Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Allentown, Pa. was established in 1903. At that time, there were people in other Lutheran congregations that felt a Lutheran church should be built in the growing Western edge of Allentown and that it should be English-speaking. In other Lutheran churches at the time, services were still spoken in German. Members largely from two downtown Lutheran congregations, St. John’s and St. Michael’s, came together to start the “mission congregation” by purchasing the plot of land and constructing the temporary worship space, “the shanty.” Worship services began within months of the decision, with Sunday school classes and ministry groups forming soon afterwards.
Since its formation, Christ Church has been an important presence in the community. An important representation of the commitment was the establishment of a Community Kindergarten within the building in 1907 under the leadership of Miss S. Alice Cooper. The dedication to serving the children who live in the neighborhood surrounding the church continues today in programs like Head Start, the church’s partnership with McKinley Elementary School, along with summer Day Camp and Vacation Bible School programs. The church has always had a strong commitment to suppporting charitable organizations and mission projects, both locally and globally. When the Christian Education building was built in 1936 to meet a growing need for Sunday school space, this large facility also became available to serve the cummunity. From early uses during the World Wars for bandage rolling for the troops or serving as an air raid shelter to modern accessibility to community organizations, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Al Anon, Allentown Literacy Center, and various musical programs, the church is dedicated to sharing the gift of the space with the community.
In May of 2012, St. Stephen Lutheran Church merged with Christ Lutheran to become one worshiping congregation. At that time, the St. Stephen Outreach Center was formed to serve the needs of the Franklin Park neighborhood utilizing the St. Stephen building. Pastor Marita Torres Dolich was called as pastor of outreach joining Pastor William (Woody) Maxon, senior pastor who was installed at Christ in December 2009.