History of Redeemer


  • Redeemer Lutheran Church – the first English-speaking Lutheran church of the Missouri Synod in Fort Wayne – is founded in a brick house at the corner of Broadway and Stophlet Street by 11 charter members: William Spiegel, Henry Ehle, R.C. Reinewald, Herman Kucher, Henry Salge, Charles Bente, William Kirchner, William Klingman, H.G. Steup, John Christlieb, and Thomas Baxter.
  • Before the charter, services had been held on Sunday evenings alternately at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Emanuel Lutheran Church.
  • At the time of the charter, we purchased our own building from Plymouth Congregational Church on Washington Boulevard and Fulton Street.
  • We join the English Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States.
C.F.W. Meyer

Rev. C.F.W. Meyer


  • Rev. C.F.W. Meyer becomes the first pastor of Redeemer and serves until 1902.


Rev. Theodore Hahn

Rev. Theodore Hahn

  • Rev. Theodore Hahn takes over as pastor and serves until 1910.


Rev. J.R. Graebner

  • Rev. J.R. Graebner becomes our 3rd pastor, and it is during his ministry that planning  for a new church building begins.
  • The English Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States, which we had joined previously, is renamed and restructured as the English District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS).


  • The process of drawing up plans for our new sanctuary begins in earnest. The architect is Riebel Sons and Matheny of Columbus, Ohio.


  • Land for our new church is purchased at the corner of Rudisill Boulevard and Harrison Street.


  • A contract is signed with W.A. Sheets construction to build the church.
  • The cornerstone is laid on July 1.
  • Rev. Graebner accepts another call.

    Rev. C.W. Baer

    Rev. C.W. Baer

  • Rev. C.W. Baer becomes our 4th pastor, who oversees the final touches to the new sanctuary.
  • The stained-glass windows of Redeemer are being crafted in the Von Gerichton Ecclesiastic Studios in Munich Bavaria, Germany, and Columbus, Ohio, with colors being burned/baked into the glass.
  • Our first organ is built by Hillgreen, Lane and Company and donated by the Ladies’ Aid. It serves the church well for 35 years.


  • Our new church building is finally dedicated on June 1.
  • The 3 bells of Redeemer – made by St. Louis Bell Foundry and weighing 2,780 pounds – ring for the first time on Easter Sunday, April 20, before the actual dedication of the building itself. They were given by the Williamm Behrman, Charles Bleke, H Kroemer, and C.E. Strasburg families. Some of their great grandchildren are members of Redeemer to this day and the bells still sound several times every week.


Rev. Erwin Kurth

Rev. Erwin Kurth

  • The congregation is shocked and deeply grieved by the death of our pastor, Rev. C.W. Baer, on May 29.
  • Rev Erwin Kurth becomes our 5th pastor and serves until 1951.

Rev. Herbert Lindemann


  • Rev. Herbert Lindemann accepts the call to Redeemer, becoming our 6th pastor and serving us faithfully for almost 25 years.


  • Our current Schlicker organ is built and replaces the Hillgreen, Lane and Company organ that had served us since 1923.


Rev. Charles Evanson

Rev. Charles Evanson

  • Rev. Charles Evanson becomes our 7th pastor and serves until 2000.


  • The Schlicker organ installed in 1958 is revoiced by Noack. It currently has 26 Registers, 32 Stops, 38 Ranks, and 2,015 Pipes.
  • The revoiced organ is rededicated on November 3 with a celebratory organ recital by David Fienen, a former music director of Redeemer.


Rev. David H. Petersen

Rev. David H. Petersen

  • Rev. Evanson, after 25 years as our pastor, accepts the call to serve as a professor in Lithuania.
  • Rev. Daniel Reuning, our current Kantor, steps in to fulfill the role of vacancy pastor.
  • Rev. David H. Petersen accepts the call to become our 8th pastor and serves us in that capacity to this day.


  • The building receives a much needed renovation to improve accessibility. The most obvious change is that a new entryway is built and elevator is added. The undercroft is remodeled to have a ramp and handicap accessible bathrooms. The narthex becomes the Chapel. Walls are torn down and a new wall built to make the Nave under the choir loft a new large narthex and cry room. The old Chapel becomes a coat room.


  • Air conditioning is added to the Chapel and Nave.


  • The undercroft and kitchen receive a major renovation.


Rev. Michael Frese

Rev. Michael Frese

  • While deployed as an Army chaplain in Afghanistan, where he won a purple heart, Rev. Michael Frese was called to serve as our associate pastor. He accepted the call and we waited for his return to the states and release from the active duty army.


  • Rev. Michael Frese, now a chaplain in the Air Force National Guard, is installed as associate pastor and continues to serve us in this role.


  • The Congregation purchases the house immediately North of the parking lot on Webster Street and plans begin to double the size of the parking lot in the Summer of 2016.

Soli Deo Gloria +