“Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Monthly Sunday evening services began in homes of members in the southwest metro of the Twin Cities. Initial seed money was provided by Faith congregation in Nicollet, MN upon its closing.
The group requested more frequent services, and Pastor David Schierenbeck began conducting services twice a month in Chaska. Locations varied from the local elementary school to Moravin Care Chapel to Auburn Village Community Room. The average attendance at the time was 12. Many of the families lived far from Berea, some up to 70 miles.
A southwest metro board was appointed consisting of pastors and elders from both Berea and Grace Lutheran in Fridley. The initial contact person was Alan Johnson. This board provided oversight for the group, who chose a temporary name: The Church of the Lutheran Confession of Eden Prairie. Weekly morning services began at Albin Chapel. The first meeting took place on May 31, 2009. The services were conducted by active and retired pastors, as well as ILC professors and seminarians. The average weekly attendance was around 20.
Pastor Stephen Sydow of Eau Claire accepted the part-time call to provide more on-site pastoral assistance and continuity. He served as ministry coordinator for guest speakers as well as preaching himself. During this time, the worship site moved to the Eden Prairie Senior Center and later to Lincoln Parc Suites Community Center in Eden Prairie.
The southwest metro group formally organized as an independent congregation, taking on the name Living Savior Lutheran Church. Jeff Radichel was the first president of the congregation. The worship site was moved to Huber Funeral Chapel on Glory Lane in Eden Prairie. In this new location, the congregation had a dedicated place that allowed them to store all necessary equipment, a kitchenette, fellowship hall, and ample parking. It provided good space for office and meeting rooms at an affordable price.
On January 1, 2017, retired Pastor Doug Libby of Mankato accepted the call as a part-time pastor. This allowed for more consistent soul care of the growing congregation. Pastor Libby’s call was for three services a month, and more regular time to visit members outside the congregation.
Living Savior submitted its constitution and its request for membership to the CLC (Church of the Lutheran Confession). The congregation was received into membership by the CLC during its biannual convention in June of 2018. The average attendance was around 30.
As weekly attendance grew, it became clear that a full-time pastor was necessary. Regular average attendance was 40 members, with a membership of 50. The combination of increased membership and the desire to serve CLC members in and around Eden Prairie prompted the congregation to issue the full-time call.
In late 2019, the congregation began the process of calling a full-time pastor. By the grace of God, the congregation weathered the challenges of stopping services for several months as well as suspending the calling process for a full-time pastor. The group resumed services and continued their search for a full-time pastor.
Pastor Luke Willitz received and accepted the call to become our first full-time pastor in the spring of 2022. As the pastor settled in, the congregation began looking for a more permanent property. In the meantime, Huber Funeral Chapel to add additional special services to our calendar that began in 2023.
While the Living Savior congregation has changed significantly over the years, we still have several of the original families involved. We know that the southwest metro holds many potential blessings to serve the Kingdom of our Lord. It is our prayer that the Lord of the Church would guide and bless our efforts to proclaim His Word and Gospel and glorify His Name in this corner of the world.
We are a member of the Church of the Lutheran Confession, a synod based in the United States with 70+ congregations.