Historic Picture 1 of REL church

In 1926, the first resident pastor was hired, and soon after a parsonage was built on the church property. Soon after the end of WWII, the congregation began planning for the building of a new church in the same location as their present building.  

By the 1930’s, the growth in membership proved that the church’s space had become inadequate for its needs and the conversation turned to ways in which to remedy this need. But with the nation in the midst of the Great Depression, it had to be postponed. With the arrival of the 1940’s, the conversation again turned to add additional space by installing a basement under the existing church building. But now with the advent of WWII plans again had to be postponed. It was felt that the matter should not be dropped and a committee was appointed to raise the necessary funds to proceed with the project at the earliest possible time. In May of 1944, the subject again came up. But now it was decided that instead of a basement a new church should be built. A Building Committee was appointed and an architect was hired to draw up plans so the building could proceed at wars end. At a special meeting in April of 1947, the congregation voted to accept the architect’s plans for a new church. The lot to the north of the church was purchased and the old church was moved to this lot, so the congregation could continue using it while the new church was being built on the site where the old church stood. When the bids for construction came back all much higher than the estimates, it was decided to use as much volunteer help from members of the congregation as possible. In mid-April of 1949, church members brought in equipment and began the digging of the basement for a new church.  A contract was signed on April 26, 1949 and construction for the long desired new church commenced.  By July, the construction had advanced to a point where the corner stone was laid at a special service at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, 1949. With construction completed, the Building Committee met in the basement of the new church on May 2, 1950. The minutes of this meeting stated that the first congregational church service would be held the following Sunday, on May 4, 1950. The new church was dedicated at services held on July 30, 1950.

By the early 1960’s, once again space became limited for all the children attending Sunday School and solutions were needed. At the Annual Meeting in January 1962, several options were discussed. After numerous studies it was decided at a special congregational meeting in November of 1963 that the property north of the church is purchased and have plans drawn. At a meeting on May 24, 1964, the congregation gave its approval to plans for an educational wing to be built on the north side of the church. A short groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 11, 1965. Construction began soon after and the building was completed that fall with Dedication services on November 14 of that year. 

A Facilities Planning Committee was formed in February 1999 to look at the immediate and future needs to accommodate the church’s and the community’s growth over the 30 years since the last expansion. They found that there was a great need for a much larger area for fellowship and kitchen facilities, more space for youth and adult instruction, more office space for the minister and the administration of the church’s business, more and upgraded restroom facilities, with everything being on one level for easier access. After much study and discussion, in April of 2000, the congregation decided that the best option was to build new facilities at our present location. After this vote, planning and fundraising began. At the 2001 Annual Meeting, plans were approved and the congregation voted to proceed with the construction. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in April of that year. The new facilities were dedicated at a “CONSECRATION-DEDICATION-CELEBRATION” held On Sunday, October 13, 2002. 

We are now well into our second century as an organized church congregation and October 2020 marked the 110th year of incorporation. The Facilities Planning Committee continued its work and this past year completed the Refresh Project in the sanctuary, the expansion of the narthex, and added a ramp leading to the sanctuary, making it accessible.

We are a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), sharing roots with the Nebraska Synod and a philosophy of open communion to all.