A Brief History of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

The idea for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church began with mission-minded Pastor Walter Pasche in the late 1940’s. He was then the pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church on Detroit Avenue in Toledo. He felt there was a need for another church in the western part of the city. Pastor Pasche arranged for Seminarian Jack Landskroener to canvas the area during the summer. All during the summer of 1949, Jack rode his bicycle along Holland-Sylvania Road and into the neighborhoods looking for people who would be interested in a new church. He used the home of Elisabeth and Walter Schroeder as a base of operations that summer. When Jack returned to school that fall, Pastor Norman Wangerin was called as a Missionary-at-large to this specific area in Toledo.

Pastor Wangrein spent several months laying the groundwork for the new mission. This included more canvassing and finding a suitable place for worship. Twenty eight people attended the first service on December 11, 1949. The first services were held in Fisher’s Cabin on the corner of Central Avenue and Holland-Sylvania Road. By February of 1950 the attendance had grown so much that services had to be moved to a store on Piero just off Central Avenue. Services were held there for the next two-and-a-half years with attendance growing to over 85 adults. Formal organization of the congregation took place on January 1, 1951 with 35 charter members.

Because of the growth in membership the congregation decided to purchase land on which to place a building. They were able to obtain a loan for the purchase and construction of a building from the Ohio District Mission Board. In August of 1951, 5 acres were purchased on the corner of Elmer Drive and Holland-Sylvania Road. This building was dedicated on November 23, 1952. A parsonage was built on the same property and completed in June of 1955. The congregation continued to grow and decided a new building was needed. Our current building was built on the same property and dedicated on October 12, 1975. An arrangement was made to sell the original church building to Good Shepherd of the Deaf Lutheran Church which is still using the original building today. In its history, Gloria Dei has had seven full-time pastors and several interim pastors. Many dedicated Christians have been part of Gloria Dei’s history. We pray that the congregation continues to do all things to the Glory of God (Gloria Dei), preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and being a blessing in the community.