First English Evangelical Lutheran Church

First English Evangelical Lutheran Church

The First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 615 Grant Street, is one of the many 19th century buildings that dot the landscape of the Golden Triangle. Consecrated in 1888, the Romanesque structure, with it's 170-foot spire, stands amidst the towering skyscrapers of Pittsburgh's modern metropolis.

The First English Evangelical Lutheran Mission began on January 15, 1837, as the first English-speaking Lutheran congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains. The congregation's first church was built in 1840, located at Seventh Avenue and Montour Way. As the congregation grew, plans for a larger church were prepared. In 1885, a plot of land was purchased on Grant Street for the new church building.

The First English Evangelical Lutheran Church

Built while the Allegheny County Courthouse was in the final stages of construction, the First Lutheran Church reflects the design of the rustic Courthouse, with it's finely sculpted stonework and vermillion-tinted mortar. The exterior of the building also features tall, gabled roofs and the towering spire.

The interior of the First English
Evangelical Lutheran Church

The plan of the church is in the form of a Greek cross, which gives it a centralized character. The white plaster walls are highlighted by three tall windows, including "The Good Shepherd", which was fabricated by the Tiffany Studios in 1898. The altar, installed after 1892, was designed in the Italian Renaissance style, with mosaics.

The First English Evangelical Lutheran Church
as seen from Mellon Square Plaza.

In recent years, the First Lutheran Church, named a Pittsburgh Historic Landmark, has been extensively renovated and restored. It serves an active congregation and it's ministries continue to thrive after 120-plus years at the very heart of Pittsburgh.

The interior of the First English
Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Pastors of the First Lutheran Church

Reverend Carl Friedrick Heyer (1837-1838)
Reverend Emanuel Frey (1838-1838)
Reverend John McCron (1839-1942)
Reverend William H. Smith (1843-1844)
Reverend William H. Passavant (1844-1855)
Reverend Charles P. Krauth (1855-1859)
Reverend Reuben Hill (1860-1866)
Reverend Samuel Laird (1867-1879)
Reverend Edmund Belfour (1880-1892)
Reverend David H. Geissinger (1893-1907)
Reverend George J. Gongaware (1907-1913)
Reverend Theophilus O. Keister (1913-1917)
Reverend Charles P. McLaughlin 91918-1925)
Reverend Dr. Adam J. Holl (1926-1947)
Reverend Robert W. Stackel (1947-1955)
Reverend Harold R. Albert (1955-1965)
Reverend John T. Braughler (1966-1989)
Reverend David P. Gleason (1989-present)

The interior of the First English
Evangelical Lutheran Church

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