Faith Lutheran celebrates 100 years Feb. 17

LAKEWOOD Theyve got 100 years of history and they want to share it.
The parishioners of Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood are inviting the community to attend an old time church service starting at 10 a.m., Feb. 17, after which theyll be conducting a historic program with old photos and documents until 3 p.m.
Pastor Randy Sinn recalled how the Faith Lutheran Church began as two different churches in Lakewood, the First Lutheran and Free Lutheran churches, in 1908.
It wasnt uncommon to have multiple Lutheran denominations in areas like this, Sinn said. The Free Lutheran Church was a bit of a reaction against the state churches of Europe, so it wasnt as institutionalized or hierarchical.
Faith Lutheran Church parishioner Howard Huglen explained that the First Lutheran Church served four Norwegian immigrant families in the area, and that neither church had a building of its own until 1911.
Those first few years, ministers traveled to peoples homes in Arlington, Silvana and Bryant, Huglen said. This was a farming and fishing community back then. They held fundraisers like bake sales, much as we do now, and used the money to buy dynamite, to clear the land that was donated to them.
The First and Free Lutheran churches each built on one-acre parcels of property, approximately 200 feet away from each other, and established themselves as central meeting places for the community, according to Huglen. While both churches moved their buildings back in the decades that followed, it wasnt until the 1950s that they began exploring the idea of combining.
They made it official in 1962, Huglen said. In 1965, they built the sanctuary of the church with an all-volunteer labor force, every Saturday for three years. It was dedicated in 1968. My sister was the first one married here.
A new sanctuary for the church was built in 1980 and dedicated in 1981. Sinn estimated the church serves approximately 100 families now and credited the churchs endurance with the perseverance of its congregation.
Theyre a hearty people with faith in God, Sinn said. Even in hard times, they believe theyll be taken care of.
Family and religion were important to this community, Huglen said. The church was a focal social point. A lot has changed. Everyone is so busy now.

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