St. Thomas has had an interesting history. It all began at Chene and Pierce in Detroit. In 1879, with 24 members, a church was organized and was called St. Peter Lutheran Church. Due to the changing environment of the location and the migration of members to outlying districts, a merger was consummated with St. Thomas, Fisher and Chapin, in 1945. The new name was St. Thomas and St. Peter Lutheran Church. Another church, Bethel, was organized in 1888 on Dubois Street in Detroit. Due to its location in an old neighborhood, it also suffered losses of members moving to other locations and joining other congregations. Therefore in 1956 a merger with St. Thomas- St. Peter was agreed upon.
St. Thomas on Fisher and Chapin in Detroit had its beginning in 1908 with 15 members. St. Thomas reached one of its peaks in the 1930’s but like its sister congregations, saw many members move to newer locations and join other churches. A new site was purchased in East Detroit (now called Eastpointe). The new building was dedicated in the fall of 1959. For 10 years services were conducted each Sunday at both places, Fisher and Chapin in Detroit, and also in East Detroit. In 1968, services were discontinued at the Fisher location and the property was sold. The same year the name was changed from St. Thomas-St. Peter to St. Thomas Lutheran Church.
Our current sanctuary was built in 1976. Its sea shell shape is both symbolic and practical. Many sanctuaries built since have used a similar design.
Our most recent building expansion took place in 2000. In this project the east wing was added, housing today our administrative offices, food pantry and clothing closet. At the same time we expanded our snctuary and converted the southern end of our facility in to a new home for our preschool.
After 129 years of operation, our Christian day school was closed June 2015. Our Preschool was closed one year later. Then, in November 2017, our preschool reopened as a Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) in cooperation with CrossBridge Action Network, a joint initiative with the Michigan District.
In April 2019 Ascension St. John opened a Wellness Center in the south end of our building, offering wellness counseling and activities to our community four days per week.
Since the closing of our school, STL has a greatly expanded emphasis upon serving our community. Along with hosting 2-3 Soup and Sandwich Saturdays (S.A.S.S.) each year, our clothing closet and food pantry are open one Saturday each month. We also have close ties with many community organizations, hosting AA, Al-anon, Nar-anon, and sharing our facility for special programs with Life Builders, MCREST, Camp Restore Detroit, and Champion Force Athletics.