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Church History

FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH

526 State Street,  Evansville, Minnesota

218-948-2574 or 320-834-4589    faithlc@gctel.com 

Written History... 

               Faith Lutheran Church was formed with the consolidation of Our Saviors Lutheran Church (formed in 1869 by Norwegian immigrants) and Immanuel Lutheran Church (formed in 1883 by Swedish immigrants) after an explosion destroyed Our Saviors Lutheran Church on January 3, 1972.   On September 12, 1972 the newly formed congregation became a legal entity. 

            In 1973 Pastor Marvin R. Moll became the first called pastor of Faith serving until April of 1976.  It was during his tenure that the congregation decided to build a new church.  Construction began in November of 1974 and was completed in the Fall of 1975.  Over 3,000 hours of labor were donated by members of the congregation.  A dedication service was held on December 7, 1975.

            The Reverend George R. Larson served from November 1976, until his retirement on November 1, 1991. Pastor Larson challenged the congregation to mount a major fund drive to pay down the congregation’s outstanding mortgage.  With that success there was a mortgage burning ceremony in November of 1981.

            In 1988 the congregation hired its first part time youth worker, Debbie Jarr.  Her ministry grew to full time and she stayed until 1993.  Paul Hansen was hired to succeed her, a position he resigned from in August 2001 in order to finish his education. He was succeeded by Jeffery Hokanson who was the Youth Director for a joint venture between both Faith Lutheran & Calvary Covenant Churches in Evansville.  This same Youth Director position, was held by Sarah Evenson starting December 15, 2008.  Sarah was attending seminary on-line as a long distance learner.

            In May of 1992, Pastor Irving J. Arnquist began an 18 year call at Faith. In July of 2010 he resigned to accept another call.  Rev. C. Stephen Olson served as Interim Pastor September 28, 2010 through August 28, 2011.

            Sarah Evenson accepted our call as a SAM – Synodically Authorized Minister under the supervision of retired Pr. Art Montgomery.  Sarah & Pr. Art served in these positions from October 1, 2011 until July 2012. 

            Pr. Zachary W. Johnson accepted a call June 2012 and began serving at Faith mid-July.  He remained at Faith until December 31, 2014 when he accepted a call to a congregation in Iowa.

            January 2015 Pr. Dennis Preston, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Brandon and Sarah Evenson, Minister of both East and Wet Moe Parishes, served Faith as interims for a 6 month trial period to see if a 4 point Parish was something that could be worked out.  This trial period was ended by the Moe Parishes August 31, 2015 shortly before Sarah’s ordination.

            Faith Lutheran, September 1, 2015 began to contract pastoral services with Grace Lutheran Church and Pr. Dennis Preston on the initial condition that the congregations hire a youth person to help out.

            Kelsey Deggerman was hired as a Ministry Associate from Luther Crest Bible Camp, September 1, 2015 through May 24, 2016 when she decided to go a different direction in her career.

            August 16, 2016, Amanda Schneeberger was hired as “Faith Formation Ministry Associate,” to help in faith development through all ages together. 

              Pr. Dennis has informed his congregations that he will be retiring as of March 1, 2018.

Written History Updated: 8-7-2017  by:  Debbie Anderson 

 Historical Timelines with Fun Facts for Faith, Immanuel, &                                   Our Savior's Lutheran Churches are below...

FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH

1972    *   Arlen Erdahl, Sec. of State, approves articles of Incorporation for union of 2 churches (Immanuel &

                Our Savior’s) to become Faith Lutheran Church

*   Currently 220 families

            *   Pastor Moll comes

1973    *   First annual meeting

            *   12 building sites were proposed

1974    *   Proposed budget was $30,935

            *   Glenn Cording was hired as architect F (Fun Facts)

            *   Cost est. was $348,613

            *   Carlson Bros. Construction was the general contractor F

            *   3000 hours of labor were donated to help build, this strengthened the bond between the 2 churchesF

1975    *   New church was dedicated

            *   Pastor Moll led procession from old church to the new one

            *   Our Savior’s parsonage sold in Dec. F

            *   New Allen organ purchased in Nov.

