Grace Lutheran Church

For some years before there was a Lutheran Church in Thompson, men of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fairport Harbor, were on a committee to find a site to build a church on the south side of Painesville. So, in January 1955, the congregation of Immanuel Lutheran gave its approval to the people in the Leroy-Thompson area to start a mission church to be known as The Immanuel Lutheran Mission.

The first service of this mission was held Sunday, February 6, 1955, with Sunday School at 1:00 p.m. and church services at 2:00 p.m. There were fifty-five present, and The Brakeman Community Church, Leroy, was rented for twenty dollars monthly as the churchís first meeting place. Rev. Frusti from Immanuel and Rev. Bickel from Zion Lutheran, Painesville, conducted these first services.

The subsequent services rapidly grew in number attending. In April, 1955, an organization meeting of the Mission Church was held, and the name of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church was adopted. A Church constitution was voted on, and Lawrence Heckel was elected President, with Raymond Sippola chosen as Sunday School Superintendent. Vicar Harold Kallio began to serve as the first full-time pastor during the summer of 1955. In September of that same year the present church site (8091 Plank Road) was chosen.

Building began with groundbreaking ceremonies in June, 1956, for the Parish House (now the Sunday School Department). A year later construction on the parsonage was started, and an addition was added to the original Parish House in 1960. During this growth period, it was decided that a new church was needed, so in May of 1967, construction was begun on this new building. The new church was dedicated to the glory of God on April 18, 1968. Two years later, a pipe organ was installed, with Mr. R. Gertz, church organist, and Rev. R. Ruff, church pastor, playing the dedicatory concert.

Grace Lutheran Church has been served through these twenty-one years by the following pastors: Rev. P. Frusti, Rev. H. Kallio, Rev. J. Mattson, Rev. Ca Rantala, and Rev. R. Ruff. The Rev. Charles Pieplow accepted the call to serve in March, 1976, and is now the congregationís shepherd. The roster shows 350 baptized members and 250 communicant members.

Sunday services are as follows: Sunday School 9:15 a.m., Church 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion is celebrated on the first and third Sundays of each month.

Above information from the 1976 book
Thompson Ohio Bicentennial Community