The history of Bloomington Lutheran Church is presented below.
The history of Living Hope and the makings of our "dual-site congregation" has been documented by Pastor Dan Walters in his masters thesis which is available for your review by clicking here: history.
In past years, it was commonly the rule that Mission Stations in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod were established in sparsely populated urban or rural areas. Bloomington Lutheran was no exception. Amid dirt streets and open fields, the Synod chose 88th Street and Nicollet Avenue as the site for a new mission. As a daughter congregation of Pilgrim Lutheran Church, and with Synod approval, a new mission was formed. In 1951 a ranch-type parsonage was built with financial assistance from the Synod's Parsonage/ Teacherage fund.
This was the first place of worship, with Sunday school beginning immediately. Funds were granted from the Synod's Church Extension Fund and construction began in the fall of 1951 for the congregation's first chapel. This chapel was dedicated in 1952. In May 1952, with nine voting members and 23 communicant members, an organizational meeting was conducted. A Christian Day School begun that Fall in the Chapel basement.
By 1955 it was apparent that a school building was needed. With Synod approval, construction began the same year. More land was purchased adjacent to the School for a playground and in 1956 the Christian Day School was dedicated.
In 1959 funds were available from the Synod to construct an addition to the parsonage, providing more office space and a larger kitchen area.
Church membership and school enrollment continued to grow and a full-time teacher/principal was called. A home was then built for the principal. In November 1962 the growing membership necessitated three Sunday services. In 1964 a study was undertaken to consider plans for building a larger church. Additional land was purchased just south of the chapel. In March 1966 the congregation, after meeting with the Synod, approved plans and loan requirements to begin construction of a new church. Overcoming labor strikes, bankruptcy of the general contractor and many other problems, the congregation became its own contractor. With the guidance of the Synod and the bonding company, the church building was completed and dedicated in April 1967.
In 1976 the congregation established a daughter congregation in Eden Prairie. Also in 1976, the congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary. In 1978 the congregation purchased five acres of land in west Bloomington to be the site of a new school, which was dedicated in 1980. The original school was sold to the Montessori organization.
In 1989 the congregation adopted a resolution for plans to expand or relocate because of increasing membership and inadequate parking. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church at 9350 Portland Avenue approached the congregation with a proposal to trade properties with additional compensation to them. After numerous meetings and a loan search, the congregation approved the proposal. The exchange was made in November 1989 and provided Bloomington Lutheran with twice the facility size and ample parking space at the new and current Bloomington location.
In 1996 the congregation began a new mission effort in the Savage / Prior Lake / Shakopee area known as Living Hope. The new congregation church / school building was erected at the intersection of all three communities as a satellite ministry. A pre-school through 4th grade school was opened in 2002. Currently Bloomington Living Hope Lutheran Church and School is organized and functions as one congregation with three locations.
Nine pastors have served the congregation:
|Rev. John Hoenecke |
Rev. Del Begalka
Rev. Mark Liesener
Rev. Scott Spaulding
Rev. Dan Schmidt
Rev. Mike Borgwardt
Rev. Rod Pudell
Rev. Eric Schroeder
Rev. Brian Krueger
|1951 - 1969 |
1970 - 1974
1974 - 2004
1984 - present
1997 - 1999
2001 - 2005
2002 - present
2007 - 2013
2014 - present
Youth Minister, Michael Pfeifer, was installed in 1989. He was followed by Family minister Eugene Martens, Youth Minister Kory Henkel in 2005 and Directors of Youth Ministries, Greg & Mela Kamin in 2013. Currently our youth are served by Joel Hansen, Director of Youth Ministries.
There have been three Principals of Bloomington Lutheran School:
1961 - 1973
1972 - 2016
2016 - present
Nine vicars have each spent a year at Bloomington Lutheran:
|Marcus Bode |
|1976 - 1977 |
1977 - 1978
1978 - 1979
1980 - 1981
1981 - 1982
1982 - 1983
1983 - 1984
1987 - 1988
1996 - 1997
Bloomington Lutheran School has had sixty-one teachers in pre-school through eighth grade. Nineteen of these teachers are currently teaching at Bloomington or Living Hope Lutheran School.
1317 of our active members are presently communicant members.
1812 souls are presently recorded in church files as active members.