Community of Diversity

My In-laws live in Tacoma, and I heard about Peace Lutheran while visiting. I decided to visit Peace Lutheran and I found a diverse congregation living out a vision of peace and transformation, bringing together the old and the new.

  • Peace Lutheran, a German-Russian congregation 100 years ago

Peace Lutheran is a 100 year old church that has successfully transitioned from being a dwindling ethnic German-Russian congregation in the 1960s to a diverse and vibrant congregation that reflects the demographics of the neighborhood and is deeply engaged with the needs of its community.The church is an unusual combination of Lutheran solidity (efficient systems and accountability) with vibrant relationships and an openness to the unexpected. It is a congregation that embodies the best of the Lutheran heritage of service and grace.

Over time, Peace Lutheran has managed to adapt and reflect its neighborhood by creating programs and initiatives that meet the needs of the people in its community.

The church is located in the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, WA, an area that has seen many demographical changes. The neighborhood first housed immigrants in 1900s. These families fled to the suburbs as minorities settled in the area in the 60s and 70s. The area then became notorious for gang violence and drug activity in the 80s and 90s. The neighborhood cleaned up but is still mostly made up of low-income residents.

The diversity of the church is not limited to the congregation, but also includes the church leadership and is represented in their outreach partners and programs.

To read more about how a dying mainline church recovered and became a vibrant center of neighborhood activity CLICK HERE