A Brief History of Grace Lutheran Church & School

  • 1905 - Grace Ev. Lutheran Church Established

    On Sunday, October 22nd, 1905, four families met with Gerhard A. Ernst, a Wisconsin Synod pastor from Saint Paul's in Tacoma, WA.  They organized as "the German Evangelical Lutheran Grace Church of North Yakima" and held their first worship service later the same day.

  • 1908 - First Location & Church Building

    In 1907, the congregation began working toward its first permanent sanctuary.  The building was completed and dedicated in May 1908.  It was 32' x 60' and stood at the southeast corner of what is now 6th Avenue & Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in Yakima.  It would serve the congregation for just over 50 years.

  • 1948 - Redeemer Lutheran Church Established

    By 1948, the original sanctuary was getting awfully crowded in an era of strong growth for Yakima (and churches generally).  So the congregation's voters approved a plan to start a new church on the west side of the city.  Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church established herself, purchased land, and originally built at the corner of Tieton & 31st Avenue (pictured).  Still a beloved sister congregation of Grace, the Redeemer congregation is now located at 10203 Tieton Drive in the West Valley.

  • 1952 - Grace Lutheran School Opened

    Grace Lutheran Church has always placed a strong emphasis on teaching God's Word to young people.  In 1952, Grace Lutheran School was established with the goal of offering full-time instruction that includes the benefit of Christian community, a Christ-centered perspective, and the wisdom of the Scriptures.  It started as a one-room school with 24 enrolled students.  By God's grace, the school has served hundreds and continues to fulfill its original mission to this day.

  • 1960 - Current Location & Church Building

    In 1959, the congregation was able to begin construction on a new building that would house all the different ministries it had undertaken and put them under one roof.  Construction began on the site of eleven lots, formerly orchard land, which had been purchased for that purpose a few years earlier.  By 1960, the new campus was completed, more-or-less as you see it today:  two levels, five classrooms, office space, activities and cafeteria area, kitchen, etc.

  • 1987 - Grace Lutheran Preschool Opened

    In 1987, our congregation became an innovator by opening the first church-operated preschool program in the valley (and possibly the first preschool here generally).  The preschool scene in Yakima has certainly changed, but the quality of developmental education offered at Grace has only improved, and is still placed alongside the timeless and changeless gospel message that adorns every level of a Grace education.

  • 2013 - Spanish Language Work Begun

    In 2013, under the leadership of Pastor Jim Turriff, Grace embarked on a three-year mission effort to better reflect the community we live in by undertaking gospel outreach in Spanish.  Pastor David Salinas (pictured) accepted a call to Grace and helped establish the Spanish-speaking side of our congregation, currently known as "Viviendo por Gracia," or Living by Grace.  In 2015 Pastor Turriff accepted a call to Memphis, TN, and in 2017 Pastor Salinas accepted a call to New York City.

  • The Present & Future!

    In April of 2018, Pastor Nathan Zastrow accepted a call issued by the congregation to replace Pastor Salinas, continuing in the bilingual ministry that he had left behind.  The congregation is currently in the midst of efforts to strengthen both our church and school ministry.  We're excited about what the future holds and looking forward to the next 110+ years of Grace, if God grants it.  May he keep us faithful!