Grace Lutheran Church celebrates 100 yearsGrace Lutheran Church of Brandon will celebrate its 100-year anniversary the weekend of July 24-25 with the following events:
Grace Lutheran Church of Brandon will celebrate its 100-year anniversary the weekend of July 24-25 with the following events:
Saturday, July 24:
• Open house at Grace Fellowship Hall from 1-5 p.m. with time to view church history and visit over coffee.
• Past and present members will gather at the church at 1:30 p.m. for a fishing outing.
Sunday, July 25:
• Coffee and doughnuts served at 9 a.m.
• Worship celebration begins at 10:15 a.m. Pastor John Hogenson-Rutford, Grace pastor from 1989 to 1992, will preach. The service will include special music, including an anniversary choir of past and present choir members.
• Following the service, a roast beef and chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, carrots, salads, rolls and cake will be served. The public is welcome. Tickets are $8.95 and must be reserved and paid for prior to July 12 by calling the church office at (320) 834-4873.
• At 1 p.m., Music and Memories – an open microphone program with time to share music and memories of Grace – will be held.
The earliest recorded reference to a Norwegian Synod worship service in Brandon village is in the 1881 ministerial records of Pastor A.J. Stadstad of Moe church. The service was held in the Brandon village school.
In April 1898, the first meeting of the Brandon Congregation of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod Church Building Committee was held. Instead of building, it was decided to purchase the Brandon School, which was being vacated for a new school. That October, the school was purchased and the congregation began to meet.
A decision was made in 1903 to erect a new church, which was ready for use in December 1904. The new church was incorporated as the Brandon Evangelical Lutheran Church on January 19, 1910, establishing the anniversary date of the congregation.
In 1924 and continuing for several decades, church members referred to the Brandon Evangelical Lutheran Church as Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church or Grace Lutheran Church. The name change became official in March 1963, when the articles of incorporation were amended to state the name of the congregation to be Grace Lutheran Church.
Due to growth, in May 1957 plans for a new building were approved. The old church was razed, including its bell tower and the new church was erected on the existing basement. It was ready for use in February 1958.
In January 1992, planning began to solve the problem of handicapped accessibility. In 2000, addition plans began and the current mission statement was adopted.
Construction on the addition began in May 2002. Grace members were invited to hold services and other activities at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Brandon. Chippewa Lutheran Church in Brandon also provided assistance, offering to combine Vacation Bible Schools that summer. The new addition was dedicated in May 2003.
Grace has been served by 19 pastors and there have been three sons of Grace over the years. The current pastor is Dennis Preston, who came to Grace in 1998.
The mission of Grace Lutheran Church is: “Grace is a caring community of believers in Jesus Christ reaching out to you in God’s love.” The members are working to make that mission a reality by offering weekly worship that centers on the good news of Jesus Christ. Sermons are based on God’s Word. The “Sounds of Grace” band enhances worship once a month.
Grace offers Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and confirmation, along with an extensive youth program that involves mission trips, social events and faith development.
Adult opportunities including a men’s Bible study, adult study groups and an active women’s organization that offers monthly Bible study with fellowship, quilting for missions and a fall bazaar.
Grace actively supports the ministries of Luther Crest Bible Camp and Knute Nelson and the mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with which Grace is affiliated.
Historical notes are taken from a history of Grace compiled by the late Bud Greenquist of Alexandria.