The History of Beaver Lake Lutheran Church
Groundbreaking (1953) First Pastor Alfred Grossman (1953) Charter Members (1953) Church first meets in Beaver Lake Elementary School (1953) Beaver Lake in the 1950's Arial view in the 1950's Inside Beaver Lake in the 1950's Easter at Beaver Lake in the 1950's Groundbreaking - April 8,1975 Cornerstone - September 23, 1975 New kitchen (1975)
 

 

(If the pictures in the slideshow get compressed, refreshing the page will solve the viewing problem.)

1952

The Board of American Missions of the Augustana Lutheran Church completed a survey of this area to determine if a new mission church should be established.  The survey results were most favorable.  The Board of American Missions extended a call to Reverend Alfred R.W. Grossman. 

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, Saint Paul, served as our mother church and placed a mortgage on their property in order to underwrite loans to Beaver Lake Church.

 

March 1, 1953 – 1968

Reverend Alfred Grossman accepted the call to be the first pastor of the fledgling church.  The first church service was held in the Beaver Lake Elementary School with 108 adults in attendance.

 

Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953

The congregation was officially organized with 81 adults and 22 children signing the Charter Roll.

 

Sunday, June 28, 1953

The Charter Roll was closed with 97 adults and 29 children on the Charter.

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, Saint Paul, served as our mother church and placed a mortgage on their property in order to purchase 4.7 acres of farmland for $5,000 from George Zacho.

 

September 27, 1953

Groundbreaking for the first unit of Beaver Lake Lutheran Church.

 

May 24, 1953

By congregational vote, Pastor Grossman became permanent pastor and was officially installed.

 

December 20, 1953

The first service in the new unit was held.

 

Easter Sunday, April 25, 1954

Dedication of the first unit was held with Dr. Emil Swenson, president of the Augustana Synod officiating.

 

1958

The Beaver Lake congregation continued to grow.  There were over 300 children enrolled in Sunday School.  It was decided that an education building was needed.  The congregation wanted to purchase an additional 4.33 acres of land for $10,700.

 

January 1959

A resolution was passed to begin a building fund drive, commencing April 1, 1960 for construction of an educational unit.  A building committee was appointed in 1960.  $42,000 was pledged over a three year period for the new building.

 

Summer 1959

Vacation Bible School was held in a large tent on the church grounds because of the large enrollment of children.

 

October 14, 1962

The new educational building was completed and dedicated.

 

May 1968

Pastor Grossman retired after 15 years of ministry at Beaver Lake Church.

 

August 1, 1968 – 1980

Reverend Roy Gustafson, our second pastor, accepted our call and began his ministry at Beaver Lake Church.

During his ministry at Beaver Lake Lutheran, our membership increased, as did stewardship giving, including benevolence support.  At one time, Beaver Lake was giving away 22% of our budget in benevolence to various areas and agencies.

With growth in membership came the need for a larger worship area.

 

January 1969

At the annual meeting the congregation passed a resolution to build a new sanctuary within five years.

 

1970

Membership continued to increase.  As services were getting very crowded, Beaver Lake went to a three service schedule.

Another building fund appeal was initiated to hasten the time of building a new sanctuary.  For this appeal, $20,000 was pledged over a two year period.

 

January 1972

A building committee was elected and the congregation approved a new sanctuary design.

 

January 1973

A building fund drive was conducted with the result of pledges over $124,000 to be received over a three year period.

 

April 8, 1973

The ground breaking event took place for the new sanctuary,  The laying of the corner stone took place on September 23, 1973.

 

Christmas Eve, 1973

The first service was held in the new sanctuary. 

 

January 27, 1974

Dr. Melvin Hammarberg presided over the Rite of Dedication for the new sanctuary. 

The new unit had a seating capacity of 338, communion rail capacity of 22 and provided a new kitchen, library-lounge and offices.  In remodeling the first unit, the choirs, nursery and youth now had their own spaces, as well as a small chapel for small services and weddings.

In all, 8,000 square feet of new space was added at a cost of $320,000.  With all three units, Beaver Lake has a total of $19,250 square feet.

All three of the building phases had been do-it-yourself projects to some extent.  The whole first unit was almost 100% do-it-yourself.  Men of the church did all the building and much of the furnishings.  The chancel or altar area was designed and built by men of the church.  A charter member, Mildred Oden, painted a beautiful picture that hung on the wall behind the altar for many years.  It was later replaced by the lighted cross.  To carry on the tradition, the altar area in our present sanctuary was designed and built by members of Beaver Lake Church, with the guidance and approval of the architect.  The women of the Art in Worship committee designed a set of altar cloths, with stoles to match for the pastors.  They also made all the banners that were used in the sanctuary.

