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Grace Matters was the weekly 30-minute radio program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Broadcast on nearly 180 stations in the United States, several European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and heard online around the world, this expansive ministry provided a fresh expression of Christian radio for our changing world. All production and broadcast operations were listener-supported. The ELCA ceased new production
of the program in April 2009.

Grace Matters is grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ and experienced in the creative thinking and lives of program guests featured every week. Host Peter W. Marty taps into the hearts and minds of interesting people who believe that God’s grace makes a difference in the way they live their lives. From boardrooms to baseball fields, and from the developing world to your own backyard, Grace Matters' guests come from all walks of life. What they share in common is a desire to live faithful lives of Christ-like meaning and significance.

Rev. Peter W. Marty became the host of
Grace Matters in 2005. He brings to every program his engaging insights on the contemporary world
and the church, meditations on Scripture, and inspirational stories from everyday life. Marty also serves as senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa.


History of Grace Matters

(Left to Right) The Rev. Dr. Richard Jensen, Pastor Conrad Thompson and Pastor Walter Wangerin Jr.

Prior to 2005, Grace Matters was known as Lutheran Vespers, a radio ministry founded by Rev. Harry Gregerson. The program first aired on a single station in Yankton, South Dakota – WNAX. Pastor Gregerson envisioned a permanent home for the ministry, even dedicating a Stavkirke in 1969. He served as speaker of the program from 1947 to 1970.

Rev. Conrad Thompson was the speaker from 1970 to 1982. Following his retirement from the speaker’s post, Pastor Thompson and his wife, Swanee, spent two years traveling throughout midwestern states visiting listeners and raising funds for the ministry.

Rev. Dr. Richard Jensen was called as speaker and director of the program from 1982 to 1993. During his years, contemporary Christian music was added to the program format. The benediction grew as a familiar close to the program. Rev. Larry Gedde served briefly following Jensen’s tenure.

In 1994, award-winning author Walter Wangerin Jr. assumed the role of speaker. For the next ten years, “Walt” brought his personal story-telling style of presenting the Gospel to listeners everywhere. His legacy, and those of all who came before him, continues in a weekly way. Grace Matters is committed to reaching people with fresh perspective for life and the unsurpassed grace of Jesus Christ.

Nearly 60 years later, Grace Matters broadcasted weekly on 175 radio station, two cable televisions stations, and by Trans World Radio (TWR) to many parts of the world through transmitters in Central Africa and Guam. The program aired in Australia, Denmark, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. You can also listen to Grace Matters on the Web.


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