FISHER LUTHERAN HISTORY

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History

This congregation was established in 1880 by Norwegian immigrant settlers. Our congregation is part of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  It has a membership of about 290 baptized souls in about 120 households.  We have a good mix of elderly, middle aged and young families.  Years ago, farm families represented a majority of the membership, but times are changing.  Today, families actively involved in farming represent only about 10% of the congregation.  The Sunday School has about 60 children from pre-K to 12th grade and our average worship attendance is about 80 per week.

Building Project

In 2000, the congregation completed a momentous building program.  A brand new facility was built on the south end of the same block where the old church had stood for 118 years. We moved into and dedicated the new facility on April 2, 2000.  Some special items were saved from the old church and incorporated into the new building, including pipes from the old organ, the stained glass, the altar candelabras, and the baptismal font.  A few additional smaller projects are still in the works to enhance the site. The congregation has, in a bold and courageous way, declared its commitment to be here to serve future generations, to be a healing, worshipping, witnessing, reconciling, serving body of Christ in this community.

About the Community

The City of Fisher has about 500 residents.   Fisher has experienced some growth over the past decade, even though there are not many businesses left in town.  New apartments and town houses have been built.  Fisher’s convenient location between Crookston and Grand Forks insures its future as a bedroom community for commuters.  It offers small town peace and quiet, its own school (K-12), and a good place to raise children.

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Timeline

  • 1877 - First worship services held in the home of Grunde Aakhus near Fisher’s Landing

  • 1880 - Red Lake River Lutheran Congregation organized

  • 1881 - Materials for building a church bought for $600

  • 1882 - Voted to have three months of parochial school each year

  • 1883 - Parsonage purchased for $900 fro Orie and Clara Whited

  • 1885 - Altar and pulpit built by Mr. Ecklund and land given for a cemetery by John Peterson

  • 1897 - Basement dug, church turned from facing North to West, entry and steeple added, church bell. *Given by the Ladies Aid

  • 1908 - Sunday School began on a regular basis

  • 1915 - Stained glass windows installed, basement finished, church redecorated

  • 1918 - Moller pipe organ given to the church

  • 1919 - Parsonage extensively remodeled

  • 1939 - Congregation changed its name to Fisher Lutheran Church

  • 1949 - Church reconsecrated after extensive remodeling

  • 1957 - Education addition built

  • 1964 - New parsonage dedicated

  • 1965 - Pipe organ renovations completed

  • 1979 - Church remodeled

  • 1980 - 100th anniversary celebrated

  • 1980-1987 - Tentmakers hired in area of youth ministry

  • 1990 - Steel siding applied to the exterior

  • 1999 - Construction of new church begins

  • 2000 - Dedication of new church

  • 2005 - 125th anniversary celebration

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Synod Relationships

1905-1917 - United Lutheran Synod
1917-1946 - Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
1946-1960 - Evangelical Lutheran Church
1960-1987 - American Lutheran Church
1988-present - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America