The beautiful English gothic edifice that houses Christ Lutheran Church was dedicated within 35 years of the dedication of the initial brownstone house of worship which occupied the same site.
Occupied in 1891, the first building, which cost $10,000, had been outgrown. In fact, the need for more room emerged in the first nine years, and a Sunday School chapel, the walls of which are still in use today, was added at a cost of $29,500 in 1916.
Since the original church had to be razed to make way for the new one, it was planned to hold services in the Sunday School chapel for the 27 months of construction. Final Communion was held in the old church on October 7, 1923. Ten thousand dollars had been raised for the new church on the preceding Easter Sunday. When the shining new granite edifice was dedicated on January 10, 1926, the sum of $12,575 was raised.
Cost of the new church was approximately $185,000. A mortgage, which covered a portion of the costs, was burned on April 29, 1945.
The nave of Christ Church has been referred to by many as unsurpassed in beauty, not only because of the lofty, vaulted sanctuary and chancel but as much because of the inspiring stained-glass windows. Every one is a memorial gift of members. The windows were designed by a Harrisburg artisan, C. Day Rudy (whose full name was Christmas Day Rudy). Among the major scenes and interpretations of the arched windows are Flight into Egypt, Christ in the Temple, Christ Blessing the Little Children, Jesus the Good Shepherd, Jesus with Mary and Martha, the Ascension and individual portrayals of the Apostles.
A magnificent church seating 625 persons had been built to serve the needs of a rapidly-growing congregation in a teeming blue-collar residential area of Harrisburg. The church rolls of 1957 showed 2,858 baptized and 1,952 confirmed members, indicating anew the crowding situation.
Once again the 35-year interval – from completion of plans for the main church in 1923 until construction of the Education Building, the three-story unit on the north face of the church was completed in 1958. The $133,800 project included renovation of the Sunday School section built in 1916 and rebuilt in 1925.
This is Christ Church – the building. Housed in it has been the real Christ Lutheran Church, the congregation of members and pastors who have made it all possible.