A Changing Church: A History of St. John's Lutheran Church

Journey Holland Valparaiso University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Allison Schuette Valparaiso University
As part of Valparaiso University’s Flight Paths project, I worked on archiving and digitizing important documents at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gary, Indiana. My research follows the history of the church from its beginning as a church plant in Tolleston (now annexed into Gary) onwards with an emphasis on how the church adapted and changed during the period of White Flight in Gary. As more black residents moved into Gary, white residents packed up and left. Coupled with the closing of many of Gary’s factories, the result was a drastic shift in racial and economic demographics. The church, which is part of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, survived White Flight largely due to the efforts of interim pastor Karl Lutze and the next resident pastor, Norman Brandt, who were both dedicated to integration of the church. The efforts for integration were largely successful, leading to a period where the church was a mixed congregation before becoming a predominantly African American church.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

10:30 AM
Jordan Hall 201