 

November 1, 1978 – September 1979

Pastor Joseph Conrad served as Visitation Pastor.

 

September 1, 1979

Pastor Theodore E. Conrad was called as Assistant Pastor.

 

1980

Pastor Roy Gustafson completed his ministry to Beaver Lake Church.

 

September 15, 1980 – May 1982

Pastor James Almquist served as full time pastor at Beaver Lake.

 

June 1, 1982 – 1991

Pastor Conrad E. Greenquist became our interim pastor and served in that capacity until the end of the year when he was hired as part-time assistant pastor.

 

November 1, 1982 – 1991

Pastor Gerald Smith began his ministry at Beaver Lake Church.

 

May 19, 1991

Another building phase was started, consisting of a new narthex/atrium, new and larger office areas and a new lounge.  The new phase was dedicated on August 16, 1992.

 

September 1, 1991 – 1997

Reverend Kenneth Roufs served as part time assistant pastor.

 

April 16, 1997

Pastor Lynne Nelson was hired as part time associate pastor.  Beaver Lake had grown to the point where it needed two full time pastors.

 

September 1, 1998 – February 2002

Pastor Lynne Nelson served as full time pastor to Beaver Lake Church.

 

1998

Elaine Brandt became the first ELCA Diaconal Minister in the Saint Paul region.

 

July 2001

Pastor Gerald Smith resigned his ministry at Beaver Lake.  He accepted a call to South Carolina where he could be closer to his aging father.

 

July 2001 – December 2002

Beaver Lake was served by three interim pastors.

 

December 16, 2002 – 2005

Pastor Marggi Pleiss-Sippola began her ministry at Beaver Lake Church just in time for the Christmas Season.

A new roof was installed on the sanctuary and chapel.  The congregation was also able to carpet the sanctuary and install a new exterior church sign. 

The leadership was able to present a new church constitution, a new accounting process and refinance Beaver Lake’s mortgage.

 

2002

Beaver Lake invited a Hmong congregation, Calvary’s Cross, under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Karl Moua, to use our chapel as a place of worship.  We are committed to hospitality and mutual ministry with their congregation.

 

August 24, 2003

The BLLC Enduring Gift Foundation was established.  This Foundation is an endowment fund which provides additional resources to assist the congregation in its ministry of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The unique benefit of this Foundation is that the principal given to the Foundation remains intact.  Only a portion of the interest is spent each year.

 

2003-2004

Joshua Wenck served his internship at BLLC in youth ministry.

 

2005

Pastor Marggi Pleiss-Sippola resigned.  Pastor George Thronson served as interim pastor to BLLC.

 

February 2006 – May 2014

Pastor Charlie Brown was called to serve Beaver Lake.  Under his leadership, and with the generosity of our members, BLLC was able to purchase new Evangelical Lutheran Worship books, re-carpet the two lounges and the church office, cover the $20,000 cost of resurfacing Stillwater Avenue, replace the skylight and modernize the church lighting.  All of these have been accomplished outside the annual church budget and without Enduring Gift Foundation money.

 

2009

Partnership formed with Lakes Area Discovery Center.  This program, a nationally certified pre-school, gave new life to Beaver Lake’s educational program and filled a real need in our community.

 

2009

Rachel Robertson resigned as our last full time secretary.  Three of Beaver Lake’s members stepped forward to cover many of the secretarial duties on a part-time volunteer basis: Lu Larsen,  Joan Hilpert and Betty Stickels.  Joe Hilpert became BLLC’s director of publications on a part-time volunteer basis.  Our congregation is deeply indebted to these people for their commitment to God and His church.

 

2012

The Parish Nurse program was initiated at BLLC.  Church member Deb Houtkooper, RN, developed the program and serves as our first parish nurse on a volunteer part time basis.

 

2014

Capital improvements to our facility included replacement of cement sidewalk and resurfacing of the parking lot.  Calvary’s Cross generously contributed to the cost of these improvements.

 

May 2014

Pastor Charlie Brown retired from BLLC and active ministry.

 

June 2014 - August 2015

Pastor Mike Peterson served as interim pastor.

 

September 15, 2015

Pastor Nathan Toso was called to serve Beaver Lake.

 

Pastors of BLLC:

1953-1968    Alfred R. W. Grossman

1968-1980    Roy N. Gustafson

1979-1981    Theodore E. Conrad

1980-1982    James A. Almquist

1982-1990    Conrad E. Greenquist

1982-2001    Gerald W. Smith

1990-1997    Kenneth L. Roufs

1997-2002    Lynne M. Nelson

2002-2005    Margaret Pleiss-Sippola

2006-2014    Charles D. Brown

2015-            Nathan E. Toso