Location: 745 Walbridge Ave., Toledo, Ohio (Old South End)
Marker Text [Ohio Historical Marker celebrating 130 years to be erected in Toledo, Lucas County]:
Side 1: In 1886, thirty-six members from Toledo’s downtown Lutheran church, St. Paul’s, met to form a German-speaking Lutheran congregation for immigrants from Pommern, Mecklenburg, and Hanover. Initially worshipping at St. Stephen’s at the corner of Harrison and Oliver Street, the congregation built a frame church on this site in 1887. That same year St. Lucas pioneered an early form of health insurance, The Mutual Sick Benefit Society, that later became a larger fraternal organization called The Mutual Sick Benefit Society for Ohio and Other States. In 1999, after joining a program called Reconciling in Christ, St. Lucas became the first Lutheran congregation in northern Ohio to publicly welcome the LGBT communities. Named after Saint Luke, the patron saint of physicians, the church’s history is one of healing.
Side 2: St. Lucas’s original frame and parsonage was completed in 1887. In 1911, Pfaender Bros. built the present Sandusky limestone sanctuary. Hann-Wangerin-Weickhardt Company from Milwaukee, Wisconsin made the original altar and pulpit. M. P. Moller Co. from Hagerstown, Maryland built the standing church’s first organ, which had 28 ranks, 31 voice, and 1807 pipes. In 1962, this organ was rebuilt by Tellers Organ Co. of Erie, Pennsylvania to have 48 ranks, 58 voice, and 2843 pipes. The glass windows came from Detroit Window Co. Paintings within the church include German-born painter Ludwig Bang’s “Resurrection” and renowned local artist Edmund H. Osthaus’s “Crucifixion”. A parish house for classrooms was built in 1900 but was demolished in 1955 for a Sunday school building. In 1979, the parsonage was torn down to make room for parking.
Note: This is the first such Ohio Historic Marker for a church in Toledo’s Old South End, according to Remarkable Ohio. For more information on St. Lucas Lutheran Church, please visit their Website: St. Lucas Church Website
Drawing of St. Lucas frame church when built in 1887
Image credit: Karen Biscay, St. Lucas Lutheran Church)
Phptpgraph of St. Lucas frame church today, 2016
Image credit: Michael Biscay, St. Lucas Lutheran Church