            *   Sandy Reddick is new Secretary

1976    *   Pastor Moll requests release

            *   Congregation voted to provide a housing allowance for future pastors

            *   Church parking lot finished

            *   Nov. Pastor George Larson comes

            *   He also will serve Christina Lake Church

            *   541 Baptized members and 436 Confirmed members F

1977    *   Problem with roof..Dow Chemical agrees to replace it

            *   A 3 year confirmation program was approved

            *   A pledge of $5000 for Luther Crest’s new dining hall

            *   Marcy Trupe becomes choir director

1978    *   Workshop on “Lutheran Book of Worship”

            *   Mr. and Mrs. George Larson celebrate 25th Wedding Anniversary open house

1979    *   Focus on the Family films shown at community Center

1980    *   Annual Budget of $50,542 was approved

            *   Railing installed in front of church

            *   Lutheran Book of Worship replaced old hymnals F

1981    *   Property adjoining church was purchased

            *   Mortgage burning ceremony performed

            *   596 Baptized members, 455 Confirmed members, 253 family units

1982    *   10th anniversary of Faith Lutheran Church

            *   Pictorial directory was prepared F

            *   Organists were Shirley Hasemann and Elaine Kronberg

            *   Pianist was Pat Nitz

            *   Choir director was Marcie Trupe

            *   Church Secretary was Sandy Reddick

1985    *   Missionary support for Dr. Wallace McKensie

            *   We’ve had 6 missionaries, Gary Peterson & family of Mexico, Arden & Janna Haug of Lithuania

                 Luther & Nusrat Symons of Thailand, Daryl & Jane Schubert of Tanzania, James & Carol Sack

                 Of Japan F

            *   Dedication of the “Luna Moth Matrix” by Paul Granlund in memory of Oliver & Alice (Ostrom)

                 Spaeth by their children F

1987    *   American Lutheran Church in America and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran

                 congregations merge to become Evangelical Lutheran Church of American (ELCA)

            *   Vernon Johnson is choir director

1988    *   First Youth Worker hired…Debbie Jarr….tentmaker

            *   Youth group attends first Son Shine Concert in Willmar

1989    *   Mike Anderson becomes choir director

            *   Senior high youth attend first Habitat for Humanity trip to Dodgeville, Wisc. F

1990    *   Last Supper Drama performed by the men of the church

            *   A Christian Rock band, Geoff Moore and the Distance concert is performed at the school F

1991    *   Pastor George Larson retires

            *   New Attitude is formed (a singing and skit group of 3-12 graders)

            *   First Sweetheart Dinner put on by the Sr. high youth league

1992    *   Pastor Irv Arnquist comes…originally from Hoffman F

            *   A new Praise Hymnal is purchased

            *   A Camcorder is purchased to tape the services for Crestview Manor

            *   Pastor Arnquist starts giving children sermons F

            *   Youth mission trip to Mexico

1993    *   Paul Hanson hired as new youth worker

            *   Upgraded the public address system

            *   Scholarship fund is established…First recipients are Janice Olson and Amy Thang

            *   A used computer was purchased for Pastor Irv

1994    *   Rita Loftness starts as choir director

            *   New Sound System is installed

1995    *   New roof is put on the fellowship hall and Sunday School wing

            *   A fundraiser is used to raise money for the roof

1997    *   A talent show fundraiser was held for a new computer

1997    *   Missionary support for Gary Peterson family

            *   Accompanists are Pat Nitz, Vicki Carlson, Elaine Kronberg, and Joanie Anderson

2000    *   Several women form singing group called Joyful Hearts

2001    *   Mission Endowment Fund Established

            *   Deb Anderson is new church secretary,

            *   Joint Youth Task Force form with Covenant church

2002    *   Joint Youth Task Force hires Jeff Hokanson as youth worker

2004    *   organist is Deb Hanson

2005    *   Talent fundraiser for Re-tarring the parking lot

2007    *   Circles were reorganized into Service Groups containing women, men and children

2008    *   Joint Youth Task Force hires Sarah Evenson as youth worker

2009    *   ELCA votes to allow gay pastors to be ordained

2010    *   Church Web site is established by Laura Plowman F

            *   Congregational vote to stay or leave ELCA-------Majority to stay

            *   679 Baptized members, 530 Confirmed members

            *   Church Services are now put on DVD’s to play up at Crestview

            *   Sunday School children make baby blanket to give to those that are baptized

            *   Faith Women make 102 quilts

            *   Pastor Arnquist leaves

2011    *  Interim Pastor Steve Olson comes


IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH

1883    *   Fire in Evansville destroys 27 buildings..cause-firecracker rolled under wooden sidewalk

            *   Immanuel congregation organized by 15 men (no women)

            *   First Baptized children members were: Frans Anderson, Carl Anderson, Tillie Rylander, Anton

