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.
When the congregation celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 1998, a commemorative booklet was compiled 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 a PDF of this booklet, click here.
In 2014 an arsonist's 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, Saint Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church has revised their statement to be "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 to pursue forming a two-point parrish. They are currently engaged in working through the call process to call for a "shared" pastor. Pastor John Keller was assigned as our interim 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 will be held on September 1, 2019.
We have currently realized the changes of a declining membership, the inclusion of multiple diverse congregations, and multiple fellowship groups sharing our facilities.