The St. Peter’s cemetery located on Walck Rd. near Erie Ave. in North Tonawanda was the cemetery for the St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The members first organized to form the church in August 1887.1
The ground was broken for the church’s longtime home in April 1894 at the corner of Thompson and Bryant Streets in North Tonawanda:2
“A NEW CHURCH
St. Peter’s Evangelical congregation are the Builders.
The ground will be broken Thursday for a new church to be erected by the congregation of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran church. The location will be at the corner of Thompson and Bryan Sts. The building will be a frame structure 38×65 feet with a spire 80 feet high, and will cost about $4,000. It is expected that the building will be completed by July 1st.
The church building now being used will be sold, as soon as the opportunity offers. It is 26×50 in size and would make an excellent room for store purposes. F. Zimmerman has charge of the sale of the building and intending purchasers can get from him any desired information.“
Services and Sunday School was offered in both English and German to the congregation:3
“St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, corner Bryant and Thompson streets, Mr. L. Stener, pastor. Services, 10 o’clock Sunday morning in the German language. Sunday School at 11:15, conducted both in German and in English. In the evening at 7:30 the congregation will celebrate the installation of electric lighting in the church and parsonage. The services will be conducted in the German and English languages. Rev. A. Eberbach of St. Paul’s Lutheran church, Gratwick, will address the congregation in German and the local pastor will speak in English.”
In 1930, the church switched from being an Evangelical Lutheran Church to the American Lutheran Church.4 Then, after the 100th-year anniversary of the church in 1987, the church switched again to the Church of Lutheran Brethren.5
The church celebrated its 129th anniversary in 2007 with only fifteen members.6 As of today, 22 July 2022, a Google search return shows the St. Peter’s Lutheran Brethren as permanently closed.
The church that is now using the building at the corners of Thompson and Bryant is called the iHope Community Church. The About Us page from the Church’s website states that the church began September 2013.7
- Pam Kowalik, “Small Congregation Takes on Some Big Challenges,” The Buffalo (NY) News, 30 September 2007, HTML edition (https://buffalonews.com/news/small-congregation-takes-on-some-big-challenges/article_c26a638b-343d-594b-bce5-b75c0a384b96.html : accessed 22 July 2022), para. 24.
- “A New Church,” The Evening News (North Tonawanda, NY), 4 April 1894, last edition, p. 3, col. 2; digital images, Old Fulton New York Post Cards (https://www.fultonhistory.com : 22 July 2022), Historical Newspapers United States and Canada: North Tonawanda NY Evening News 1893 Jul-Jul 1894 Grayscale – 0847.pdf.
- “St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church,” The Evening News (North Tonawanda, NY), 28 April 1917, p. 6, col. 4; digital images, Old Fulton New York Post Cards (https://www.fultonhistory.com : 22 July 2022), Historical Newspapers United States and Canada: North Tonawanda NY Evening News 1916 Sep-Dec 1917 Grayscale – 0389.pdf.
- Kowalik, “Small Congregation,” para. 21.
- Kowalik, “Small Congregation,” para. 29.
- Kowalik, “Small Congregation,” para. 3.
- “About,” iHope Community Church (https://www.ihopechurch.com/about : accessed 22 July 2022), para. 1.