Archive ID: 2018-074-120

Swedish Lutheran Church

Date Created: 1911-11-09

Created By: Schultz & Delles

Donor: Raymond Mulac

Media Type: Postcard

Language: English


While some postcards of the area were sent by visitors, many were sent by residents of Southeast Chicago themselves. This one was sent by a young boy to his brother in the military who was stationed in Honolulu as a reminder of home. The church depicted in the photograph was founded in a home located at 10065 Indianapolis Boulevard on July 22, 1891. The pastor of Bethesda Lutheran church from South Chicago, G. Lundahl, presided over the meeting. The original church was located at 10135 Avenue L and one could see Lake Michigan at that time from the back of the church. The cost of the original church was $236.95 since much of the labor was donated by church members. In the early years the services were conducted in Swedish and a summer school was held to make sure that the children of the church knew the Swedish language. On February 15, 1920 the church was destroyed by fire. For several years the services were held at various places around the neighborhood including Gallistel School, the Oddfellows Hall, St. Petri’s Church, and the First Evangelical Church. On July 22, 1923, at a cost of $77,000, a new church, located at 105th and Avenue J, was dedicated. The cost did not include an organ nor interior decorations. In 1995, the 104-year-old church, faced with problems of declining membership and financial problems, closed its doors and its members transferred to Lebanon Lutheran church in the Hegewisch community. A joint worship service of Bethesda and Lebanon churches on January 7, 1996 marked the closing of the church.

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