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Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1890 in Manchester, CT by German speaking Americans who wanted to preserve and expand their Christian Lutheran heritage. A very generous donation of a church site and a financial contribution from the Cheney Brothers Company made it possible to construct a church building.
The corner stone was laid in 1892 and the church building was dedicated July 9, 1893. Zion has been blessed with a long list of God-fearing, dedicated pastors, vicars, and parishioners.
The independent and hard-working spirit of out predecessors has laid a positive foundation to the glory of God and for our ongoing benefit.


Pastor Hallenbeck was born and raised in West Hartford, CT. He graduated from Conard High School in 1969 anti Ithaca College in 1973 with a BS in Physical Education & Recreation. In the fall of 1973 he joined the West Hartford Police Department. After serving as a police officer for 18 years he was asked to become the Director of Public Works for the Town of West Hartford, a position he held for 15 years until his retirement in 2009.

It was while pastor was serving as Director of Public Works that he began to feel more strongly the call to the ministry, which had been growing within him from the time he was very young. He enrolled in the 2 year program at the admission Training Center at Concordia/Bronxville, and followed it with acceptance into the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's alternative route to the ministry - the DELTO program (Distance Education Leading To Ordination). Annual trips to the. Seminary in St. Louis supplemented the long-distance course work, which was completed under the local guidance of his mentor, Pastor Carl Anton. During the 4 year DELTO program, Pastor faithfully served the congregation of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manchester,CT. Upon completion of the program he was ordained and retired from the town after 33 years of service. Pastor accepted a Call to Zion and was installed there July 12, 2009.

He met his wife Bunny in the summer of 1972 while they were both working for the West Hartford Parks & Recreation Department. They became engaged that summer and were married in June, 1974. They have 4 children: Elizabeth (married to Thomas), Brent (married to Melissa), Melissa (married to Helvidio), and Brock. They have also been blessed with grandchildren and are fortunate that all live nearby in Connecticut.

Besides serving Zion Lutheran Church, Pastor Hallenbeck is a chaplain for the State Police and the Manchester Police Departments. He is also Zion's representative to the Manchester Area Council of Churches (MACC. His hobbies include physical fitness, judo, bee-keeping and camping.