Brief Church History
(from the First Lutheran Church 75th Anniversary booklet)
The First Lutheran services in South Sioux City were held in 1887, the year the town was organized. In 1890, a lot was purchased on the southwest corner of what is now 21st and B streets. Here the congregation’s first church building was erected. It was dedicated on October 12, 1890.
Difficulties in the early years made it necessary to make a new start in 1902. The Rev. J.F. Sponseller was called to become pastor effective April 1, 1902. Forty-six persons signed the original membership list on October 15, 1902, under the name “Grace Lutheran Church”.
For a time prior to 1920, no Lutheran services were held in South Sioux City. During this period several families united with other churches. Several families previously active, together with new Lutheran families in the community, formed the nucleus for renewed effort toward an active Lutheran congregation.
The new congregation adopted the name “The Redeemer’s Lutheran Church”. Its first home was in the Maloney store building at 2011 Dakota Avenue. The downstairs room on the south side was leased at $21.00 per month as a place of meeting. Members worked to redecorate the room, installed an altar and pews, giving the room a church appearance.
The Maloney store building worked as a church home for the new congregation until January 1, 1925, when the congregation moved into the old “South School” building located on 22nd and A Streets.
Ground breaking for a new church building was held on April 19, 1925 on the corner of 21st and A Streets. The cornerstone was laid on June 28th. On the morning of September 27th, the congregation gathered at the old “South School” building and marched in triumphant procession to the doors of the new House of God. Cost of the church was approximately $19,000. The church was dedicated with an indebtedness of $10,000. The first mortgage of $5,000 was burned at the morning service on September 22nd, 1935. The second mortgage of $5,000 was burned at the annual meeting on January 9th, 1945.
Steady church growth of the congregation and consequent need for larger facilities prompted the purchase of 2.5 acres at the present site, 3601 Dakota Avenue in September 1959, as the location for a new church. The cost was $12,000.00.
Beginning with the dedication of the educational building on May 31st, 1959, until the dedication of the new church on June 3rd, 1963, two services were held each Sunday morning in the Fellowship Hall.
Since the move to the present site a number of additions to this church building have enhanced the worship space. A series of windows, known as the “Life of Christ”, were dedicated on May 25th, 1969. Also, a new pipe organ was dedicated on May 28th, 1995.
Below are pictures from the first wedding held in our current building. The wedding date was June 1, 1963, two days before the official dedication of the building.