January 1985. Knock, knock, knock…on a mission from God.
The Lutheran Church in America decided to “plant” a new faith community in Faribault since there was not a LCA congregation within 50 miles. Mission sites are usually chosen in high growth areas—not this one. This was a mission to reach out to people not connected to any faith community and the estimate in Faribault was high. Pastor Craig Breimhorst’s personal invitation moved a number of adventurous people willing to act on God’s call to begin a new faith community, holding its first worship service in the Ephphatha Church building April 14, 1985. The building was built in 1940 for the Lutheran ministry to the students at the State Schools for the visually and hearing impaired and was purchased in 1984 by Hoysler Real Estate owners.
Two years later, Sunday February 22, 1987 Bishop Herbert Chilstrom organized Christ Lutheran as the final congregation of the Minnesota Synod, LCA. This hardy group of pioneers broke ground in 1994 on its present site on Highway 60 East and held its first worship in the new building March 5, 1995 where we continue to house our mission as a partner with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southeastern Minnesota Synod.
Our Global Mission Partnership
Minnesota Synod Bishop Herbert Chilstrom gave our mission developer one name to contact as he began knocking on doors in January 1985 and that was a Tanzanian missionary’s son, his father a good friend of the Bishop’s. Thus began our relationship in mission with Tanzania—the Lutheran church in Arusha “sponsored” us as a new mission start in Minnesota by giving us a leather beaded stole and a batiqued Lord’s Supper. In 1995 Bishop Glenn Nycklemoe invited our congregation to partner with the oldest faith community in the Central Diocese (our Synodical partnership), Rurumu congregation and we continue to be in this vibrant partnership. Our pastor has visited 4 times including teaching for 3 months and congregants have gone twice, the last time in 2011 as the Ruruma congregation celebrated its 100th birthday. A pastor from Ruruma and a teacher from the nearby seminary made visits to our Southeastern Minnesota Synod and preached in our congregation twice. We continue to be greatly blessed in our relationship with Ruruma congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, East Africa!