Being Lutheran, our congregation accepts and teaches the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three short phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
This page is maintained by volunteers from Grace Lutheran Church with the purpose of promoting unity and fellowship within the congregation and outreach and inclusiveness within the community.
Lutheran Church of Wellsville, Missouri, was organized on February 9, 1947. A lightning fire had destroyed Trinity Lutheran Church of rural Wellsville, and a group of 65 communicant members signed the charter to begin a new congregation in the town of Wellsville. Worship services were first held in the Wellsville Legion Hall. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on November i6, 1947 and the new church building was dedicated on May 8, 1949.
The first pastor of Grace was Rev. Julius Schabacker. He was installed in August 1947 and served until 1952. He was followed by pastors Edwin Bek, October 1954 to January 1957; Frederick Weisenborn, October 1957 to October 1960; Elvir Hartman, September 1961 to February 1965; Donald Hobratschk, June 1966 to August 1970; Dale Banke, March 1971 to August 1975; Jerome Stecker, July 1976 to February 1982; Virgil Kelm, July 1982 to February 1988; Merrill Clarke, May 1988 to February 1991; Kevin Kohnke, August 1991 to January 1998; Derek Cheek, 1999-2003; Douglas Good, 2004-2011; and Luke Wolters, 2012 to the present time.
The Grace Lutheran Ladies’ Society was organized on April 10, 1947, with 14 charter members. Meetings were held at members’ homes and at the American Legion Hall. On June 9, 1949, the Society met for the first time in the undercroft of the new church building, which had been dedicated the previous month. In 1949, the Society became a member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). We are now members of the St. Charles Zone LWML.
The Walther League of Grace was organized in 1947 by 17 charter members. Meetings were held each month in the homes of the members, until the church basement was completed. By 1950 the membership had grown to 27 and in 1953 to 33. Since that time the youth group has remained active. The name of the group is now Lutheran Youth Fellowship (LYF).
The first adult choir of Grace was organized by Mrs. Julius Schabacker, wife of the first pastor. During the years, several choir directors, organists and instrumentalists have given their talents. Because of the choral and congregational singing, Grace gained the reputation of being a “singing church.”
On June 6, 1957, installation of the first new Baldwin organ was completed. In February 1980, the present Baldwin Organ was installed. In May 1980, the present amplifier organ pipes were installed in front of the nave above the altar. Two keyboards have been given as memorials for use with our singing groups
In 1964 the three bedroom brick parsonage was completed. At that time, the voters decided to call their own minister. Prior to that time, Grace and Trinity (located six miles east of Wellsville) were dual parishes being served by one pastor. Rev. Dale Banke was the first full-time pastor to serve Grace as a single parish.
In 1975, the much needed education wing was added to the church building. This addition provided space for classrooms, Sunday School Superintendents office, church office, and workroom, as well as additional seating for worship. In our Sunday School, Mid-Week Classes, Bible Classes and in Vacation Bible School, we continue to teach the love of God to all ages.
A young couple’s club was organized in the 60’s and has now re-organized as the Lutheran Adult Fellowship (ME). Installation of the leaded stain glass windows began in 1959 with the large window over the altar depicting Christ entitled “Come Unto Me,” the words of Jesus from Matthew 11:28. The leaded stained glass windows continue to he given as memorial gifts by families and friends of Grace. Today we have 17 windows in the nave that depict symbolic images of the death and resurrection of Christ, the chief teachings of the Bible, the Sacraments and the “I Am” statements of our Lord. Four windows, containing symbols of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were added in May of 1972. Recently nine or more stained glass windows have been added to the educational wing.