            *   Anderson, John Jonson, Walfrid Nelson, Oscar Nelson & Wilhelmina Johnson

*   First Pastor was S. J. Kronberg (pastor for many area churches)

*   Church to be called : Svenska Evangeliska Lutherska Forsamlingen i Evansville

*   Membership fees were: $3.00 for family/$2.00 for single male/$1.00 for single woman F (Fun Facts)

*   $16 paid to Christina Lake church for releasing Pastor Kronberg,so he could do forenoon services F

*   Service was held once a month   F

*   Pastor  Kronberg was paid $50 for the whole year  F

1885    *   Name changed to Svenska Evangeliska Lutherska Immanuel Forsamlingen

1889   *   First church bell with strict restrictions-only those of good reputation could be honored by it’s use.

                 Suicides, saloon keepers and unbelievers were excluded  F

1892    *   Eagle Lake church withdraws from Pastorage which allows Immanuel to have 2 services a month

1897    *   Meeting of the first Ladies Aid Society at A. J. Ostrom’s

            *   The Ladies Aid collected $11.70 to go toward a steeple F

            *   A special mission meeting of area Pastors was held with the subject “What can we do for our

                 congregations, children and youth Christian education.

*    No musical instrument were used in the early years because they were associated with dancing

      which was considered a “Worldly Pleasure”  F

1904    *   Pastor Kronberg retires  (he’s buried in Lake Christina Cemetery )  F

1905    *   Pastor Eric Floren begins….he helps with the design of the new church building

                 Membership was 48 communicant members

            *   Sunday School program started but only held in the summer

1906    *   Pastor Floren was pastor during the building of the new church & waged war against liquor forces

1909    *   Pastor Floren leaves

1910    *   Pastor C.E. Holmer comes

            *   He asks Ladies Aid to buy a Baptismal font & find an orderly way to collect offerings  F

            *   Pastor Holmer decides there should be 150 hours of Confirmation instruction

1911    *   Vacation Bible School lasted 4 weeks F

1912    *   Pastor Homer leaves and  the new pastor is Dr. S.W. Swenson from Eagle Lake

            *   Pastor Swenson is the first pastor to drive a Model T Ford   F

1913    *   First parsonage was built….Pastor Swenson first to live in it

1914    *   Young People’s Society established

            *   30th Anniversary festival was held

1917    *   New organ was purchased

1918    *   Immanuel shouldered 1/3 of pastor’s salary & received 1/3 of the services.

            *   English was used for the morning worship service

            *   Pastor Swenson leaves

1919    *   Rev. Constant Johnson comes….he’s quite a joke teller F

            *   Full English services were held….a movement away from tradition

            *   Changing from Swedish to English didn’t seem to divide the church but we’re sure that some

                 thought the church was going to pieces

1923    *   40th Anniversary Festival held

            *   over the first 40 yrs., there were times of lamenting over indifference & waywardness of some of

                 it’s members  F

1928    *   Rev. Constant Johnson leaves

            *   Rev. Arthur Peterson comes

            *   Rev. Peterson has services and Sunday School every Sunday except during winter vacation.

            *   Rev. Peterson formed the first parish choir and loved to garden F

1928    *   Rev. Peterson introduces the Envelope System for offerings

1930    *   Annual meetings held in English, Christmas Service at midnight, summer schedules=9:30 & 11:00

1932    *   Rev. Peterson leaves and Rev. SE Peterson comes

1933    *   Membership grows to 166

1936    *   Pastor S.E. Peterson leaves and Pastor S.L. Swenson comes (He’s from Hoffman) F

            *   Steeple removed and tower rebuilt

1941    *   It was decided to place a basement under the church….vote 23 for—18 against

            *   Cost of basement and other improvements…$6500 F

1943    *   Pastor Ernie T. Holm arrives, translated all old records to English

1945    *   Debt on the improvements was paid

1947    *   New oil burner was purchased

1948    *   New Consonatta organ was purchased

            *   Augustana Evangelica Lutheran church of America celebrates it’s 100th anniversary

            *   65th anniversary of Immanuel Lutheran church

1949    *   Pastor Evans Carlson comes

1953    *   Pastor Laurel Udden comes

            *   He establishes Release Time

1956    *   Pastor Hugo Thorene comes

1957    *   Pastor Vernon Serenius comes

1970    *   Pastor Lorance Schoenberg comes…he later becomes a military chaplain

1975    *   The last wedding was performed  (Warren & Debbie Erickson) F

            *   September….the last service in the old church building of Immanuel Lutheran Church


OUR SAVIORS LUTHERAN CHURCH

1814    *   Evangelical Lutheran faith placed in constitution as official religion of Norway.

