The History of Grace Lutheran Church
Grace Lutheran Church 1902-2015
Throughout the years Grace Lutheran Church served its membership and the greater Santa Barbara community with faith and spirit. Beginning as a small but dedicated group in the early 1900s and having moved to purchase land that was a lemon grove and dairy, the congregation always had the vision of continuously moving forward in thanksgiving of God’s gifts. The membership looked beyond itself to serve many people and projects. They supported orphanages in Tijuana; donated clothing and blankets through Lutheran World Relief; developed a community garden; and carried out their primary missions: providing food for the hungry, shelter for people who are homeless, and supportive services for familes, individuals and seniors who are low income.
As the congregation aged, the will for service to the community never diminished. Over the last ten years, members of Grace explored ways to take the God-given gifts of land to provide low-income senior housing, and to expand financial support for the missions of service. At the close of 2014, through partnerships with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and California Lutheran Homes, the congregation was able to realize that dream.
Grace Lutheran Church held it's final worship service on February 15, 2015.
Although it was with a measure of pain and a sense of loss, the closing of Grace Lutheran Church has not meant the end of a ministry. In fact, closing has provided the congregation an opportunity to create its legacy of ongoing servcie to the community through housing and funding of its missions. Grace Lutheran Church, and now Grace Housing, Inc. continues to serve with the vision of those first members who came together in 1903, and the many members and pastors who have been servants of our faith and our community throughout the years.
Grace Housing, Inc. 2014
Grace Lutheran Church established two gifts of their property:
The first was the property on which the church was located at 3869 State Street, in Santa Barbara, California. This was gifted to Santa Barbara Housing Authority to establish Grace Village, a subsidized senior housing project.
The second property was that which had been leased to other entities and continues to generate revenue to fund the missions of the church. This gift was made to California Lutheran Homes (CLH). By gifting that property to CLH, the church was able to provide for ongoing administration of the leases, and a continued revenue stream that addresses both the Legacy established by the church and long term plans for additional senior housing for persons with low income.
Grace Housing, Inc is the vehicle through which ongoing property lease revenue, administered by California Lutheran Homes, can be distributed to services addressing basic need of families and individuals in our community.
Grace Village 2018
Grace Village was opened on the former site of Grace Lutheran Church, providing 57 one bedroom apartments to seniors who are low income. The three-story building provides on-site management, supportive services, a community room, weekly food distribution to the residents and community, and gardens.