Pilgrim's History


Pilgrim has served the surrounding neighborhoods since 1947 and has had a rich history spent in several locations as the congregation grew. We look at the beautiful Sanctuary rededicated in December 2009, and the abundant number of church and school buildings on campus, and know we are blessed to be able to serve the Lord in these facilities.

The congregation began with a small group of forty eight worshippers as Pilgrim Lutheran Church held its first worship service in the Bellaire City Hall on October 12, 1947. Sunday School and Bible classes started two weeks later; and soon afterward, Pilgrim changed its place of worship to the Harris County Mary and Martha Chapel at the Bayland Burnett Home for Girls on Chimney Rock.

With confidence in future growth, a one-acre tract of land was purchased at 5314 Old Richmond Rd (now Bissonnet) in Bellaire. Construction was begun and the new facility was dedicated in August of 1949. In September 1954 the Pilgrim Day School began. Today, Pilgrim Lutheran School continues the tradition of excellence in education, teaching children from eighteen months through 8th grade.

In 1955 a new chapel was dedicated at the Old Richmond Road location, but as the church continued to grow it was evident that the congregation must expand its facilities and purchase new land. The final services on this site were held in August 1959 as Pilgrim moved to the five acre tract which serves as the church’s current location. The sanctuary built in 1959 is now used as Pilgrim’s Parish Hall.

During the years that followed, the church and school continued to grow, and a dedicated sanctuary was needed to serve the growing congregation. Twenty-nine living charter members had waited sixteen years for this day. The current sanctuary and the adjacent office building were dedicated in December 1963. In 1977 the spectacular pipe organ with its 1,433 pipes was added to the sanctuary. This served as the beginning of a new era of music worship at Pilgrim the church to celebrate our rich Lutheran musical heritage.

As Pilgrim continued to serve its community, additions were made to the buildings throughout the years. It became evident that the sanctuary was in need of updating and in 2010 a church renovation project brought the Youth Room, Sanctuary, and Narthex up to date with new materials and furnishings. The Sanctuary was fitted with a new altar area and pews, as well as floor coverings and attractive doors and renovated facilities in the Narthex. Pilgrim was now prepared to welcome worshipers for future years.