Grace Lutheran Church closes and Kindred begins
We are created with a longing for connection with others.  We can learn a lot on our own (especially between YouTube and Wikipedia), but life and faith gain greater depth when explored in community. We gather to support, encourage, and challenge one another. We gather together to hear the voice of God in others.


In the midst of our week, we get together to pause, pray, share, explore, and dream.  We can talk honestly about our real lives, our joys, and our fears.  We are guided to think critically about what the Bible says and what it means for our life together.  It's laid back, but still has substance.  This is how we build relationships that are more than acquaintances, where we can support and challenge one another to live out God's light in meaningful ways.
Gatherings begin February 10 (Ash Wednesday)


Rooted in tradition, we are steeped in something bigger than ourselves.  Our worship will be based on the rhythm and ritual of liturgy, which means “work of the people.”  It is sacred, but not stuffy.  It will be contemplative, but also casual and comfortable.  It will be familiar and fresh. You can come as you are (in big church hats or footie pajamas), gather for a sacred meal, and be nourished for the journey.  Kids are welcome and grandparents are welcome. If you have never been to church before, you are welcome. Whether you are poor or not, there will be no judge-y side glances, we promise.
Worship begins March 20 (Palm Sunday)

So, what is the story?

Grace has had a long history in the Montrose area. In 1921, field missionary Rev. John T. Gillison, formally organized a congregation on April 16, 1922, as Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Houston. This was the first mission congregation in Houston of the United Lutheran Church in America, which body provided financial support until Grace became self-supporting.

Members of Grace first worshiped in a one-room chapel at 2715 Waugh Dr. In 1921, the ULCA Board of Home Missions purchased the one-story, one-room Hyde Park Chapel from Second Presbyterian Church. When the present church site at Waugh Drive and Missouri was purchased in 1944, Waugh Drive was a major two-way thoroughfare, with a busy trolley stop at Westheimer and Waugh. Expansions and additions in 1960, 1970 and 1985 resulted in the facility we know today.

During its membership in the original ULCA, its successor the Lutheran Church in America, and more recently the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Grace also had membership in the Texas Synod, Texas-Louisiana Synod, and the Southeast Texas/Southern Louisiana Synod, now renamed the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.

Although the majority of members in 1922 were of the church neighborhood, by 1930 numerous members resided well beyond Grace's community limits. That characteristic held true ever since. A membership decline began in the 1970's. Children of the post-WWII period matured, married, and established homes far beyond the Grace area, and they usually joined suburban congregations. The Montrose community became commercialized and the Westheimer strip became identified by its "night spots." Grace families transferred out and the neighborhood became more transient. In his 1987 report, Pastor Akerman noted, "The figures indicate an ever-changing congregation." That characteristic, too, is still present.

For nearly two years in 1991-1993, Grace had the uncommon opportunity to share worship space and fellowship with the congregation of Augustana Lutheran Church while their sanctuary was razed and a new one built. Many new friendships were formed and greater understanding took hold as the two congregations merged their services, choirs, education, and social opportunities. It was with a mixture of sadness and joy that Grace members joined Augustana in dedicating their beautiful new building, marking the end of our time together.

Grace Lutheran Church has been a part of the Montrose community for the last 94 years.  Grace was, a Lutheran Church with Sunday morning worship that looked much like that held in Lutheran churches around the globe every Sunday (and very similar to other "high church" traditions like the Catholics, Episcopalians and Methodists).  What made Grace different was that, while we loved our traditions, we know that the true calling of a church is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the poor, and be a vehicle for showing God's love to all the world.

Grace knew that a lot of churches talk about accepting people as they are, and that's great, but wanted to go farther, to embrace everyone just as they are. 

Grace Members and Friends at the 2010 Houston Pride Parade
Grace became a Reconciling in Christ Congregation in 1996.  This meant that we fully welcome and embrace the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender community.  We believe that God has called us to love everyone, regardless of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.  We strive to joyfully follow God's call to love one another without judgment, without fear, and without discrimination.

On January 10, 2016, Grace held it's last worship and closed the doors. But now we start a new chapter in this story. After a brief time of silence, the doors will open again to a fresh new restart, Kindred. Still a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and welcoming all, regardless of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, we will also move forward in our partnerships with Montrose Grace Place, Central City Co-Op and At The Movies.