After 57 years, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church will hold its final service May 19.
The church, which was at 82nd and Parallel Parkway until 2011, will close following the final service, said Janice McCord, congregation president. The Rev. Meggan Prosser-Gebhardt, interim pastor, will lead the service.
McCord said the final service at 10:45 a.m. May 19, held at Zion United Church of Christ, 2711 N. 72nd St., will be a regular service that will include some memories and milestones in the church’s lifetime. Representatives of the Central States Synod of the ELCA and the bishop’s staff will attend. Former church members are invited, also. There will be a reception after the service.
Decreasing size and increasing age of the congregants led to the closing, McCord said. Attendance has declined to about 20 from its early days, when it was around 150.
“Our early congregation was mostly young families, and as the children grew up, they moved away, and lots of families moved too,” she said. Many moved with their work, she added.
A handful of charter members are still active members of the congregation today, she said. She is the only one of the children who were charter members who is still active, she added.
McCord said Prince of Peace is just like a lot of other churches that have steadily been growing smaller.
Since 2011, when the church sold its building to the Philadelphia Bible Church, Prince of Peace has been meeting with Zion United Church of Christ.
A few of the Prince of Peace members have transferred their membership to other Lutheran churches, but many haven’t done that yet, she noted. A few might be expected to stay at Zion UCC, while others will probably join St. Martin Lutheran Church at K-7 and Hollingsworth Road, or will attend Lutheran churches in Johnson County or Kansas City, Mo.
McCord said Prince of Peace was very fortunate to sell its former building, so it will have assets to give to several sources, including gifts to support education at the seminary and college levels, and donations to local service organizations including the Metro Lutheran Ministry.
“We’re very lucky, we’re retiring from our life together with no debt, and with the ability to make some significant gifts to area organizations,” McCord said.