A Brief History of CELC
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) is the result of the consolidation in 1856 and 1857 of St. Johannes Swedish Finish Church (51st Street, Brooklyn), Our Saviour’s Danish Church (9th Street, Brooklyn) and Zion Swedish Church (59th Street and 11th Avenue, Brooklyn), the last of which was retained as our church home.
The church edifices of St. Johannes and Our Saviour’s were later sold. The proceeds together with the assets of these churches and the assets of Zion Swedish Church were merged. The edifice, parish house and property of Zion were retained for the worship of the merged church. At that time, many of the parishioners of the three churches came with the merger.
In the early 1970s, CELC was the only Protestant church in this area of Brooklyn. In 1986, Rev John Lin was approved by the Metropolitan New York Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to start the Chinese ministry in CELC. The first Chinese Sunday service was held at 10am on December 7, 1986, with a total of nine attendants. On 2011, CELC withdraw its membership from ELCA and joined Lutheran Congregations In Mission for Christ (LCMC).
Today, CELC has become a major force in the Chinese immigrant community around the 8th Avenue neighborhood in Brooklyn. Our annual vacation bible school and weekly Wonderful Fellowship children programs have paved great ways for us to spread around the “Good News”, alongside with many other evangelistic ministries that have flourished into maturity over the past ten years.