PowerPoint presentation from the 125th Anniversary Program on October 28, 2018 ~ Enjoy!
Pastors Who Led the Congregation from the Beginning to Present
Reverend O.H. Elstad
Reverend J.C. Hjekmervik
Reverend O.C. Aune
Pastor Max Wilhelm
Pastor Leroy Johnsrud
Pastor Jerry Kuehn
Pastor Roger Benrud
Pastor Lewis J. Thompson
Pastor Terry Lorenz
Our Rich History
The Osseo Evangelical Lutheran congregation began as a few interested people met at Erick Nelson's home on July 10, 1893 for the purpose of organizing a congregation in Osseo. Reverend Himley was the presiding officer and a constitution was adopted according to the requirements of the Hauge Synod. Reverend Himley was called as the pastor and he served for one year before he resigned.
In the summer of 1894, Osseo, King's Valley, and Evanger congregations extended a call to Reverend O.H. Elstad who accepted the call to serve as pastor. Lots for a church were donated by S. Field. The pulpit and altar frame were built by Pastor Elstad, and the church building was ready for use in 1895. The steeple was built, rebuilt once, and remodeled twice in 1896 and the bell for the belfry was purchased in 1902. Elstad resigned in 1907.
The three congregations, Osseo, King's Valley, and Evanger extended a letter of call to Reverend J.C. Hjelmervik who accepted in 1907. In 1912 Mrs. Hjelmervik started the Kings Servants, an organization for young girls. For many years they supported a Chinese girl, and also helped with church projects. Pastor Hjelmervik served for nine years and he resigned in the summer of 1916.
Reverend O.C. Aune was extended a call by the three congregations in 1916. During Pastor Aune's ministry of forty three years, additions on the north and south were built onto the church and stained glass windows were installed, and a men's club was started in 1917. A parsonage was built in 1918, in Osseo. In 1931 a pipe organ was installed. The church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1943. In 1946 more land was added to the cemetery. It was voted to give the pastors and their wives a cemetery lot with perpetual care. A new church entrance was built in 1950. The Educational Unit was dedicated in 1957. When Pastor Aune resigned in 1959, a realignment change occurred as Evanger withdrew from the Osseo and King's Valley parish.
Pastor Max Wilhelm accepted the call to serve as pastor for Osseo and King's Valley in October of 1959. On Good Friday evening in 1962, lightning struck the church, damaging the belfry, bell, cross, chimes and building. It was decided to sell the parsonage and build a new one. The dedication of the new parsonage at 50863 Charles Street was held in June of 1964. Another realignment change happened in 1964 and Pastor Wilhelm continued to serve only Osseo Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1965, the congregation purchased the home at 50769 Charles Street which became our second parsonage. Pastor Wilhelm resigned in 1967.
Osseo Evangelical Lutheran extended a call to Pastor Leroy Johnsrud who accepted and was installed in August of 1967. A letter of call for a Visitation Pastor was accepted by Pastor Harry Walker in 1969. In 1968 it was voted to build a new church on five acres of land given by Mr. & Mrs. A.V. Johnson located on Highway 53. The new church building was dedicated in 1972. Pastor Johnsrud resigned in 1975.
Pastor Jerry Kuehn accepted the call to serve as pastor in 1976. The new Lutheran Book of Worship was purchased for our worship services. Pastor Kuegn resigned in 1981. Pastor Walker retired as Visitation Pastor in 1982.
A letter of call was accepted by Pastor Roger Benrud in 1982. The new Educational and Fellowship Center was built and dedicated in 1983. Osseo Evangelical Lutheran entered into the Internship Program in 1985. We are thankful for 19 Intern Pastors who have served in our midst: Dana Schroeder, David Bates, Christine Simpson, Jeff Schulz, David Ernat, Stacy Johnson, Seth Jersild, John Sutherland, Christopher Beamsley, Sarah Miller, David Hoadley, Greg Ofsdahl, Martin Ganschow, Dawn Pederson, Joel Martyn, Dale Horner, Marlon Dahlke, Karen Hofstad, Scott Ehle, Donna Runge and David Tielbar.
In May, 1990, the parsonage at 50863 Charles Street was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt during the summer of 1990, and re-dedicated that fall. The new Sunday School Addition and Library was built and dedicated in 1994. Pastor Roger Benrud retired in October 1998. Gordon Thorpe served as Interim Pastor for 9 months. At the semi-Annual Congregational meeting on July 18, 1999, it was voted to extend a letter of call to Pastor Lewis J. Thompson. He accepted the call and was installed by Bishop Bob Berg on September 19, 1999.
At 9:00 PM on Friday, March 16, 2001, disaster struck our facility when the roof collapsed on the 1983 addition, known as the Fellowship Center. We give thanks that no one was in the building at the time of the collapse and no injuries were had. Thus began the planning and rebuilding of the south addition. After many meetings by the congregation, a plan was developed and approved. The contractor was secured and rebuilding started in May 2002.
The new structure contains a large fully commercial kitchen, a beautiful fellowship center, a new preschool room, several classrooms, bathrooms, stage, multipurpose room gym with kitchenette, and several storage areas. On June 8, 2003, the new building was dedicated. Another change which took place in December 2002 was the purchase of the property on the corner of Harmony & Park Streets, formerly known as the Kappen Building. The building was leveled in the fall of 2003.
In the summer of 2015, while Pastor Lewis Thompson was on sabbatical, Pastor Daniel Hoy filled in for him. Unfortunately, Pastor Lewis J. Thompson died on September 29, 2015. The interim pastors were Tom Bryan and John Hosmann.
In August 2016, the call committee recommended Pastor Terry Lorenz be our new pastor at OELC.