On Saturday, June 29, Peace Lutheran Church will celebrate 60 of sharing God’s love in word and action with this great Nevada County community. All ages are invited to join in the celebration with fun, music, and food from 11am to 2pm at Peace, located just up the hill from Historic Downtown Grass Valley at 828 W. Main Street. There will be BBQ hot dogs and ice cream, games for kids and adults, a musical concert and more.

Peace Lutheran invites community to celebrate 60 years in Grass Valley

Beginning at 11:30 in the sanctuary, the church musicians will perform special music by the voice and bell choirs as well as the organ. Peace organist and international performer, Walt Strony, will demonstrate the beautiful array of music possible on the pipe organ custom-built for Peace by the Allen Organ Co. of Macungie, Penn. The Peace organ, installed in 2021, followed by pipes in 2022, carries the latest in organ technology and was the first of its kind in the West. Strony will be happy to answer questions.

Community has always been important to the members of Peace. Information on the ways Peace supports many local nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, Hospitality House, the Salvation Army and the Booth Family Center, and Interfaith Food Ministry, as well as our two neighborhood schools, Margaret G. Scotten Primary and Lyman Gilmore Middle schools, will be on hand. Prior to the building of Utah’s Place, Hospitality House, Peace routinely welcomed and fed the area unhoused. An exhibit of quilts made by Peacemakers, who meet weekly at Peace creating quilts for donations, including to the Shriners Children’s Hospital, will be on display. In the Fellowship Hall, a large wall collage shows the current civil improvements sponsored in Rwanda through a multi-church collaboration known as the Rwanda Connection.

A little history: an item in The Union on June 13, 1964, announced that “the American Lutherans will hold a church service at 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 16, in Frank Buck Hall…” This hall was (and still is) the fellowship hall of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley, founded in 1854. Emmanuel Episcopal was generous enough to allow the fledgling group of Lutherans who came to be known as Peace Lutheran Church to meet in their facilities during off hours. That service was followed by a meeting regarding the establishment of a new congregation and Sunday School. Wanting to meet on Sunday mornings, Peace then temporarily rented the Horsemen lodge. Each Sunday morning, Peace members would clear the remnants of the Saturday night festivities and set up an altar and cross and hold worship service and Sunday school. Peace began the process of becoming an official congregation and set its sights on a location which was then outside the Grass Valley city limits: its present location at 828 W. Main Street.

Peace Lutheran invites community to celebrate 60 years in Grass Valley

The first Peace service held at its own location was on May 1, 1966, in a not-quite-finished church. It is pretty amazing to think that a small group could quickly accomplish the establishment of a congregation, then under the umbrella of the American Lutheran Church, a relatively new (1960) Lutheran denomination. It was no small feat when they went on to raise funds, acquire a site and complete the building of a church facility in just under two years from their first conceptual meeting.

With the consolidation of three Lutheran denominations in 1986 including the American Lutheran Church (there are over 40 different Lutheran denominations in the United States alone), Peace became and remains part of the denomination known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Throughout the intervening years between the construction of the original facility and today, many dollars were raised and much construction commenced and completed to bring the church to its present configuration with a gorgeous Fellowship Center that is regularly used by the community for meetings, receptions and events.

Peace looks forward to welcoming you at this free event on Saturday, June 29, from 11am to 2pm. Bring family, friends, and neighbors—all are welcome!