Arts and Sciences
As part of Valparaiso University’s Flight Paths project, I worked on archiving and digitizing important documents at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Gary, Indiana. My research follows the history of the church from its beginning as a church plant in Tolleston (now annexed into Gary) onward with an emphasis on how the church adapted and changed during the period of White Flight in Gary. As more black residents moved into Gary, white residents packed up and left. Coupled with the closing of many of Gary’s factories, the result was a drastic shift in racial and economic demographics. The church, which is part of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, survived White Flight largely due to the efforts of interim pastor Karl Lutze and the next resident pastor, Norman Brandt, who were both dedicated to integration of the church. The efforts for integration were largely successful, leading to a period where the church was a mixed congregation before becoming a predominantly African American church.
Holland, Journey, "A Changing Church: A History of St. John's Lutheran Church" (2020). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 909.