History of Zoar
We’re glad to share our story!
German settlers, hungry for a Christian home, began worshipping together in Perrysburg in the 1830’s under the leadership of Rev. George Cronenwett. In February 1850, Rev. Cronenwett had formed a congregation called “The German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession known by the name of Zoar.” After a period of time, the group purchased a building in which to worship and also founded a sister congregation in nearby Maumee, St. Paul’s.
In 1875, a building on the present site of Zoar Lutheran was purchased and renovated into a white framed church. For many years, services were conducted primarily in German, but in the late 1800’s Zoar also began offering some worship services in English. In 1917, a new brick church building was completed as the Zoar congregation continued to grow and serve their community.
During the 1920’s Zoar Lutheran made the final switch to English-only services and Zoar’s pastor, Rev. Peter Kluepfel, was instrumental in the formation of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1930. In 1938, St. Paul’s in Maumee called its own full-time pastor and also joined the ALC.
Under the leadership of Rev. E. J. Melchert, Zoar’s membership continued to grow in size and in mission and then added an educational unit in 1951. To better meet the needs of the congregation and the community, an associate pastor joined Zoar in 1955. Then two years later, a second mission congregation, Lutheran Church of the Master, also in Perrysburg, was launched. In 1976, to commemorate its 125th anniversary, Zoar Lutheran began Abundant Life, a facility that provides low-cost independent housing for senior citizens.
Rev. Timothy Philabaum became Zoar’s senior pastor in 1993 and oversaw the expansion and renovation of the sanctuary, as well as the addition of new classrooms, a commercial kitchen, the Family Life Center, and new administrative offices. In 2000, in honor of Zoar’s 150th anniversary, a second apartment building at Abundant Life was built.
Throughout its history, the congregation at Zoar Lutheran has been blessed by the leadership of wonderful laity and pastors. As we look forward to the future, we trust that God will continue to guide our ministry so that through our worship, our witness, and our outreach, we will proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ for many years to come. Discover Zoar and Be AmaZed!