Celebrating 75 Years – July 2020
On July 29, 1945, American Lutheran Church held its first service in the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church sanctuary at 8th Street and Rood Avenue. The 8th St. & Rood Ave. location was purchased on October 8, 1945. The congregation was officially organized October 14, 1945, under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth Franzen. The Charter was closed April 14, 1946, with 41 members. During 1950-51, following the purchase of vacant land on 7th Street, a new church was built. Much of the work was completed by members and Parish Mission Builders. At that time, American Lutheran Church had 165 members. Dr. Emil Wendt was the first long-term pastor. During his tenure, programs at ALC were expanded and membership reached about 150 families, (500 individuals) and the new sanctuary and education wing was built in 1963.
During the late 70’s and early 80’s ALC shared their facilities with the Anglican Catholic Church, the Black Baptist Church, Valley Bible Church, and the Jewish community. At this time the congregation also began sponsoring students from Zimbabwe, Vietnam and Indo-China. In August 1982, American Lutheran Church began supporting the Seminary Internship Program offered by Luther-Northwestern Seminary and over the next several years nine interns would serve ALC.
In 1995 American Lutheran Church celebrated its 50th year with 650 baptized members. Land for a new location was purchased in 2004 at 631 26 1/2 Road. In 2006 the 1350 N. 7th Street location was sold and construction began on a new church building. During this time the ALC congregation worshipped at the First Congregational United Church of Christ and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The congregation of American Lutheran Church moved into their new home in October 2007.