Christ Lutheran began on a grassroots level when Lutherans living in the LaVale area felt like a Lutheran congregation outside of the city and in this area was feasible. For years they worked to gain permission for a new congregation and went door to door seeking people who might be interested in beginning a new faith community. St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cumberland was also very helpful in releasing over 20 families to help the congregation begin in LaVale.
Pastor Albert “Pete” Burkhardt was the first called pastor and mission developer. He and his wife Eleanor spent ten years with the congregation during an exciting time of growth, when the congregation moved from meeting in a Vet’s office, to the LaVale Fire Hall, to the first Sanctuary built on land next to Vocke road in LaVale.
During the past forty years, the congregation has had only four Senior Pastors: Rev. Albert Burkhardt; Rev. Carol Youse; Rev. Don Burgraff and Rev. Charles Erzkus. The congregation has also had, for a brief period of time, an Associate Pastor, Rev. Beth Welch and during two vacancies an Interim Pastor, Rev. Donald Sause.
The congregation has never lost it’s desire to welcome visitors and to integrate new members into the congregational family. It has also always been involved in outreach into the community and concerned about the world.
The congregation began as a congregation of the Lutheran Church in America which merged to help form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.