Zion History

Over a dispute on predestination, Rev. Herbst found himself locked out of Trinity Lutheran Church June 18, 1882. He stood on the front steps of the church with the members who also opposed the concept of predestination, and held a worship service, he was noted as saying that he "didn't want to waste a good sermon". On that Sunday morning those faithful Lutherans banded together and formed, what was originally named, The Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession (U.A.C.), of the City Columbus, County of Franklin, State of Ohio. The church was incorporated in 1899. 

Within one week after the worship service on the front steps of their old church, the small group of Lutherans purchased their first church building, located at the southeast corner of Mound and Third Streets, from St. Paul's Episcopal congregation at a price of $6000.00. By the grace of God, the members of Zion were permitted to dedicate their first divine worship service on Sunday June 25, 1882. Worship services in German were offered twice monthly until 1929. The building now referred to as "Old Zion", was used by the congregation until March 14, 1954. 

The members of Zion were aware of the increasing need for a new house of worship. In April 1941, they started a building fund, but World War II and post-war conditions delayed action. In April 1949, a General Planning Committee, consisting of three members from each organization within the congregation, was formed. The Building Committee was appointed in July of 1950. The site at 766 South High Street was purchased on May 12, 1952, at a cost of $28,000.00. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on April 19, 1953, and actual construction began the next morning, and the cornerstone was laid on June 21, 1953. The festival day of dedication of the "new" Zion to the glory and honour of Almighty God was held March 21, 1954. 

The total cost of the new church building, it's furnishings, and the land was $250,000.00. Through the inspired gifts of the members, the debt at the time of dedication was reduced to $80,000.00, this amount was paid off by November 1959 by these dedicated Christians of Zion. During this time, too, the beautiful stained-glass windows were installed, with the dedication of the South side windows on January 13, 1957, followed by the North side on April 28, 1957. 

The Casavant pipe organ was installed at Zion in 1967. It has two manuals, sixteen stop registers, three divisions, and twenty ranks totalling 1,116 pipes.  Its tonal design corresponds to the classical European, Bach traditions. More recently in 1990, electronic harmonious Carillon bells were installed with speakers mounted on the steeple for the neighbouring German Village residents to enjoy. Zimblestern bells were installed on the organ in 2006 to enhance and embellish verses of hymns especially those with a Trinitarian reference. 

ZionVision became the title for a collaboration of members that formed in 1987 to address the future needs of the Zion congregation. From that first retreat when a group of members brainstormed together, came the vision to install an elevator, make the church handicapped accessible, install central air conditioning, provide additional classroom space, adequate offices and address the increased need for accessible parking. 

In 1996, Zion dedicated the three-story addition and accomplished all the goals set, while providing a few additional parking spaces. The addition was built with one floor finished and two remaining floors to be completed later. The building debt was $1.9 million dollars and as of May 2007 was reduced to $272,529.00. The remaining floors were completed and furnished in 2002 and all the building debt has now been retired. 


Pastors of Zion

 History002BW.jpgRev Richard Herbst                1882-1897

Zion's first pastor was the Reverend Richard Herbst, who served faithfully for fifteen years. He was given a peaceful release in 1897 to become Chaplin of the Home for Aged People at Brooklyn, New York.

 History003BW.jpgRev. H. M. Zorn                     1897 -1903

The Reverend Zorn was installed on September 17, 1897. His service extended over a period of six years, during which time he established and taught in a Christian day school. He resigned to accept the pastorate of St. John's congregation at South Euclid,Ohio.

history004BW.jpgRev. Adolph Haentzschel       1904-1907

In January 1904, The Reverend Haentzschel accepted the Call to be pastor, coming to Zion from Cleveland, after serving for three years, he accepted a professorship at Concordia College, Conover North Carolina.

 Picture11BW.jpgRev. Louis Steinbach              1907-1910

The Reverend Steinbach came to Columbus in 1907 directly from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, but had to resign in 1910 due to poor health.

 History001Sepia.jpgRev. E. W. Bohn                      1910-1920

The Reverend Bohn was installed as Pastor on September 9, 1910. During his ten years of service, the Felgemacher organ was purchased, it was later moved to the new Zion and used until 1967. During his ministry, the members of Old Zion paid off their debt on the Old Zion church property.

 Picture13BW.jpgRev. Otto Stolzenburg            1920-1961

On October 17, 1920, The Reverend Otto F. Stolzenburg was installed as Pastor. The Reverend Stolzenburg severed the Zion congregation for over forty-one years retiring in October of 1961. He continued to live in Columbus until his death in April of 1964.

 history007BW.jpgRev. Paul Stanko                    1962-1973

The Reverend Stanko came to Zion in February, 1962. Pastor Stanko accepted the Call to Concordia, Dayton Ohio in October 1973.

 history008BW.jpgRev. William J Britton              1974-1986

The Reverend Britton came to Zion from Our Saviour, Detroit, Michigan; he was installed at Zion on August 4, 1974.

 Picture15BW.jpgRev. Peter R. Reetz                 1987-2003

The Reverend Reetz accepted a Call to Zion from a church in West Virginia. The Zion church building was expanded during his ministry at Zion,  Pastor Reetz accepted a Call to Grace Lutheran Church,Naples Florida in 2003.  

 Picture5BW.jpgRev. Mark A. Steinke               2004-2007

The Reverend Steinke accepted a Call form Zion from a church in Michigan. Pastor Steinke left Zion in 2007 and was teaching in Florida for several years before accepting a call to a Florida congregation.

 PK.jpgRev. Larry R. Kudart              2001- 2019

The Reverend Kudart came to Zion as an Assisting Pastor in 2001, Pastor Kudart served at Trinity Lutheran Church, Zanesville for over forty years before retiring. Pastor Kudart came to Zion to stay active and has been actively serving ever since.

 PH.JPGRev. Wes Hromowyk             2013 - present

The Reverend Hromowyk came to Zion after completing his Vicarage. He was Ordained and installed on January 19, 2014.