The Art and Architecture of Grace Lutheran Church

A Brief History


The Charter of Incorporation for Grace Lutheran Church was granted by the Court of Centre County on September 10, 1898.  On November 12, 1905, a meeting was held in the Presbyterian Church to sign up members.  Twenty-four men and women signed as charter members.  Services were held every other Sunday in the Odd Fellows’ Building located at 230 East College Avenue.

On July 28, 1907, the cornerstone for the church was laid on the southwest corner of College and Atherton Street.  The first service in the new church was held on January 24, 1909.  As it continued to grow and flourish, that building was remodeled and an addition was built in 1938.

Since its dedication on May 23, 1965, Grace Lutheran has been a well-known landmark on the corner of South Garner Street and East Beaver Avenue.  Most people in the Centre Region readily recognize the church with its distinctive mountain stone spire that stretches almost ninety feet into the heavens.  Harold E. Wagoner of Philadelphia, the architect of Grace, envisioned a building whose exterior and interior features would enhance the worship experience of all who would enter its doors.  Designing a very modern church within a very traditional college town of the 1960s, Wagoner affirmed that “…the building is intended to be a piece of sculpture which proclaims its right to be a religious structure in a challenging manner.” 

Just as the exterior is awe-inspiring, the interior of Grace Lutheran Church is filled with architectural details and art objects which are meant to provide a spiritual environment appropriate for worship and praise of the living Lord.

In 2011, we had major additions to our building that included new classrooms, a gymnasium, additional parking spaces, and more.  The additions and renovations enable us to carry out our ministries more effectively. 


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