About Us


Biblical, confessional, liturgical, Lutheran by the grace of God

Why I am a Lutheran

I am a Lutheran for the same reason I am a Christian. It is not by choice but by grace. The teachings of the Lutheran Church place Jesus at the center because the teachings of the Scriptures place Jesus at the center. No other confession demonstrates such fidelity to the truths of God’s Word. No other confession so glorifies Christ by placing Him at the center of all it confesses and teaches. Being a Lutheran is truly all about Jesus.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus

What we believe

The Trinity

We believe God is one in essence, and three in Person. This is how God reveals Himself to us throughout the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 1:26; 11:7; Matthew 28:19; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

The Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is foundational to the Christian faith and essential to understanding how God relates to us.

The Trinity is not three gods nor three modes of God’s presence, but one God in three Divine Persons—an eternal fellowship of mutual love. Since God is by nature a relational Being within the Trinity, He also seeks relationship with every human being.

Eternal Salvation

We believe that salvation is God’s free gift to us through faith alone in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and was raised for our justification (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:25).


Baptism is no mere symbol of salvation, nor is it something we do for God. Scripture speaks of Baptism as something God does for us. Through God’s work in Baptism, Christ Himself cleanses us, our sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit is given to us (Eph. 5:25-27; Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5).

Holy Communion

The Lord’s Supper is more than a memorial of Christ’s death. It is the very Body and Blood of Jesus, as His Words declare and St. Paul affirms, given and shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-32).

The Scriptures

We believe God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is God’s inspired, inerrant Word, and that its message from beginning to end is God’s love for lost sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:25-27; 45-47).


First Altar

The first altar at Grace.

New Santuary

Model of the "new" santuary circa 1964. The beginning of a $306,000 building program in the northern outreaches of Columbus.

First Worship

The first worship service in the new sanctuary was conducted on Easter, April 10, 1966, and dedicated on May 15. "A tall tent-like space, achieves an intimacy of worship around Word and Sacrament, almost in the round.

First Scrfitto

The Scrfitto is based on the Christ monogram IC XC which means Jesus Christ, Savior. You can see symbols for the Trinity and the "Means of Grace" in the Chalice and Water motifs. The organ was added later.

From 29 to over 150 Christian families, Grace serves locally in Columbus and worldwide through ministries.

Grace Lutheran Church came into being as a result of the mission-mindedness of St. Peter's Rev. A.E. Brauer and the Rev. Roy F. Guelzow. They were aware of the rapid growth of the community and the need for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod - LCMS - to expand and grow with it.

In July 1954, a group of five volunteers passionately delved into studying community needs and sparked the dream of a vibrant new congregation on the outskirts of Columbus.

During September of 1956, the new congregation purchased five acres at Central and Sims Drive. The first unit of the church was designed to serve the needs of the growing congregation. In 1963 a building committee was appointed to plan additional facilities, including the first sanctuary. The beautiful new sanctuary together with the east educational building and connecting narthex was dedicated in 1966.

With more than six decades of ministry, we are embarking on a transformative journey with the 'Restoring God's House' program and new community outreach initiatives. While we evolve, our steadfast dedication to sharing God's truth remains unwavering.

Former pastors of Grace Lutheran Church include Rev. Robert Trautman, Rev. Stafford Eynon, Rev. Eugene Rehwinkle, Rev. Alfred Leuhmann, Rev. Fredrick Finke, and Rev. Thomas Going.

A call was extended to accepted by Rev. John Armstrong who was installed on November 2, 1997. He continues to lead the congregation in Word and Sacrament ministry and focus on reaching out to those in need of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.

Behold, How good and pleasant it is for bretheren to dwell together in Unity
Psalm 132:1



Rev. John Armstrong

Rev. John Armstrong was called by God to serve Grace Lutheran Church in 1997. He loves being a pastor and his favorite pastime is to learn, discuss and share the Word of God with others. Next to his faith in Christ, the greatest gift God has given him is his wife, Harriet. God has greatly blessed their marriage with two daughters ...

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... Anna Jonnette and Ivana Harriet. Although raised Lutheran, Pastor Armstrong's spiritual journey has taken him from skepticism regarding the Christian faith, to Fundamentalism, to Calvinism, to finally rediscovering the biblical and Christ-centered nature of the Lutheran faith. He loves discussing Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible with anyone who has questions.

He holds degrees from Purdue University (B.S., 1976) and from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (Master of Divinity, 1986, and Master of Sacred Theology in New Testament Studies, 1990).

Julie McPeak

Deaconess Julie McPeak began her service at Grace Lutheran in July, 2018. She serves as the Director of Family Life and loves working with people, especially teens. Deaconess works directly with all children and youth ministry groups. She also sits on the fellowship committee and strives to foster a supportive environment at Grace.

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Deaconess grew up in Columbia, IL and has lived in several mid-western cities. She is married to John, who enjoys training hunting dogs. They have a son, AJ. Deaconess and AJ spend countless hours playing with Legos, trains, and exploring their property.

Next to spending time with family, she values spending an evening at a great restaurant with a girlfriend or two. She holds degrees from Concordia University River Forest/Chicago (BA Theology and Psychology 1998, and Master of Human Services – Administration 2013). She has completed four CPE units and is a certified Deaconess.

Mary Bonde

Mary Bonde serves as Grace’s Director of Music and Organist and began her ministry at Grace in March 2023. She graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2003, where she received degrees in Parish Music and Lay Ministry. Mary has been active in Parish Music, serving Trinity Lutheran Church and School Waconia, MN ...

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... for over 19 years before accepting the Call to serve at Grace. Mary also completed a master’s degree in Organ Performance from the University of MN in 2007.

Musically, she enjoys working with the choir, handbells, children’s choir, and instrumentalists both small group and large group, as the people of God work together to enhance worship musically in God’s house. Having grown up a Pastor’s kid, Mary had the opportunity to play the piano in worship starting as an 8th grader and increasing over her High School years. Her fondest memories include accompanying a small church choir, playing for midweek summer worship services and playing piano/organ duets with her mom, Eunice. Over time, duets shifted from Mary playing the piano and Eunice playing the organ to Mary playing the organ and Eunice playing the piano. Mary did not start to learn the organ until attending Concordia in the Fall of 1999, where she had the privilege to study and learn the instrument under the tutelage of Dr. John A. Behnke and James Freese.

Mary has been married to her husband, Jason, since the summer of 2003 and they have been blessed with 4 children: Bailey, Rachel, Carl and Katelyn. In their spare time, you will find them watching their kids’ activities, exploring the great outdoors, working on home improvement projects or connecting with friends and family. Mary and her family enjoy Southern Indiana and appreciate people’s welcoming, kind and generous hearts. Having grown up in ND and MN, this is a new region of the US to learn and explore.

Russell Davies

Russell Davies began his service at Grace in April 2006. He came to the role after completing studies in Lay Ministry through Concordia University, Mequon. Russell is also a son of the congregation and serves ...

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... as part of a team ministry philosophy, less as an administrator, more of a congregation facilitator. He enjoys teaching about the liturgy and most things Lutheran.

Russell was born in Sheffield, England; raised in Toronto, Canada, and now lives happily in Indiana with his wife, Carrie. Russell is blessed with two Christian children, Zac and Hannah. He mentors two great dogs, Chloe (a basset) and Piper (a bagel; a basset/beagle mix.) Russell is also expanding in his role as a quality control assistant in Carrie's growing bakery business.

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia Smith dutifully manages the books for Grace. She and her husband are longtime members. They have three grown sons, two married, and several grandchildren which they visit whenever possible.
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