"Grace Lutheran Church 
Ends Its Ministry of 75 Years"

After 75 years of witness and service, Grace Lutheran Church of Centerburg has brought its ministry to a close.
 
Grace started in 1946 at a chapel in Rich Hill. The church relocated to its present location at 182 West Houck Street in Centerburg in 1951. Over its history it has been not just a house of worship for its members but has also been a home to two pre-schools, HeadStart, local scout troops, after-school youth programs, AA, Moundbuilders, and the CenterPointe Church. The church has actively supported local agencies like Interchurch Social Services, Centerburg Senior Services, the Salvation Army, and Serve the Burg, provided music worship outreach to local nursing homes, and had served fresh sweet corn at the Old Time Farming Festival as a fund-raiser for many years. 
 
But even with its closure, Grace Lutheran has blessed the community. The church building and associated land have been donated to become the new home to the Centerburg Senior Services agency which currently operates out of the old Centerburg High School building on Preston Street. CSS provides a wealth of services like Meals on Wheels, house cleaning, wellness programs, and transportation to doctor appointments for seniors living in Centerburg Village, Hilliar, Liberty & Milford Townships.  
 
Lisa Wilson, Director of CSS, is thrilled with the opportunity of having a new location. "I cannot express my gratitude enough to the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church for thinking of Centerburg Senior Services when it came time to sell their church. It is bitter sweet to me though. On one hand I'm ecstatic for all the opportunities this will give CSS, but on the other hand my heart breaks for Grace Lutheran Church members. Grace Lutheran has been so kind to CSS over the last few years and I have come to know some of them very well."

The church’s remaining monetary funds will be distributed among local ministries, social agencies, and community service projects as selected by the congregation. The church furnishings and religious items are being offered to other churches that express a need. All remaining household items were offered to the public at an indoor sale, and everything left over will be donated to a social service organization like ISS or Salvation Army.
 
Once a thriving congregation, Grace’s membership had slowly but steadily dropped.  The Reverend Christena Lutz of Gahanna served as Grace’s part-time Pastor since November 2015. "Despite our small numbers, the desire our people have to serve God and serve our neighbors remains strong. They will take that heart for ministry to various congregations in Central Ohio. It's my hope that they will be a light in their new church homes, bringing new perspectives and new ideas for ministry wherever they go."

A final church-closing worship service was held on Wednesday November 17 to give thanks for the many years that Grace has existed, to recognize the service Grace has done in the community, and to send the members to continue their service in other faith communities.

 
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