History of Redeemer
History of Redeemer
In 1969 Redeemer was able to call a full-time pastor, Pastor John A. Braun, a new seminary graduate. That year the parsonage was purchased. Although still a small congregation, Redeemer had tripled in size to a total of 99 souls in 1971.
In 1972 Pastor Braun accepted a call to Illinois and new seminary graduate Pastor Carl Siegler was installed in July 1972. By 1975 membership had grown to 132 souls.
After 19 years the congregation reached another important milestone. After beginning as a mission congregation, Redeemer found itself with self-supporting status. A celebration was held in May 1980 to commemorate the occasion. Redeemer continued to grow. Early 1983 started off on a very sad note with Pastor Siegler passing away from a pre-existing liver condition. He had served 10 1/2 years.
Once again Redeemer was provided with a seminary graduate. On July 17, 1983 Pastor Ray Schumacher was installed as the new minister of Redeemer. The congregation continued to grow and on Sept. 30, 1985 the building was raised up and construction work began on adding a basement.
In Spring of 1988 Pastor Schumacher accepted a call to Orlando, Florida. Again, Redeemer looked to the seminary and on July 17, 1988 Pastor Mark Gass was installed as the new minister of Redeemer. The next 5 years would see wonderful blessings from the Lord. The congregation continued to grow and more space again was needed. In the fall of 1994 Redeemer broke ground on a further addition, which was dedicated in June of 1996.
The next major event to take place was in the spring and summer of 2001 when a preschool/child care center became a reality. In 2002 a grant was received for a lay evangelist, and after serving as evangelist-in-training and completing his studies, Kevin Schlueter was installed as on July 18, 2004 as Redeemer's first full time lay evangelist.
The congregation continued to grow rapidly, as in 2003 nearly 40 people from a local Missouri Synod congregation decided to join Redeemer. Along with normal growth, it was apparent that even further expansion was needed. On August 1, 2004 ground was broken for an 11,000 sq ft addition. The new facility included a new sanctuary, fellowship/gym area, and four new classrooms, and was dedicated to the glory of God on Nov. 6, 2005. Over 11,000 man-hours of volunteer time were donated towards this construction effort. Work continues on remodeling the existing structure with a youth room and new kitchen recently becoming realities.
Redeemer is a congregation which has been richly blessed by the Lord. Rising from the 29 members who attended the first service held at the American Legion Hall, to a current membership of approximately 325 souls, Redeemer is still growing.