A school of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
Preparing Students for Success in High School, College and Beyond
Grace Lutheran School was founded in 1896 at the corner 28th street and Karlov. Five years later, Grace Lutheran Church was begun. Together the church and the school reached out to their German Lutheran community in the city of Chicago. The neighborhood became known as "Little Village".
In the years following, many things changed in both the congregation and the neighborhood. As the suburbs grew, many members and supporters of the church and school moved out of the city. The neighborhood changed as well. More and more immigrants moved to the city and the community around the school. What had once been home to immigrants from Germany and other European countries slowly became the new home of immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
By the early 1990's, the church was struggling with an aging and declining membership as well as lower school enrollment. Although the church shares the building with La Santisima Trinidad, a Missouri Synod Lutheran Hispanic mission congregation, financial problems continued to increase for both the school and the church. Grace Lutheran Church realized it could no longer financially support the school. The school would have to be closed unless a solution to the financial problems could be found.
Grace Lutheran Church approached the Northern Illinois District (NID) of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod with a bold plan. NID would take over operation of the school for a period of three years. At the end of that time, the operation of the school would revert to the school. NID agreed and the plan was implemented.
As agreed upon, for three years the District acted as Grace's congregation, with spiritual as well as monetary support. By the end of the plan's time, enrollment had improved and Grace was ready to operate on its own.
Today, Grace is an RSO (registered non-profit service organization). Although the Northern Illinois District no longer operates the school, Grace School is also no longer weekly supported by Grace Lutheran Church. Instead, the school relies on tuition, fundraising and the generous donations of friends and alumni to meet its budget.
In 2010, the name "Grace Christian Academy" was adopted. The mission of Grace Christian Academy remains the same as it was in 1896. Bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the children living in the Little Village neighborhood.