The History of Stavanger Church
The history of Stavanger Evangelical Lutheran Church dates back to 1872 when it was part of the Kongsberg Congregation. In 1886, twenty four members organized the Stavanger Congregation. Services were held in homes until the church was built in 1893 at a cost of $1,500.00.
Stavanger was affiliated with the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America in its early days and later was part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. When that body merged with the American Lutheran Church the congregation also joined. Since 1974 the congregation has been an Independant Lutheran Church, being served by The Lutheran Brethren Church of American
The church also served as a Norwegian school in its early history.
With the passage of years, Norwegian congregations in America underwent a metamorphosis from Norwegian speaking to English speaking and, organizationally, from division toward unity. Faithful worshipers from former congregations looked back nostalgically, especially after World War I and the onset of anti-foreignism; no longer did they hear the Minister exclaim "Og Jeg siger eder..." ("and I say to you") The choir no longer sang "Loft Gud han er sass fast en borg" (A Mighty Fortress is our God").
The scriptures were read in what seemed an unelevating language. Even the church bells sounded discordant. The Mission to the immigrants had practically terminated. The ministry to the American born, many of mixed ancestry, was well under way.
On December 5, 1920, the first worship service in the English language was given in Stavanger Church.
In 1984 the original bell from the steeple was removed because of safety reasons and was relocated on the church grounds.
Stavanger is rich in history, and our beautiful wood alter, the original pump organ which was recently was given back to the church, as well as other items are a reminder of our Norwegian heritage.
It is also this strong sense of neighbor and family, that gives Stavanger its unique blend of the past with the future.
Come visit & worship with us! A very warm welcome is waiting!