The first activities that led to the establishment of Grace Ev. Lutheran Church of Glendale, Arizona, were services that were conducted irregularly at various places in the Glendale Area between 1921 and 1924. These services were conducted by the Rev. Immanuel G. Frey who was at that time pastor of Zion Ev. Lutheran Church of Phoenix. According to his best recollections, these services were held largely for the benefit of members of Zion church who lived in this area. In 1924 Pastor Frey was replaced at Zion by the Rev. H. Koch, who asked Pastor O. Hohenstein to assist him in the work at Zion. In that capacity, Pastor Hohenstein continued to hold services in Glendale from time to time. On November 21, 1926, regularly held services were begun. At first, the services were held every other Sunday, but in January 1927, weekly services with Sunday School were begun. The first of these services, held at the Woman’s Club building at the corner of N. 56th and W. Glenn Avenues, was attended by 19 people with nine attending Sunday School.
On February 1, 1927, a meeting was held at Zion of the parents of the children attending Zion Lutheran School. It was noted that all the families with children in Zion school, except two, were located in the Glendale area and it was proposed that these families seek a release from Zion for the purpose of opening another school in Glendale which would be associated with the Glendale Mission. As a result of these discussions, seven families of Zion requested transfers to the Glendale Mission. Because it was felt that granting these transfers would seriously disrupt the economy of Zion and might possibly bring about the closing of Zion’s school, Zion was loathed to grant these releases. An appeal was made for assistance to the District Mission Board of the Southeastern Wisconsin District of the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod. In a voters’ meeting on April 27, 1927, attended by Pastors Wm. Mahnke and John Jeske, both the Glendale Mission and Zion Lutheran School were promised support from the Synod. Thereupon a peaceful release was granted to the seven families.
With the nucleus of these seven families, including that of Pastor Otto Hohenstein, the Glendale Mission became a growing concern. In the Fall of 1927, a day school with the pastor as the teacher was opened in a garage building just north of Glendale Avenue on 58th Avenue at the site of the present city hall. This building also served as a temporary place of worship. On September 25th, 1927, in a meeting at the home of Mr. & Mrs. George Keim at W. Bethany Home and 19th Avenue, a constitution was adopted and the mission was named Grace Ev. Lutheran Church of Glendale, Arizona. The first officers were:
- Pastor O. Hohenstein, chairman
- Mr. Claus Harders, vice-chairman
- Mr. Eugene Malchow, secretary
- Mr. Geo. H. Abel, treasurer
- Mr. Wm. O. Meier, trustee
- Mr. Geo. Keim, trustee
- Mr. J. M. Quamme, trustee
- Mr. H. Holm, deacon
- Mr. J. M. Quamme, deacon
These men together with their families were also the charter members of the congregation. Other families whose names appear in the early records include Carl Benson, Eda Amend, Geo. Franzmeier and Newton R. McMillan.