On October 18, 2009 a group of approximately 75 people formerly of First Lutheran Church in Little Falls met for worship in the basement of St. Gabriel’s Hospital, following an unsuccessful vote for First to leave the ELCA the previous Sunday. After worship an organizational meeting with 49 adults in attendance was held to discuss starting a new congregation affiliated with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). A steering committee was formed with spaces left open for former members of Bethel Lutheran to fill, in the event that the October 25 vote at Bethel failed also. Steering committee members were: Gerry Boody, Howie Larsen, Chad Shelstad, Amy Scholl and Tod Tonsager. Communication coordinator was Jennie Zeitler. Since Pastor Nate Bjorge had submitted his resignation to First Lutheran, it was decided that he would be asked to lead the new congregation.
Worship was again held at St. Gabriel’s on October 25. The vote at Bethel that day failed.
So on Sunday, November 1 over 100 people met for a communion worship service at St. Francis Hall on the campus of the Franciscan Sisters in Little Falls. Following worship was the business meeting at which three more members of the steering committee were chosen: John Albaugh, Bette Kalisch and Brad Lundquist. By-laws were read through and approved. Voting for a new name was a challenge with over 150 suggestions, but after four ballots it culminated with Faith Lutheran Church!
At the first steering committee meeting, Howie Larsen was elected chairman and John Albaugh vice-chairman. On November 3 we officially affiliated with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and through them have 501(c)(3) status. On November 4, 2009, the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were filed with the Morrison County Recorder’s office; and we received a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
Pastor Nate was installed by his father Pastor James Bjorge on November 22. Worship was held at St. Francis Hall through New Year’s, but we were outgrowing that space!
On January 3, 2010 worship was moved to the Performing Arts Center at Lindbergh Elementary School. Our first First Communion class included: Amber Biniek, Nolan Bjorge, Zachary Leibold and Brady Shelstad. Our first baby baptized was Isabella White, on May 10. Our first graduates were Odin Guerard, Zach Miller and Emileah Zumberge.
On September 26 worship moved across the parking lot to the Commons at the Little Falls Middle School, because we again needed more space! Our first Confirmands were: Sarah Andringa, Taylor Scepurek, Kayla Stock and Natalicia Zumberge.
And to celebrate our first anniversary, a presentation was given on October 10 regarding the purchase of a 32-acre piece of land behind the old Wal-Mart building. The vote to make that purchase passed, and we paid cash at the closing on October 22!