The Depression of the 1890s and its subsequent effect on the economy led to many allotments remaining unsold. By 1900 the number of households in the suburb of Moorooka stood at below fifty. By 1910-11 the number had increased only to eighty. Real growth in the suburb of Moorooka only commenced after the First World War.
The land on which the former Lutheran Church in Sherley Street was constructed was part of a land purchase of 20 acres, Portion 198, made in May 1864 by John Robertson of Sydney. In 1886 the land was transferred to William Begg and Alfred Harding French, investors who in partnership owned a number of portions of land in the area.
Begg was born in Scotland in 1851. He arrived in Moreton Bay aboard the Darling Downs in 1874. In Queensland Post Office Directory editions of the 1880s he is listed as a warehouseman. In later decades he is described as a commercial traveller. Throughout the period Begg resided in Herston Road, Kelvin Grove. His partner in the land investments, Albert French, was a city accountant who according to Queensland Post Office Directory editions from the 1880s resided at various times in South Brisbane, New Farm and Sandgate.
The early 1890s were difficult times financially. In 1891 a subdivision of 14 acres 31.6 perches from the original Portion 198 was transferred to Alfred French. Ownership of this subdivision then transferred to William Fielding in December 1898. A storekeeper and general merchant in Boulia in western Queensland, William Fielding died in England on 4 June 1905. After his death the land was transferred to his wife, Elizabeth.
From 1916 to 1926 Jessie Morris, wife of Leonard Canton Morris of Yeerongpilly, owned what had been reduced through further subdivision to 12 acres 1 rood 35 perches of still undeveloped land. In July 1926 Simon Christopher Kelly obtained title. Following his death on 30 July 1928 the land was transferred to Margaret Kelly.
In April 1930, subdivision of the Kelly’s entire holding into 96 allotments was registered on the title deed. The nearby Moorooka State School had opened at the beginning of 1929 and other services were gradually becoming available in the area. Unfortunately years of economic depression followed and no sales were recorded until after the land was transferred to Frank Reimers and advertised as the Coniston Park Estate, Moorooka Heights. Auction sales were held on site on 21 August 1937. The extension of tramway services to the Beaudesert Road intersection with Mayfield Road had been opened on 8 May 1937. The Coniston Park Estate map advised potential buyers of this new service, as well as the availability of electric light, water and gas services. Sales, however, were slow. Prior to the Second World War Streets only three allotments had sold between Bracken and Sherley Streets.
During the Second World War the ridge to the north-east of the site became a staging camp for US military personnel. The nearby Moorooka State School also was temporarily occupied.
In November 1944 an allotment of 60 perches facing Sherley Street was transferred to Yvonne DM Freeman. The ‘Bethlehem’ Evangelical Lutheran Church purchased 30 perches from Freeman in October 1945.
The first Lutheran missionaries in Queensland arrived in Moreton Bay in mid-1838. They settled north of the small Brisbane convict settlement in what are today’s suburbs of Nundah and Toombul. Following the arrival of Pastor CFA Schirmeister, Lutheran congregations were organised at North Brisbane (1858), Ipswich (1860), South Brisbane (1862) and Toowoomba (1863). By the mid-1920s the two predominant Lutheran groups in Queensland were the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia.
In 1925 Pastor Theo. Reimers was installed as pastor of the Brisbane Valley field of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia. Two years later he moved to Brisbane. That same year planning commenced for the construction of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Warren Street, Fortitude Valley. As part of its mission, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church served other congregations Southport from 1938 and Rochedale from 1939. During the Second World War US Chaplains conducted services in the Warren Street Church.
In 1944 the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia became the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia. The Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s involvement in the Moorooka area commenced with Sunday School services held under the highset classrooms of the Moorooka State School. Pastor EM Kloeden provided these from 20 May 1945.
Title for 30 perches of land in Sherley Street was transferred to the ‘Bethlehem’ Evangelical Lutheran Church in October 1945. In 1947 it is believed Pastor Reimers organised the purchase of some military huts and galvanised corrugated iron from the Ekibin Hospital (west of Cracknell Road and south of Sexton Street). At the time building materials were in short supply. Members of the congregation dismantled the huts. The building material was then removed to Sherley Street.
Design and construction of the Moorooka Lutheran Church is attributed to builder and congregation member Les Pinnow. The Church was dedicated on 20 November 1949. The remaining building materials were used to construct another Lutheran Church at Eight Mile Plains, one very similar in design and also attributed to Pinnow.
In December 1948 the original Church allotment had been reduced to 23.7 perches by the transfer of 6.3 perches on the western side of the Church. Here the members of the congregation under the guidance of Les Pinnow constructed a shop and child minding centre. The latter operated until 1954.
In November 1965 the two Lutheran Churches in Australia agreed to unite under the name Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). In 1966, the year that unification was effected, the Moorooka congregation is listed in the Queensland Lutheran as one of twenty-nine congregations in the Queensland Metropolitan zone of the Queensland District of the LCA. Lutheran ministry was performed by the Moorooka until 1982 when the Church closed and congregation members joined other Lutheran churches in the area. The church building was transferred to new owners in June 1984 and has since operated as a child care centre.