Created in Diversity, One in Christ.
In 1841, the Pastor of First Lutheran Church felt that “Old Town” should have a Lutheran Church. With some interested parishioners he started a Sunday school in 1841 in a private house on Hillen Street near Monument Street. In 1843, a chapel was dedicated and a congregation of eleven charter members (3 men and 8 women) was organized and was known as Third English Lutheran Church.
By 1910, many of Third’s members were moving to the growing suburbs. In addition the community was growing with increased numbers of Jews, Italians and Third decided to relocate.
On December 2, 1926, the congregation merged with a mission (the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension) that was located in a small wooden chapel at Hillen Road and 30th Street. Over the years, Third grew into a congregation of more than 800 members and inspired some of its dedicated men and women to enter the ministry and mission fields throughout the world.
Again in the early 1960’s, a cycle was repeating itself. Many members were moving farther out as African-Americans moved in. But this time there was a difference. At a congregational meeting members decided to stay at Hillen Road and 30th Street and intentionally and actively welcomed all people.
Sadly, over the years financial assets dwindled until it became impossible to maintain the ministry and building. In 1989, the building was sold and after many meetings, conversations and planning. Third merged with St. Peter’s Lutheran at 4215 Loch Raven Boulevard, which was working under similar changing dynamics.
St. Peter’s Church was first organized in 1875. The founding Pastor was the Rev. E.L.S. Tressel and the church was built at Fayette and East Streets. In 1904, the church was relocated to North Avenue and Aiken Avenue in East Baltimore. As the city expanded to the northeast, St. Peter’s followed. The congregation worshiped in the basement of the new building until the main church building at 4215 Loch Raven Boulevard was dedicated in 1954. Membership peaked in the 1960’s, when approximately 750 individuals called St/ Peter’s their church home.
During the 1960’s, St. Peter’s was one of the leaders in fostering a multi-cultural congregation and community.
St. Peter’s opened a popular community teen lounge staffed by two social workers. In the 1980’s St. Peter’s supported the St. Luke Health Center, where the spiritual side of health and healing was discovered and nourished.
Throughout its history the music program at St. Peter’s was instrumental in the worship experience. Many classical programs were performed. In addition the entire congregation joined in to present musicals such as, Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Ahmal and the Night Visitors and The Creation.
Even as the membership declined in number, the congregation looked with optimism to the future and joined with Third English to form the vibrant new All Saints Lutheran in 1989.
All Saints, the new congregation was formed by the consolidation of St. Peter’s and Third English Lutheran and was officially celebrated on November 5, 1989. Bishop Morris Zumbrum of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ECLA presided. The Rev. John Charles Gunnam, called by the new All Saints to be its Pastor, was the preacher for the day. The combined choirs sang, clergy processed, and banners waved as friends and families were among the well-wishers.
Histories written by:
Third English Lutheran Church
Mrs. Mary Krebs
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
Dr. Daniel Ford
All Saints Evangelical Lutheran Church
Ms. Waetina Coles