Concordia Lutheran Ministries celebrated its 135th year in service to God and His people in 2016. The organization evolved from a small, safe haven for orphan children to one of today's premier continuing care retirement communities in the nation. It's a remarkable story filled with practicality and leaps of faith; discord and harmony; tragedy and joy; uncertain finances and unexpected providence.

In 1881, local religious leaders began exploring options for how to address the growing orphan population in the region. They became aware of the Oertel family, who owned a 46-acre farm in Marwood (now Cabot), who were not blessed with children themselves. It was then that the seed was planted for what would eventually become the Concordia Lutheran Ministries we know and love today.

Margaretha Oertel ceded her 46-acre farm to those local ministers in memory of her late husband, Christian, on December 4, 1882. The Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Home for Orphans and the Aged was one of the area's first facilities dedicated to serving the special needs of those groups.

Current President and CEO, Keith E. Frndak arrived in August 1983, and by 1990, the first retirement living apartment (Concordia Haven Apartments) opened. Five years later Haven II was completed and in 2002 the third retirement living apartment was built, bringing the number of units to 328. In 1998, Concordia dedicated a new personal care, skilled care facility, the Lund Care Center. Home care and rehabilitation services were added to the continuum at this time.

Since 2000, Concordia has grown exponentially. The organization has acquired a number of senior care locations in western Pennsylvania: Concordia at the Orchard in Butler, Concordia at Ridgewood Place in Plum Borough, Concordia at Rebecca Residence in Allison Park, Concordia of the South Hills, Concordia of Cranberry, Concordia of Fox Chapel, Concordia of Franklin Park, Concordia of Wexford and Concordia of Monroeville; and in November 2012 our first out-of-Pennsylvania addition, Concordia at Sumner, located in Copley, Ohio. In addition, we have added memory care, pharmacy, medical equipment and hospice services to the wealth of treatment options, and our homecare reach has extended into nine counties in western PA and eastern OH.

In the fall of 2006, the Lund Care Center (administrative headquarters) was expanded to double the space for patient care and focus on rehabilitation services, including an aquatic therapy pool, doctor's offices and diagnostic and laboratory services. The new personal care rooms became home temporarily for more than 100 retirement living residents who were displaced following the November 5, 2006 fire that destroyed the first retirement living building, Haven I.

For more information or to obtain a copy of our history book "We Put Our Faith In Caring," please call the public relations department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266 or toll free at 1-888-352-1571.