Our Saviour's Lutheran Church has a long and rich history in service to God's mission in his world. Our family is the result of two separate mergers. The first took place in the 1948 when St. Stephen's Lutheran and First English Lutheran merged to form Our Saviour's. Then in 1962, Zaachaeus Lutheran joined the family. The congregation has been glorifying God and striving to fulfill his mission ever since.
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church
St. Stephen's was organized on July 10, 1891. Pastoral services were provided by the Rev. Nils Brandt. The Rev. Olaf H. Hoel was called as the first resident pastor in 1876. The congregation merged with First English Lutheran in 1948, to form the new Our Saviour's Lutheran Church.
Interesting historical note: When the new church was completed in 1950, members of the congregation wanted to take the bell from the St. Stephen's building and put it in the new church. Contractors said it "couldn't be done" but three members of the congregation went about the task anyway and, using ropes and pulleys, put the bell in the new church. The bell from the First English church was apparently put in the St. Stephen's building.
Zacchaeus Lutheran Church
Zacchaeus American Lutheran Church was organized in June of 1898. The first resident pastor was the Rev. O. Just. On June 10th, 1962, the Zacchaeus American Lutheran Church and Our Saviour's Lutheran Church merged to form a congregation with a baptized membership of 2,155. The pastor at the time of merger was the Rev. Reynold Tange.
First English Lutheran Church
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Churc was organized in 1878. The first resident pastor was the Rev. I. H. Hinderaker. In 1921, wehn the Rev. Omar Brenne became pastor, the church numbered 550 people. It was at this time the congregation chose a new name which was First English Lutheran Church. It chose to merge with St. Stephen's Lutheran in 1948.
The current church sits on the site of the First English church. The parsonage next door and some other buildings needed to be moved to make enough space for the new construction. The wood and materials from the this church were used to build the OSL Dining Hall at the county fairgrounds.
The cornerstone of the "new" church was laid on May 28, 1950. The first service held in the new building was on Christmas Day in 1950. The pews and chancel furnishing had not yet arrived, the carpet was gray, there were folding chairs in the nave, there were Christmas trees on either side of the altar (the one from the old First English Church) with blue lights on them and the church was filled to capacity.
Interior of the main sanctuary today
Want to learn more?
You can access PDFs of the various Anniversary booklets of Our Saviour's by clicking on the images below. They include detailed histories of the congregation's ministry work over the years. Included is the 50th Anniversary Book, the Centennial Book, and the 1951 Book commemorating the Dedication of Our Saviour's new building..