Looking To the Future: Luthercare’s History at the End of the 1980s

As Luthercare celebrated over three and a half decades of history, our previous leaders envisioned how we could continue make a difference in the lives of those we served.


In 1987 we enhanced our ability to provide care at Luther Acres with the addition of a 27 bed personal care wing, and 19 bed skilled nursing unit. These expansions not only increased the number of people we could provide care for, but also made it possible to contribute to a greater quality of life with the addition of a physical therapy room, lounges, a small dining room, and nurses stations. 500 people attended the dedication service, which featured several speakers, a sermon, a choral performance, and concluded with guided tours of the new facilities.
Another critical step in our history started in late 1987 with the land transfer of the 39 acre property previously known as the Johns Farm from St. John’s Church in Columbia, to Luthercare. Immediately design and marketing plans were made to develop the land for a 100 bed apartment building, and 40 bed personal care unit. In the subsequent years, this would become the thriving community of St. John’s Herr Estate.
Then, in 1988, our organization become affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This critical partnership allowed us to share the mission and work interdependently with partners who possess different strengths, while preserving our autonomy and integrity. This affiliation would also set the groundwork for our existing structure, with a board of directors guided by a shared commitment to humbly serve.In 1989, music was brought into the Chapel of the Abiding Christ at Spang Crest in with the purchase and restoration of an organ built by Koehnken & Grimm of Cincinati. The cost of purchase and restoration of the organ was fully underwritten by the Friends of Spang Crest. The dedication of the instrument featured a recital by Richard B. Strattan and marked the first celebration of our 40th anniversary.

Lastly,  On September 24th 1989, ground was officially broken for St. John’s Herr Estate, marking another first. In the groundbreaking ceremony, the Rev. Dennis L. Trout, pastor, Swamp Lutheran Church, Reinholds and president , LSS-ER Board of Directors remarked that, “The St. John’s Herr Estate project, therefore, is far more than arranging the earth and planting some bricks. It encompasses another first step, that started a long time ago, to care for one another on many levels.”
2024 Luthercare. 600 E. Main Street | Lititz , PA 17543 | Telephone 717.626.1171 | Fax 717.626.1610