As we look back at the humble beginnings of Peace Lutheran Church, we reflect on the tremendous growth and abundant blessings that God has bestowed upon us over the years.
In July 1964, a New Mission Committee formed at Memorial Lutheran Church, Bremerton, WA, seeking to form a new mission church on the east side. The Northwest District Board of Directors gave full approval to the opening of the new church and authorized the purchase of property.Through the efforts of Rev. Herbert Rast, pastor of Memorial Lutheran, this Committee, and many other future members, purchased 8 acres of property facing Riddell Road, in East Bremerton, and a sign erected.
Several names for the new church were recommended. Finally the name “Peace” was chosen as an affirmation of our faith to the community for the “Peace which passes all human understanding.”
In May 1965, Pastor Richard W. Gerken, graduate of Concordia Seminary, accepted the call to serve as Pastor-Missionary beginning in September 1965.
On September 12, 1965, Pastor Richard Gerken was installed as Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, along with the commissioning and release of founding members from Memorial.
Rev. W. V. McCullough of Port Orchard served as Liturgist,
Pastor Herbert Rast delivered the sermon,Installation rites and commissioning were performed by the District Vice-President, Rev. Emil Jaech of Seattle.
The original Charter Members of
Peace Lutheran Church were:Mr. & Mrs. Elve Anderson
Mr. & Mrs. S. R. (Bob) Barcelon, David & Cynthia
Mr. & Mrs. August Beelaert & Carry
Mr. & Mrs. James Botz, James Jr. & Gail
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bullard
Mrs. Ralph Carlson & Rozanne
Mr. & Mrs. Harold Conway
Mr. & Mrs. Amory Cook, Laura & Barbara
Dr. & Mrs. Albert Degner and Sam
Mr. & Mrs. James Demko
Mr. & Mrs. George Duris, Judith & Steven
Mr. & Mrs. Wells Ehrhardt & Daniel
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Elvejord
Mrs. Carl Erickson
Rev. & Mrs. Richard W. Gerken and family
Mr. & Mrs. John Gillick, Thomas &John
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Koenig, Louise & Leon
Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Lang
Mr. & Mrs. Albert Liesmann & Lisa
Mr. & Mrs. Mike McGinty
Mr. & Mrs. James McKelvy
Mr. & Mrs. Alex Frood, Karen and Douglas
Mr. & Mrs. Floyd Michelson
Mr. & Mrs. Curtis O’Hair, James & Judy
Mr. & Mrs. Warren Olsen, Joyce & Steven
Mr. & Mrs. Merle Pribbenow, Merle, Robert & Ronald
Mr. & Mrs. Ken Ripley & Ken Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Rogers
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Schruhl & Cheryl
Mr. & Mrs. William Schultz, Sr.
Mr. & Mrs. Merlin Skelly
Mr. & Mrs. Verne Skinner
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Snow, Norman & Sandra
Mr. & Mrs. Ed Sprenger, Joyce & Lyle
Mrs. Harry Tindall
Mr. & Mrs. Art Ward, Bart & Claudia
Mr. & Mrs. Clifford White
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Williams
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Yuckert & Mary
Peace Lutheran held services beginning at East High School from September 19, 1965 to March 13, 1966 and then at the American Legion Hall Post #68 from March 20, 1966 to July 2, 1967.Our first Baptism was on Sunday, October 31, 1965:
Lisa Marie Johnson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Richard I. Johnson.In January 1966, a report was sent to the Northwest District Mission Board with the results of our initial Building fund raising. It was with a great deal of pleasure that we reported a total of cash on hand and pledges totaling $22,870.
Brush clearing on the new property was an on-going effort by members of the new congregation.In February 1966, the Building Committee announced the selection of Mr. Milton Stricker of Seattle as Designer/Architect of our new church building.Preliminary building plans were presented to the congregation at a special voters meeting on June 19, 1966. After several months, final plans were provided for congregational approval.
A special Dedication Service was held on July 9, 1967 and the dedication stone was laid. Pastor Richard W. Gerken was assisted by the Rev. Dr. E. W. Hinrichs, Former Executive Secretary of the Northwest District.From 1965 to 1967, the Lord permitted us to grow to over 150 communicant members and more than 250 baptized members.