First Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The ELCA has over 6,000 congregations nationwide, which make up our total membership of 5 million. First Evangelical is associated with the Southwest Minnesota Synod of the ELCA.
God has called us, the baptized members of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Worthington, MN, to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all people.
In obedience, we commit ourselves to the Lord's ministry rooted in the fertile agricultural prairie of God's creation. Relying on the promise of the Holy Spirit and through Word and Sacraments, we will grow toward wholeness through Worship, learning, service, witness, support, and fellowship.
We first organized as a church in May of 1876. At that time there was no church building so the congregation met in a member's home. The congregation was made up of primarily Swedish immigrants. The original name of the church was the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. This congregation's first service in their own building was in the spring of 1883. The members built the wood frame church, donating all of the labor, and the pastor, who was a coarpenter, did much of the work. In 1910, construction was started on the present church. The first service was held in March of 1911. At that time all services were held in Swedish.
In 1917, a pipe organ was installed. The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church then celebrated its 50th anniversary in May of 1926, followed by a name change in 1927 to First Evangelical Lutheran Church. By the end of 1927, morning services alternated between Swedish and English.
1941 saw the addition of a parish hall and church offices. This same year, release time weekly church school began. In 1972, the church's centennial was celebrated. The Centennial Hall addition was completed in 1973, and the We Care Day Care Center began operating in the church basement in 1976.
As you can see, First Lutheran has a long and rich history. Our Christian values are rooted deep within us. We are enriched by our heritage, and look forward to a bright future as followers of Jesus Christ.