Church History

Church History

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church officially came into existence on August 23, 1964 after two years of merger studies between St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Ida, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of Rasinville Township, and West Ida Immanuel Lutheran Church. In May of 1964, meetings between St. Mark’s and St. Matthew’s produced two overwhelming votes to merge together.  The Rev. Don F. Thomas was called to be the congregation’s first pastor and stayed for 37 years, retiring in 1998.

The first church council voted to purchase a little over eight acres on the corner of West Dunbar and Lewis Avenue along with choosing the architectural firm in the fall of 1964.  After approval of the building plans were finalized in August of 1965, ground was broken on March 27, 1966.  Construction began on May 30, 1966 and the building was completed in May of 1967.  The new building was dedicated on three consecutive Sundays’ beginning on June 4, 1967 with former pastors, local clergy and guest speakers present.  The church received three acres of land adjoining the existing property to the west on Dunbar Road as a gift in November of 1967.  A 10th anniversary service followed with a potluck dinner was held on August 25, 1974 and was attended by former pastors from St.  Matthew’s and West Ida Lutheran Church.  In a special ceremony, the church mortgage was burned on January 31, 1982.

A celebration of Ordination as well as Installation of Associate Pastor Timothy McDermott took place on July 25, 1982.  Pastor McDermott served the Church as Associate Pastor until October 15, 1985.

A decision was made on January 15, 1989 to form a committee to study the feasibility of building a parish hall/community center/gymnasium.  Four months later building and finance committees were formed to proceed with plans to build the community center.

A 25th Anniversary service was held on August 20, 1989 followed by a reception in the atrium.  Special recognition was given to 171 members that day who were members when Prince of Peace was formed in 1964.  These members were given red anniversary badges with a silver ribbon identifying them as one of the original 171.  All the other members received a blue anniversary badge.

Pastor Edward McCarthy is installed as Associate Pastor on December 10, 1989 and served the Congregation as Associate Pastor until August 26, 1990.

On April 30, 1990 a decision was made to move forward on building the Community Center.
Dedication of the Community Center was held on September 29, 1991.  An open house followed the service.

In late January 1995, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of establishing a daycare, latchkey or preschool program.  A decision was made in early May of 1995 to proceed with the daycare and latchkey program.  It would be called the Ida Kids Center.  On August 23, 1995 the Ida Kids Center opened for daycare along with before and after school care and continues to operate successfully today.

A retirement celebration was held for Pastor Don F. Thomas on February 1, 1998.  Pastor Thomas retired officially on February 22, 1998 after serving Prince of Peace for 37 years.  Pastor Eugene Nissen was appointed by the Synod as Interim Pastor and served the Congregation until the Reverend Richard Dick Jr. was called to be the congregation’s next pastor and was officially installed on June 13, 1999.  Pastor Richard Dick Jr. left the congregation on February 8, 2000 and a committee was established to find a new Pastor.  Pastor Robert Schefter was appointed by the Synod as Interim Pastor and was later called to be the next Pastor of Prince of Peace on September 17, 2000.

In 2001 the construction of a Picnic Shelter and outdoor storage building behind the Community Center next to the Church Playground was completed and dedicated.  The following summer of 2002 construction of a new Church Parsonage was completed on the existing church property off of Dunbar Road.

Pastor Robert Schefter left the congregation on June 15, 2003 and a committee was established to find a new Pastor.  Pastor David Hendricks was appointed by the Synod as an Interim Pastor, serving the Congregation from 2003 until a call was accepted by Pastor Theodore D. Kerr III. Pastor Kerr was installed as the new Pastor for Prince of Peace on August 15, 2005.

On September 6, 2007 the mortgage for the Community Center was paid off and a special ceremony followed with a mortgage burning.