Perhaps some of the children in this 1955 photograph of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church’s Junior Choir had distant relatives who were among the first Swedish immigrants to arrive in South Bend. Many immigrants who came to the South Bend community found work at Studebaker and the Oliver Chilled Plow Works. Like many other ethnicities, the Swedish community was drawn together through their common language, especially since many were still learning English. Likewise, the religion they shared also provided a bond. In 1880, a local group of 33 signed their names as charter members of the Swedish Lutheran Church, which would later be become Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Just one year later, a small frame building was constructed on West Dunham, in the heart of the Swedish community. In 1884, the building was moved to the corner of Sample and Chapin Streets. In 1947, a new church building was built at 225 Haney Avenue.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church