During the year 1986, the members of Grace Lutheran Church of Versailles, Missouri conducted a four phase congregational self-study. In December of that year they determined to try to establish a congregation closer to the Lake of the Ozarks.
On February 9, 1987, a group of members from the lake area met at the Kidwell-Garber Funeral Home at Laurie. There were seven couples and two children present. They were: Andy & Betty Conlin, Joe & Frieda Dodd, Kenneth & Lorene Gibson, Ron & Donna Schlicht and sons Brad & Donald, Leonard & Lee Vogt, Orville & Aline Warnken, and Don & Dorothy Zelle.
We started by holding weekly Bible studies, electing Ron Schlicht as our first president, and making plans to form a new congregation. We chose a name for our church - Peace. During the latter part of 1987 and the first of 1988 we contacted more than 200 persons and fifty of these expressed some interest.
On May 15, 1988, a group of members from Grace were commissioned to begin a new congregation. The next Sunday, May 22, we had our first worship service at the Sunrise Beach Community Center. That is where we continued to worship and grow until today.
May 20, 1990 was our Charter Sunday. We became an official member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Early in 1991, Pastor Paul Sherouse who had guided us throughout this period, accepted a call into the United States Air Force as a chaplain. We were blessed to have a vicar, Harold Rathjen, and a retired pastor, George Marg, to carry us through until the arrival of Pastor Tony Alter.
Sunrise Beach Community Center
On March 1, 1992, we held our groundbreaking ceremony. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, Pastor Alter officiated the ceremonies with about 170 people to witness as we set aside this ground for sacred use. On March 23 construction started. We poured concrete on April 9, and by Labor Day, 1992, our new church home was completed.
This is Peace Lutheran today. A beautiful church in the woods.