Some History Notes...
Preparing for our150th Anniversary
The Early Years
The church was incorporated under the name of ‘German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oshkosh’ on November 11, 1861. The Reverend F. Waldt accepted the call to serve the congregation.
“The congregation determined in spring of 1862 to build a house of worship. This was a frame structure, plain and of modest proportions, but the congregation was proud of it and dedication was held in the fall of the same year. (1862).” (These passages are direct translations from the German of 1911, by Robert Luedtke Sr.)
An un-translated passage in the 1911 Fest-Schrift booklet, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the congregation, tells that the church name was changed on April 1, 1866 to “German Evangelical Lutheran Peace Congregation in the Third Ward, Oshkosh.” The Civil War had ended two years earlier.
Interesting reflections on this period can be found in a 1992 paper by John Hildebrant from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Wisconsin Synod). From this paper it appears that Pastor Dowidat and Teacher Gruel were on one side of the divide and Teacher J. Gruber and the majority of the congregation were on the other side.
The Later Period of Growth
In January of 1890, the church paper debt was $10.00. Each member was assessed one cent to make up this deficit.
Peace Lutheran ‘birthed’ First English Lutheran as a mission congregation for English-speakers in 1908. Despite this friendly start, members of both First English and Peace recall the south-side rivalry that developed between the two congregations.
The ‘Eighth Street Church” building lasted 76 years. It was dedicated in 1874. Almost immediately the heating system failed and stoves were provided for the church. The church spire was also found to be unstable and dangerous. In 1883, the congregation started a rebuilding project. The Young Ladies Society donated a 2,200 pound bell, which is still in use today. The cornerstone for the ‘Brick School’ many of our older members remember was laid in 1908.
The old church was torn down in 1950. Plans for building a new building had been discussed as early as 1932. The new modern sanctuary was begun in 1950 and was dedicated September 23, 1951. Our current sanctuary turns 60 years old in 2011. The Christian Education Center was completed in 1960, just in time for the 100th anniversary.
Peace Lutheran Church was featured in the March 21, 1986 issue of the Lutheran Standard (the magazine of the American Lutheran Church). The occasion was the 125th anniversary of the church and the raising of $125,000 for missions.
The Crest or Coat of Arms of
Peace Lutheran Church
The Stained Glass of Peace Lutheran Church
When planning the stained glass, the Reverend pastor, as well as the gentlemen of the building committee, were fully aware of the function of stained glass as a medium towards creating atmosphere and controlling prevailing light.
The rather unusual contemporary architecture demanded a complete departure from prevailing conventional standards of floral ornamentation. Consequently, an approach in design in use in Europe for churches of this type of architecture had to be adopted and has been brought to a successful conclusion as demonstrated in the beauty of the stained glass throughout the church, especially in the two large window where the design and color treatment highlights the symbol of the church in the form of a cross. more...
|The full significance is that Peace Lutheran Church believes the Doctrine of the Trinity and preaches Christ and Him crucified as our Redeemer.|
The Meaning Behind the Architecture of the Present Building
Peace Church Structure and Symbolism
The complete structure of this church is one of simple
shapes and spaces.
The exterior is symbolic and
expressive in the shape and materials.
-- The carved stone panel in the entrance pylon over
the entrance is the seal of Luther, the cross over a rose.
The interior with its furnishings
and trim in oak symbolize - strength, eternity, force, virtue and
The structure design and plan were
created and executed by Mr. Austin Lange of the firm of Lang & Raugland
of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We of Peace Lutheran will always be grateful
for the divine Guidance and Inspiration of almighty God who through Mr.
Lange gave us such a beautiful church.