Estherville Lutheran Church, the mother church of many other area Lutheran churches, will observe its 150th anniversary Sunday, Sept. 25.
The imposing edifice at 208 North Eight St. is not the first church for the parish.
From its first humble origin in an Estherville schoolhouse, the first church was a white frame structure on South 10th Street in Estherville, built in 1888 and dedicated in 1891. The building was tragically lost to fire January 1941.
Estherville Lutheran Church published a postcard commemorating the church’s 150th anniversary celebration which will be held Sunday, Sept. 25.
However, the bell was saved and placed in the tower of the current building which was started in 1941 and finished in 1944.
Parishioners Harvey Lunde, Carol Berven and LaDonna Bergeson are shouldering the formidable task of preparing for the church's sesquicentennial.
"The churches around here are really an expansion of Estherville Lutheran," said Burgeson. Indeed, those churches include the former Bruheld District (later Immanuel Lutheran), Wallingford Lutheran, Immanuel Lutheran south of Gruver, the Palestine Lutheran church now relocated to the Emmet County Fairgrounds and Union State Line Lutheran at Petersburg, Minn.
Original pews from the 1888 church scorched in the 1941 fire are in the church loft, a silent testament to a congregation forged from adversity but always holding to its faith in the Lord.
Estherville Lutheran has sent 16 congregation members into the ministry and eight have been commissioned for mission service abroad.
Bishop Last of the Western Iowa Synod will speak at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, Sept. 25. Pastor Peter Soli will present the liturgy and Barb Nissen will sing a special solo.