Frankenmuth / Saint Lorenz Evangelical Lutheran Church
The settlement of Frankenmuth and the organization of St. Lorenz Evangelical Lutheran Church occurred simultaneously. Pastor Wilhelm Loehe of Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, was inspired to establish a German Lutheran colony by Michigan circuit riders who requested aid in bringing the Gospel of Christ to Saginaw Valley Chippewa Indians. Directed by Loehe in 1845, Pastor August Craemer and fourteen other immigrants began clearing forests in this area south to the Cass River. They built log houses and dedicated a log church on Christmas Day 1846. The second church, a frame structure, was erected in 1852 and enlarged in 1864, serving until the completion of the present church in 1880. The settlers named the "colony" Frankenmuth by combining the name of their home region, Franconia, with mut, the German word for courage.
Saint Lorenz Evangelical Lutheran Church
On September 26, 1880, fifteen hundred people gathered to dedicate this monumental Gothic Revival church. Designed by Cleveland, Ohio, architect C. H. Griese, it is the third church built by Frankenmuth Evangelical Lutherans. The elevated pulpit dates from 1864, when it was built for the frame church once located across the street. The baptismal font and the stained glass of the narthex, nave and apse are original. In 1895 Frankenmuth native John Herzog, a master wood carver was commissioned to design and sculpt the altar in honor of the congregation's fiftieth anniversary. In 1967 the transepts were built to accommodate the growing congregation.