            *   Even after Swedish take over Norway, they remain Norwegian Lutheran

1869    *   Our Savior’s Lutheran church organized

            *   12 men meet to form a congregation F (Fun Facts)

            *   Wheat sold for 30 cents a bushel, Butter 4-7 cents a lb., eggs 4-7 cents a dozen F

            *   First child baptized was Helene Herbransen Eidem F

1870    *   First choir organized

1871    *   Our Savior’s first pastor comes ..Rev. Lairitz Carlson

1875    *   New pastor…Rev. Anders Stadstad who comes from Oslo, Norway

1880    *   The first church is built

            *   The contractor was John O. Flor…cost = $1565.55 F

1885    *   Rev. T.A. Sattre comes

1886    *   Ladies Aid was formed

            *   church bell was purchased

1887    *   Sunday School and Confirmation programs established

            *   This was a step away from tradition as previously parents taught these in their homes F

1891    *   first organ purchased

1894    *   The Sacristy was built

            *   Our Savior’s Lutheran Church was dedicated

            *   Dedication by Professor Mohn, president of St. Olaf College F

1898    *   Barn built with part used as a buggy shed

1900    *   Work began on a parsonage   Cost = $3.00F

1904    *   Normanna Young Peoples Society began

            *   Later became know as Luther League F

1910    *   Ladies Aid raised $225 for payment on the sacristy & $767 for a pipe organ

1912    *   Pipe organ installed

1921    *   Electric lights installed (current from Ottertail Power)

1922    *   Rev. Sattre died

1923    *   Rev. Harry B. Raun comes

            *   He establishes a sewing circle for missions

            *   He also was one of the leaders gathering moneys to purchase Luther Crest Bible Camp F

1926    *   Church lifted and basement was built 

            *   Erwin Carlson Contributed shrubbery and trees F

            *   Ladies Aid gave $1700 towards basement furnishings

1930    *   English language introduced

            *   Women’s Missionary Federation Established

            *   Family night introduced

1935    *   Mr. and Mrs. John Borgen donate $25 for first Art Glass Window.  Others soon followed

            *   A window over entrance door had the name of the church inscribed on it…given by Karen

                and Anna Thronson as a memorial to parents, Mr. & Mrs. Carl Thronson F

1938    *   The use of pledge cards started

1946    *   The old barn removed and a garage built

1947    *   Electronic tower chimes installed

            *   Chimes were in memory of Mrs. Sattre-organist F

1948    *   Rev. Alfred Sheldahl comes

1949    *   New pews, ceiling lights, and entrance doors added

1951    *   Rev. John Skepstad comes

            *   He was born in Lillehammer, Norway F

1953    *   Release Time Bible School organized

            *   first teacher is Mrs. Theodore Johnson F

1955    *   Other improvements…Interior painted, new floors, rest rooms, coat room, rewiring

1956    *   Ladies Aid had 2 Smorgasbords to help pay for improvements

1957    *   Outside of church painted

1959    *   New Conn organ replaces old pipe organ

            *   90th Anniversary—New organ dedicated with an organ concert

1961    *   Women’s circles named =Eunice, Lydia, Leah, Naomi, Rebecca, and Ruth F

            *   Ladies Aid became ALCW

1963    *   new rug and piano purchased by ALCW

1964    *   2 youth members attend summer school at Lutheran Bible Inst. of Seattle

            *   names of youth are…Suzanne Johnson and Nancy Olson

            *   Joel T. Pederson becomes the only boy to enter Holy ministry from Our Savior’s

1965    *   Congregation purchased new “Service Book and Hymnal”

            *   Organist is Mrs. Melvin Koplin

            *   Custodian is Theodore Johnson

1967    *   ALCW gave $500 to hook up to new sewer system

1969    *   77 children in Sunday School      13 teachers F

            *   100th Anniversary

            *   1339 Baptized, 1043 Confirmed, 317 marriages

1972    *   Explosion and Fire blows roof off of the church

            *   Even bell melts F

            *   Kids in school heard explosion F

            *   Immanuel Church offers use of church, plus Sunday School and choirs would be combined. 

            *   Expensed shared 50/50 but each retain own identity.

            *   Earlier efforts to combined failed because each wanted to keep their church building and

                homeland traditions.

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