Grace Lutheran Church was founded in 1923 to serve Lutheran students at Winthrop College. The gray stone church on Oakland Avenue cost $38,000 to build and opened its door on May 2, 1926. The first pastor was H.A. Schroder. For two decades, Winthrop students and local community members each made up half the congregation. The congregation acquired a parsonage in 1954 and later purchased a house adjacent to the church. In 1955, the congregation painted the doors red to symbolize "Blood of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit." The red doors continued to be a landmark for the town and a welcome to all those who wished to worship within. In 1963, the year Grace Church celebrated its 40th anniversary, there were 238 baptized members and 158 confirmed members. Extensive exterior and interior renovations were done in 1968. The congregation installed a Zimmer pipe organ in 1975 and purchased more surrounding property in 1979. In 1987, a second Sunday morning service was added, a handicap ramp was installed, and handbells were purchased for the music program. In 1989 property for increased parking was purchased, and in 1998 the house behind the church on Aiken Avenue was given to the congregation. Known as the "White House," it currently serves as our campus ministry center. During the 2002 renovations, the church's original sanctuary, seating 230 people, was enhanced with a new chancel arrangement and a magnificent pipe organ. At that time 14,000 square feet of new space, including a fellowship hall, was added to the existing building. In 2013 the congregation purchased "A Place of Grace," an adjacent building that now houses a variety of local non-profit agencies.
Detailed church history from 1923 to 1998 is available here. (Written by Naomi Bridges and Martha Seigler) For additional information, consult History Matters, Congregational Histories 1824-2017, published by the South Carolina Synod in 2017.
What are your worship times?
Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 11:00 am. In months with five Sundays, we have a single worship service on the fifth Sunday at 10:00 am.
What is the dress code for your worship services?
You will be welcome in whatever you are comfortable wearing. The 8:30 service is generally more casual with jeans and casual shirts. At the 11:00 service, you will see more dresses and ties.
How long is your worship service?
Both our worship services last approximately an hour. If there is a Baptism or other special event, it may be longer.
Do you have a nursery available during worship?
Yes. Click here to learn more about our nursery.
What ages attend Sunday School?
We have Sunday School classes at 9:45 am for children age two and older and adults. Descriptions of our Sunday School classes are here.
Is your congregation mostly young people?
Our congregation is multi-generational. Many of our families have grandparents, parents, and grandchildren participating in church life together.
Will I be welcome at Grace Lutheran?
ALL God’s children are welcome: straight, gay, married, single, divorced, widowed. Republican, Democrat, third party, no party. Sopranos, altos, tenors, bass. Transgender, cisgender. Devout and doubtful. All means ALL.
How do I become a member?
When you are ready to make Grace your church home, contact Pastor Gregg to be included in the new member class. New members participate in the new member class to learn about the Lutheran faith and get connected with our ministries. New members are welcomed into the congregation three times a year.
How can I give online?
Click here to make an online gift.
How does one get married at your church?
Click here to see our policies page. The policy for Weddings is coming soon! Until then, please call the church office.
How does one get baptized?
If you are interested in being baptized or having a child baptized, contact Pastor Rachel or Pastor Gregg to learn about our process for Holy Baptism.