Since its beginning, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church has always been a mission church. With the growing economy of Alaska in the 1960s and 70s, and the increasing population of South Anchorage and the Hillside neighborhood, in 1967 the American Lutheran Church purchased property at the corner of Elmore and O’Malley.
In 1974, mission developer Pastor Al Solmonson began knocking on doors in a search for members. His search proved fruitful, and a group began gathering for worship services, first at Kehl’s Mortuary and then at Huffman Elementary School. The congregation was officially organized as Amazing Grace Lutheran Church on Sunday, November 24, 1974.
A year later they were gathering for the first service in the basement of their new building, constructed by Bob Hawkinson (a member of the church) and many workers and volunteers on the Elmore and O’Malley property. The building was finished and dedicated by Easter of 1976. Stewardship of time and resources proved invaluable during the early days of Amazing Grace. Volunteer effort had a key role in constructing the building, and the generosity of members helped the new congregation to support itself, instead of receiving the American Lutheran Church subsidy for mission churches, only ten months into its existence.
With the arrival of Pastor Don Parsons in 1978, Amazing Grace began to come into its own as a teaching congregation. A much-needed educational wing was constructed for the church. A series of nine seminary interns, many of whom returned to Alaska during their ministry, served at Amazing Grace during the 1980s. Amazing Grace was growing into a larger, more vibrant community. The importance of focusing on youth and family ministry became a key focus of Amazing Grace’s mission on the Hillside. This only continued during the leadership of Pastor Glen Groth and Pastor Bruce Engebretson.
In 1990, Amazing Grace hired its first director of youth and family ministry. Craig O’Donoghue, Elaine Stamm, Kim Drennen, and Gloria Lannen, Tyler Malotky have filled this important position. Amanda Lindquist now fills it. Amazing Grace youth have participated in missions to Detroit, Arizona, Nome, Utah.
Amazing Grace Lutheran Preschool was founded in 1992 by Mary Scott (another Amazing Grace member). The preschool, now under the direction of Sharon Webster, continues to be one of our most visible and popular ministries to the Hillside neighborhood.
We are currently led by Pastor Edwin Weber and continue to enjoy the blessing of growth and families! Come and become a part of what God is doing here at Amazing Grace!