St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Kitchener, ON)

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St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Kitchener, ON)

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Description area

Dates of existence

1863-

History

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is a member of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It is located at 49 Queen Street North in Kitchener, Ontario. The congregation was organized in 1863 as Die Evangelische Lutherische St. Petri Gemeinde.

The church was established to provide Lutherans with more stability and organization in their religious services. Previously, Reverend F.W. Bindemann provided religious services to the Lutherans of the area, but as a travelling pastor who catered to several Lutheran congregations in Ontario, he could not provide a permanent presence in the community. In 1863, Reverend C.F.A Kaessman became St. Peter’s first official pastor.

The first church building was completed in 1863, but was demolished in 1877. Construction of a new church took way and was completed in 1868. In 1922, a parish hall was added next to the existing church building; and in 1928, the church’s interior was completely remodeled. By the 1960s, the church had consistent repair issues and was not large enough to support all the church’s programmes. The decision was made to demolish the existing church building and by 1966, construction of the new church was completed. In 2012 The Labyrinth at St. Peter’s was created on the floor of St. Peter’s Chapel, providing a space for prayer and meditation.

German was the language used for all church services and record keeping until 1913, when English services were also offered. By 1937 all of St. Peter's minutes were recorded in English. In 1939 all German services were suspended, but they restarted in 1957. Today all services are conducted in English.

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church has used technology to reach a larger audience since 1943 when it adopted weekly radio broadcasts. In 1958 the St. Peter’s Christmas Eve service was televised. In 1961 St. Peter’s established a television ministry, broadcasting services on the second and fourth Sunday each month on CTV Southwester Ontario. They currently operate an internet website: https://www.stpeterskw.ca/.

Notes:
Information for the description was based on the following sources: Heeding the Call, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 1863-1988 (Kitchener: St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 1989); “St. Peter’s Staff Team Welcomes You,” St. Peters- Where Faith Meets Life, http://www.stpeterskw.ca/www.stpeterskw.ca/index.php5/Our_Team [accessed September 2016]; and “St. Peter’s Birth and History,” St. Peters- Where Faith Meets Life, http://www.stpeterskw.ca/www.stpeterskw.ca/index.php5/St._Peters_History [accessed September 2016; “Introduction,” Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada http://elcic.ca/About-the-ElCIC/default.cfm [accessed September, 2016].

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Kitchener, Ont.

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