The History of Saint Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church

In 1894 two neighbor ladies wrote a letter to Dr. Henry Ernst, President of the German Lutheran Seminary, requesting him to authorize mission work in the community. Four years later, thirty-six people would sign the charter creating St. Marcus German Lutheran Church. Reverend W. Biessswanger was called as the first pastor. The congregation had several location changes but a more permanent church building was purchased and remodeled for a cost of $8,000 in 1920 and was located on the corner of Leech and McBoal. The congregation grew and in 1955 ground breaking occurred for a new church building located at the current site.

The congregation celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 1998 and compiled a commemorative booklet with detailed history of the first 100 years of St. Mark, entitled "A Century at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1898-1998, In the City for God." To view or download this booklet, click here.

In 2014 an arsonist fire seriously damaged the building. The congregation, community and friends supported the rebuilding and repairs that were needed so that worship could resume by mid-2015.  Since the fire, St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church has revised our tagline to "In the City for God and for Good."

When the congregation's much beloved Pastor Walt Wietzke retired at the end of June 2018, the combined congregations of St. Mark and St. Luke began the task of forming a two-point parish and engaged in working through the call process to call for a "shared" pastor.  Pastor John Keller was the interim pastor for both congregations until the new pastor accepted the position as joint pastor.

During a special congregational meeting held on July 31, 2019, both St. Luke and St. Mark members voted unanimously to call Pastor Emily Rova-Hegener to be our shared minister.  Pastor Emily has accepted this call; her first Sunday service with us was held on September 1, 2019 and her official installation was held October 13, 2019.

Our current history has realized the changes of a declining membership, the inclusion of multiple diverse congregations, and multiple fellowship groups using our church's facilities.