Church History

     Since the 1870's, "The Cokato, French Lake, Albion American Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church" was organized on January 3, 1892 at the Temperance Corner School.  Prior to this worship services were held at family homes and local school houses. In 1907 the old St Ignatius Church was purchased and moved to our present church site.

     In 1912 the congregation became affiliated with the Lutheran Church--Suomi Synod, and in 1917 became a member of a parish composed of five Suomi Synod congregations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

     In the early 1920's the decision was made to build our present church. Construction was completed by congregational members under the direction of Victor Huikko. The Church building was dedicated on May 23, 1926.

     In the late 1930's the parish was reduced from five to three congregations, and in 1951, to two, when Kingston and French Lake became a separate parish.  Pastor Clair G Jennings was the first pastor of the new Kingston-French Lake parish, serving from 1951-1953.  During this time an electronic organ was purchased. In 1951, the congregation started annual Fall Bible conferences.

     In 1961 the congregation voted to depart from the Suomi Synod and became an Independent Lutheran Church.  The Kingston-French Lake parish was dissolved in 1963.

     Evangelist Arthur J Johnson accepted the call to become a full-time pastor in October 1963. Pastor Johnson faithfully served the LORD and this congregation until God brought him home.

     In 1965 the congregation adopted a new Constitution and By-Laws. A new entrance was built to the church in 1966, adding space for a mothers' room, lavatories and a narthex.

     Our Saviour's Lutheran Church continues to serve the French Lake community.  The church offers worship services, Christian counseling, musical opportunities, Christian education, fellowship, volunteer work, visits to the home-bound and sick, and supports mission work in Brazil.

     Praise God for the many years He has given us as the congregational family of Our Saviours Lutheran Church, French Lake, Minnesota.

     Our present church leader, Pastor Edward Groop, comes from the former Suomi Synod.  He was ordained in the Lutheran Church of America and retired August 2000 after 36 years in the ministry in the LCA and ELCA.  Pastor Groop's retirement was brief as he began his pastorate here at Our Saviour's in August 2001.

     This congregation believes and confesses that the Holy Scripture, the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments, are the Word of God, revealed for the salvation of man, and therefore, the only source and rule of faith, doctrine and life.

     This congregation accepts the Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, and Luther's Small Catechism as a correct exposition of the teachings of the Word of God. All the preaching and teaching in this congregation shall conform to these confessions.

     This congregation governs its own affairs subject to the authority of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit, and recognizes no other ecclesiastical authority or government above itself.