"Serving Christ Through the Centuries"
On February 8, 1911, concerned members of St. Mark's Lutheran Church held a meeting to begin plans for a mission congregation on the growing east side of the Detroit.
In the autumn of that year, a parsonage was built on the corner of Iroquois Avenue and Waterloo (now Vernor). On November 5, 1911, the Rev. John A. Dezter was installed as the first pastor of Christ Lutheran Church. In 1913, the building of a permanent church began. "Iroquois Avenue" was added to the name to distinguish other area churches.
The new church building was completed and dedicated, to the glory of God, in three services with capacity attendance on November 13, 1913.
The church sanctuary was designed by Louis Keil. A founding member of the congregation, Keil designed the interiors of marine steamers. He had traveled abroad and wished to capture the spirit of a European church. The dominant characteristic of the architecture is gothic, with influences of the Arts & Craft movement. The castle-like central tower calls to mind the favorite Lutheran hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." The cost of the church building came to $25,000 in 1913.
Traditional stain glass windows surround the sanctuary. The "Good Shepherd Window" has become a favorite image of Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran. The "Lily Windows" to the left of the altar and the rose "Angel Window" above the entrance are also of special note.
In 1928, the adjoining lot was purchased. The parsonage was moved onto the newly purchased lot. On the former site of the parsonage, a parish house was built connected to the church. The cornerstone was laid in August 1929. Total cost was $98,000. The parish house includes offices, lounges, a gymnasium with stage and two kitchens. Space for Sunday School was provided in the large daylight basement.
In 1990, the basement was remodeled and updated into an elementary school. It became the home of Cornerstone School: Iroquois Campus, kindergarten to fifth grade. The school was closed and consolidated with Cornerstone School: Van Dyke Campus in 2008.
Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran Church is in the center of Historic Indian Village. The neighborhood was admitted to the National Register of Historic places in 1972.
To find out more about Historic Indian Village, the Indian Village House and Garden Tour and other neighborhood events click on the link below.