When we behold a beautiful historic house of worship, we may well find a sturdy and durable congregation that has also withstood the test of time. Both materials and people become a study in resilience. Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston is a sweet and brightly warm church set within the Rondout neighborhood of this Hudson Valley city. Its marble and limestone are excavated from rocks that are millions of years old. Those who designed and built the church a century ago chose the marble and limestone, among other reasons, for their magnificence, strength, and ability to last. The materials that are part of the geologic time scale become entwined with the time that humans keep, in years, decades, and centuries.
Kingston has many historic churches and temples, and Redeemer is one of its seemingly hidden gems. At 104 Wurts St., it is back in a residential section off the main avenues. From an approach walking south along Wurts Street, Redeemer Lutheran looks like it could be set in a town in the English countryside. Its light gray stone with beige trim gives an impression of stately simplicity. It represented one of the early 20th century Gothic Revival churches that broke from the more ostentatious mold of the Victorian era.
Redeemer Lutheran Church
In an important sense, breaking from the past matched the ethic of those who built this church. They were a new generation of Americans of German heritage who had been part of a nearby German-language Lutheran church that immigrants established in the mid-19th century, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, located several blocks away on Spring Street. Their ancestors had emigrated during difficult times in Germany and had settled in Rondout, founding a church that provided services in their native language.
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