior’s promise…”and lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”. This day of dedication was an occasion for great rejoicing and was a tribute to their faith.
And so may we continue to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors!