The Chautauqua
Lutheran House

25 Peck Avenue
Box 1108
Chautauqua, NY 14722

Phone: (716) 357-2135

Need additional information, have a comment or question?

Contact Us

Latest online documents in pdf format:

2018 Annual News Letter


First Time Family Grant Information and Application (page 12 and 13)

Reservation Guidelines and Application Form for 2019 (page 16 and 17)

Take a Ride on the New Elevator

The Chautauqua Experience

  • Welcome
  • Our History
  • Governance
  • Accommodations
  • Elevator Project
  • Weekly Events


The mission of the Lutheran Chautauqua Association is to provide a Lutheran identity on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution through witness, worship, fellowship, hospitality and recreation.

On this web site you’ll be able to learn about the Lutheran House, and its Board of Directors, room accommodations and obtain important information about the 2019 season.

Located on the sidebar is a link for the latest online document in PDF format. This includes:

  • Our Fall 2018 Annual Newsletter
  • Room Reservation Form for 2019
  • First Time Lutheran House Family Grant Application.

Come and join us for another great season!

Sue and Jerry Keppel, Host and Hostess.

We welcome all guests and visitors to the Lutheran House. The 2018 Newsletter was sent out in the beginning of November and a link for you to download is available on this website. Last year we filled up quickly. Make a note on your calendars to send the reservation form in a timely manner so you do not forget! Priority is given to LCA members. Come with your friends to enjoy the grounds and relax. Hope to see you in 2019. Sue & Jerry

For further information on the Keppels, see "Our History" tab.



Since 1890 there has been a Lutheran presence at Chautauqua. 2015 marked the 125th anniversary of that presence and the 90th anniversary of the current Lutheran House.

The first headquarters for Lutheran worship and activity was established during the 1890 Chautauqua season at 28 Foster, the summer home of Pastor and Mrs. Isaac O. Baker of Erie, PA.

The initial aim was to make the headquarters a common meeting place for all Lutherans, irrespective of nationality, language or synodical affiliation.

In 1916 the Lutheran Chautauqua Women's Association made an appeal to various organizations of the Lutheran churches for a new building. This appeal was a success and a new building (our present Lutheran House) was dedicated on August 9, 1925.

For 125 years there has been a Lutheran presence at Chautauqua and a Lutheran House since 1925. An important part of our Lutheran ministry has been to create a welcoming place for our guests. We have been fortunate to have had the following women as Hostesses during the past 90 years.

  • Mrs. G. G. Ruff, 1925-1948
  • Mrs. Gladys Schake, 1949-1977
  • Mrs. Rachel Westerberg, 1978-1983
  • Mrs. Delores Bergstrand, 1984-1991
  • Mrs. Karla Jensen, 1992-2003
  • Ms. Jane Sampsell Nye, 2004-2008
  • Ms. Christine A. Hylenski, 2009-2014

Each previous Hostess has brought special gifts to share with all and built a stronger presence for Lutherans at Chautauqua.

The Lutheran House Host & Hostess, Jerry and Sue Keppel

The Board of Directors for The Lutheran Chautauqua Association announced in 2015 the hire of Sue and Jerry Keppel as the Host and Hostess of The Lutheran House. Having been guests for several years, they began their affiliation with the House when they received a First Time Family Grant. Active at Chautauqua and dedicated to the Lutheran House since their first year as guests, they’ve participated in the Opening and Closing of the House activities each spring and fall. Sue, a former Master Gardener with a degree in Horticulture from Alfred State College, maintains our award winning gardens.

The Keppels live in Amherst, NY, a suburb of Buffalo, and are active members of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Eggertsville, NY. Jerry, a native of the Netherlands, grew up in Little Falls, NY. A retired USPO letter carrier and veteran, he served in the Navy and retired from the Naval Reserves after 20 years. Sue, a Registered Nurse, grew up in the Buffalo region. She works part-time making follow-up phone calls for rehabilitation facilities. Her interests include yoga and gardening. Both Keppels volunteer at Buffalo area theaters and the Buffalo History Museum. They are actively involved in the National Alliance on Mental Illness, (NAMI), where Jerry serves on the Board of Directors. Their three grown children attended Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp for many summers.

The Board is fortunate to have such a welcoming and dedicated team serving our guests during the Chautauqua Summer Season.

Additional Photos







The Lutheran House organized in 1903 is a non-profit owned by the Lutheran Chautauqua Association (LCA). It is not affiliated with any Lutheran church or synod; therefore it is dependent entirely on rental income, offerings, donations and special bequests for support.

Annual Meetings of the Lutheran Chautauqua Association are held on Sunday of the fifth week of the Chautauqua Season.

A nine-member Board of Directors elected at the annual meeting, governs and maintains the House and engages a host/hostess who plans and administers Lutheran House activities.

All Lutherans and non-Lutherans are invited to join the Association, attend the Annual Meetings and participate in activities that make the Lutheran House a welcoming home. You may join by making an annual contribution of $10 for an individual or $20 for a family. Non-Lutherans may join by making the same annual contribution, becoming Associate Members.


Everyone is invited to make a gift to the Endowment Fund, including our friends from other denominations. LCA members and Associate members are invited to become a Life Member of the Lutheran Chautauqua Association by contribution of $1,000. This can be in one lump sum or spread out over three years in equal installments. Contact the President of the Board of Directors for further information about gifts for the Lutheran House.


The 2018-19 Board of Directors & Staff:

Sharon Hamilton, Jamestown, NY, President

Bill Schweinfurth, Fairport, NY, Vice Presiden

Ruth D. Dobson, Seven Fields, PA, Secretary

John Howard, Allison Park, PA, Treasurer

James Garofalo, Port Royal, PA

Kathy Green, Pittsburgh, PA

Kathleen Masters, Edinboro, PA

Marnie Brown, Erie, PA

Suellen Carlson, Jamestown, NY

Reverend Bill Coleman, Erie, PA

Suzanne and Jerry Keppel, Host/Hostess and Editors

Janet Enders, Pittsburgh, PA, Historian

David Nieding, Webmaster:,

Contact Board Members with any Concerns or to Volunteer.

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The Lutheran House, located on the Brick Walk, is known affectionately as The Mighty Fortress in the heart of Chautauqua Institution. Facilities include:

  • Thirteen guest rooms on the second and third floors.
  • Each room has a sink, ceiling fan and window fan.
  • Bathrooms (some with shower/tub combination or walk-in showers) are located on each sleeping floor and the lower level.
  • A large, attractive dining room on the lower lever, which adjoins a guest-shared fully-equipped kitchen.
  • Shared kitchen facilities include: Dishes, flatware, two stoves, microwave ovens, cookware and utensils; A Weber grill just outside the kitchen door; Ample storage space for dry and canned goods and 1⁄2 of a full- size refrigerator/freezer. (Coolers may be stored in the supply room.)
  • A main floor open gathering space accommodates worship and conversation with a corner for viewing TV.
  • Shaded porches on the first and second floors.
  • Wireless Internet access.
  • Furnished Linens.

Mid-week, on Wednesday morning, fresh, clean towels are provided and mirrors and sinks are cleaned.

An outdoor grill stands outside the kitchen door for all to use.

The Lutheran House Policy on Wine & Beer

Moderate consumption of wine and beer is permitted at the Lutheran House on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. Alcoholic beverages shall be confined to the dining hall (lower level) and the second floor porch. On special occasions and with the Board’s approval, alcohol may be served in the first floor living room. Please note: Only wine and beer are permitted.

The Lutheran House Host/Hostess shall have authority to warn guests about excessive consumption and any resulting inappropriate behavior. If deemed necessary by the Host/Hostess, following consultation with an officer of the Board, the guest(s) may be asked to immediately vacate their residence at the Lutheran House without any refund of room rental.

