Saint Francis of the City is built on a legacy of other Lutheran Christians who have worked faithfully to serve the community we find ourselves in. We are grateful for the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, and of Lakeside Lutheran Church, who have shared their resources to make Saint Francis of the City a reality. To God be the glory!
A Brief History of Redeemer
In 1920 A group of Lutherans in Magnolia Park expressed a desire to start a new mission
development in the East End area of Houston. In 1926, the Synodical Home Missions
Committee of the United Lutheran Church authorized the Rev. James Gillison to spend one
week per month establishing a mission congregation.
Seven years later, on April 3, 1927, a worship service was started, with the Rev. William Hoebel,
pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Houston, as well as Pastor Gillison, providing leadership.
There were 26 for the launch worship service. Later that year, people regularly worshipping
met after service and took the initial formal steps to organize into an official congregation. On
September 2, the name Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer was adopted, and on
October 2, the congregation was incorporated. By the end of 1927, the Rev. Fred Kern was
called to serve as the first pastor.
In 1945, as the church continued to grow, Lots 1, 2, and 3 in Lawndale Terrace at the corner of
Lawndale and Jocelyn, were purchased for the future home of Redeemer. The dedication of the
new church building was held on Palm Sunday 1949.
In 1953, Redeemer, under the pastoral leadership of the Rev. George Housewright, started the
mission congregation that would become Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in South Houston. In
1954, construction on the parish hall was started.
In 1964, a significant part of Redeemer’s church building caught fire. Damage costs exceeded
$50,000, and the congregation began worshipping at Henderson Elementary School while the
building was restored.
Over the next several years, Redeemer continued to grow, providing various ministries for the
community, including VBS, Redeemer Old Adult Ministry (ROAM), June Kid’s Club, Young at
Heart. Redeemer was served by twelve pastors, with Pastor Grant Housewright serving until
2019 before retiring.
A Brief History of Lakeside