Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church: Our Story

Grace Lutheran Church was formally organized in 1942​ under The Rev. Forest Friese.  Charter members included Mr and Mrs J.J. Appel, John Barringer, Mr and Mrs A.W. Holler, Mr and Mrs Howard Davis, Mrs Helen Roll, and Mrs Florence Grossman.


They held services in a storefront on Hillsborough Road until the chapel was built at Buchanan and Green Streets. The first service in the chapel occurred on June 29, 1947, over 75 years ago.

As early as 1937, the J.J. Appel family held services in their home. Later, a house was rented on Englewood Avenue and space was used at the Music Hall and Library of Duke University. The new sanctuary was dedicated in 1989.  The original chapel is now Fellowship Hall. ​

Click photo to view slideshow.

The following Pastors have served at Grace during its 75-year history:

  • Rev. Robert Friese (1942-1946)

  • Rev. Paul Gibbert (1946-1950)

  • Rev. Donald Reinbolt (1951-1958)

  • Rev. Schoenborn (1959-1962)

  • Rev. Dr. Scharleman (1962-1963)

  • Rev. Brohn (1964-1967)

  • Dr. Frederick L. Neebe (1968-1971)

  • Rev. D. Paul Nelson (1971-1990)

  • Rev. James Knuth (1991-2007)

  • Rev. Joseph Dzugan - Associate Pastor (1998-2001)

  • Rev. Bryan Chestnutt - Associate Pastor (2003-2007)

    • Senior Pastor - (2007-August 2018)​

  • Rev. Dr. David H. Brooks (August 2019-​Present)

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

Miss Mollie's School of Grace Preschool

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.