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The Lutheran House Elevator Project

Help make it possible for more people to enjoy the Lutheran House and experience Chautauqua.

Take a Ride on the New Elevator

The Lutheran House, a mighty friendly fortress, stands on the Brick Walk, welcoming visitors from all over the world. It is mighty; but at the same time, the steps to reach the four floors are challenging for many.

Chautauqua offers experiences in music, recreation, religion, theater, dance, art, current affairs, and so much more. It is the recipient of many accolades and has been named one of the best small towns in America. Chautauqua welcomes folks from all over the world, from all walks of life, and all religions. In the last decade, the Institution has worked to make its venues accessible to the physically challenged.

The Lutheran House plays a critical role at Chautauqua by providing affordable accommodations. Yet it offers far more than accommodations. House guests experience Chautauqua and enjoy the Lutheran worship services and fellowship.

The House is a sharing place. Sharing kitchen space. Sharing food. Sharing opinions in lively conversation. Sharing quiet time on the second floor porch. Sharing the front porch with many who stop on their way along the Brick Walk.

Let’s make it possible to share the Lutheran House with the physically-challenged so that they can enjoy the Chautauqua experience.

The Elevator Challenge - - $220,000

For many years house guests, would-be guests, social and worship service visitors have asked for an elevator. The steps are challenging for many and impossible for some.

THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE! The strong structure of the building presented many obstacles. The lack of land around the building was also a problem. And then there was the red tape of permits and permissions. These obstacles were daunting.

BUT WE FOUND A WAY! The board of the Lutheran Chautauqua Association, working with a devoted architect (and frequent Lutheran House guest) has found IT CAN BE DONE!

We are ALMOST half the way to our goal
and need your help!

The diagram illustrates how the elevator is accessed at ground level on Peck Street. The photo shows the location of the entrance. The elevator access all four floors of the building, basement to the top floor. An Americans with Disability Act accessible toilet and sink has be added as well.

4 Ways to Give


Cash contributions may be made:

  • in one transaction,
  • in several payments, or
  • on an annual basis between 2015 and December 2017.


Congress has passed legislation to extend the IRA Charitable Rollover. The law allows individuals who are 70 1/2 or older to make direct gifts up to $100,000 to charitable organizations through their IRA. You can convert your taxable IRA distribution and potentially reduce your taxes. To identify the best procedure for making such a gift, contact both your broker and the LCA Capital Appeal Chair, Pastor Don Green.


Appreciated stocks, bonds, closely-held stock in family businesses, or other property may be given to the Lutheran Chautauqua Association. The value of a gift of stock is determined by the average market value of the stock on the date the gift is made. To identify the best procedure for making such a gift, contact both your broker and the LCA Capital Appeal Chair, Pastor Don Green.


The Charitable Gift Annuity is a simple contract between you, the donor(s) and the Lutheran Chautauqua Association. Your tax deductible gift will be used to fund an annuity that will guarantee you lifetime income. This can be funded with either cash or securities.

Click here to Download the
Lutheran House Elevator Project


For additional information on the Lutheran House Elevator Project, contact:
Pastor Don Green, 800 Village Drive, Apt 102, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412-366-3894 or 412-302-1227



Sunday Worship

Each week begins with a worship service on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM at the Lutheran House. The Chaplain of the Week presides over the worship service. The service concludes in time for those who desire to attend the 10:45 AM community worship service in the Amphitheater.

Tuesday Social Hour

Continuing the ministry of hospitality and fellowship, a social hour is hosted every Tuesday at 3:00 PM by area Lutheran church women and men. Lutheran punch, homemade cookies and good fellowship abound. Musical talents are often shared on this occasion.

Mid-week Worship

A mid-week worship service is held on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM, led by the Lutheran House Chaplain.

Additional Photos