Ebenezer Lutheran Church, with its tall spires and hourly chimes, has long been a familiar sight in Edgewater’s landscape. The congregation began in 1891, when a group of Swedish immigrants (17 adults and 16 children) realized the need for a church in the then named Summerdale community. Assisted by Rev. C.A. Evald of Immanuel Lutheran Church (then at Sedgwick and Hobbie) and funds from a woman’s group, the Dorcas Society, Ebenezer was officially chartered on January 20, 1892. Its name means, “Thus the Lord has helped us.”
Ebenezer first occupied a frame storefront at 1610. It then moved to Berwyn near Ravenswood in 1898. The cornerstone for the present gothic limestone structure, designed by architect Fred Norman, was laid on July 24, 1904.
Ebenezer has long reflected its Swedish heritage, still holding an annual Luciafest on December 13 and Julotta service on Christmas morning (in Swedish). Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf attended its Easter service in 1976.
The church today is committed to serving the needs of Edgewater’s diverse community, as it begins its second century with the motto “Forward in Remembrance.” A special anniversary service and photo exhibit will be held October 25th at 10:30 a.m.