Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church,

From the Beginning to Now


Pastorates of Grace – from June of 1854, when Rev. Dr. William A. Passavant visited the village of Rochester and began  to preach to a handful of willing listeners, through the present day, 18 pastors have followed his example to become the senior pastors of Grace Church.  From 1854 to the present, Grace Church has been blessed with pastors who dedicated themselves to teaching and preaching the Word of God throughall the challenges and blessings of their own unique period, which added so much to the history of our church.

When this congregation was organized over 150 years ago, surely those early settlers of Rochester struggled over the name.  You can be sure that names of saints and holy sites were suggested.  Finally, the name was selected, Grace Church.  “Grace”; what a fine selection that was.  That is what this congregation has been all about for over 150 years, proclaiming the Good News of God’s Grace in Jesus Christ our Lord.  That was the mission of the founders and it has been lived out by the congregation through the years.  It is the same message today as it was then.  Outward practices may have changed – new architecture, different traditions, and cultural changes.  Nevertheless, it is still God’s Grace being lived and proclaimed by the people of this church.


It is more than a coincidence that we are sharing The Good News.  God’s Holy breath is edifying His body of Christ and this faith community in order to bring down the walls of division glorify God’s name and bless His children with salvation.  As disciples of Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves to God’s service by following the teachings of our Lord and Savior.  We will study the word of God, share His love, and expand His kingdom by nurturing, sharing freely, and working together.

God’s gift of Grace to His Holy Church at Rochester breathed upon the waters in the mid-eighteen hundreds and is continuing to grow a holy fellowship today.  Neither stale, absent, nor of short supply, God’s gracious breath gives hope and life to our living church body.


Lifting up Jesus Christ;


Gregory Clagg

Pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rochester