Grace Lutheran Church had a humble beginning – After a mission canvass of the Albany area on February 3, 1931 a Sunday School opened on February 8, 1931, in a storefront building on Solano Avenue. One March 1, 1931 the first service for adults was held in the evening, with Rev. Martin Engel of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Berkeley as the preacher.
On October 18, 1931, the first Sunday morning service was held, with the District Mission Board in charge. On August 12, 1932 the group held their first worship service in the newly completed Veterans Memorial Building in Albany, where they held services for several years.
In May of 1934 Rev. O.R. Janke began his work as the first resident missionary and on April 15, 1935 the Grace congregation was organized with seven charter voting members and forty-four communicant members and Rev. O.R. Janke was installed as their pastor on May 12, 1935. Grace became incorporated March 12, 1937 and on March 17, 1938 they dedicated the newly built parish hall-chapel on the ground where the church now stands. (The hall is now known as Janke Hall).
In January, 1944 the congregation became self-supporting and on February, 1944 they had a service of praise and thanksgiving and had a mortgage burning ceremony.
Grace continued to grow and flourish under God’s loving care and protection. On October 16, 1949 a ground breaking-service was held in preparation for the building of the church edifice. The building was supervised by one of our own members, Ed Hjellum, who was a building contractor. Much of the work was done by members and friends of the congregation, who volunteered to do what ever they could. Weekends and days off were spent at the church site. On June 11, 1950 we held two services dedicating the new building to the glory of God.
We needed more room for our Sunday School so on March 11, 1955 a ground-breaking ceremony was held for an addition to the parish hall, which was completed in short order and was dedicated on September 25, 1955.
On June 30, 1973, our first Pastor, Rev. O.R. Janke, retired after 39+ years of serving the Lord and Grace Church. After that we have had four more pastors, Ronal Rentner, Robert Krieger and Ralph Moellering, and Verner Olson, who have served the congregation. Rev. Olson began his service in 1990 and retired in 2013.
Rev. Temesgen Dabsu currently serves as our pastor, and has been a blessing to our congregation.