HOW WE GOT STARTED
In the late 1950s God began to lay upon the heart of a small group of Christian people in Minot the need for a Lutheran church with a Bible-centered gospel focus:
- a church dedicated to evangelism and foreign missions
- a church dedicated to solid Christian training
- a church that stressed the need for a vital and personal experience of salvation in Christ
And so in the spring of 1958 a small group of Christians began holding fellowship meetings in rented facilities. At the first meeting there were only 27 people in attendance, but God was at work!
That same year Our Redeemer’s Church officially came into being with 16 charter members.
Later that year, the little group became aware that the Augustana Lutheran Church and parsonage in Minot were for sale for $39,000. That was too large an amount, but the group began to pray. God answered prayer in remarkable ways. Two families in the group borrowed $5000 each on their farms. One retired couple loaned the church $10,000 from their savings (interest free). $4000 came in smaller amounts from others in the group. They took the money they had and offered $27,000 for church and parsonage. The offer was accepted, and on January 1, 1959 Our Redeemer’s acquired its first building!
YOUNG PEOPLE HELPED BUILD THE CHURCH
Many of the original founders of the congregation were older, and they realized that if the church was going to become established and grow, younger individuals and families would need to be reached for Christ. God sent several college age young people to Minot to help with the work. These young people worked side by side with Pastor and Mrs. Helland (the founding pastor and his wife) in virtually every area of the work: canvassing, youth activities, choir, and Sunday school. They even helped baby-sit the two small Helland boys so their parents could go out on visitation.
Our Redeemer’s has always been open to creative ways in reaching people for Christ. The earliest example involved using a mobile Vacation Bible School! Because Our Redeemer’s had a passion for reaching the community for Christ, the church purchased two school buses. During the summer the church removed the seats from one of the buses. They turned it into a little chapel and put in some tables to sit around. Through this means the church brought Daily Vacation Bible school to the children. Through these contacts many children were reached, the Sunday school expanded, and the church began to grow.
GROWTH TAKES PLACE
Growing numbers led the church to sell their little white building in 1968 and make plans for new facilities. At first the congregation rented the Seventh Day Adventist building in Minot, but in 1970 the congregation broke ground for a new sanctuary seating 360 people. The new building was ready in 1971, and the congregation moved in. Growth continued. Soon 450 people were attending each Sunday and something needed to be done. In 1974 the congregation began construction on its present 600 seat facility, and on September 7, 1975 the building was ready. Although the parking lot was still unfinished, the church nevertheless hosted the singing group the Hawaiians. One thousand people attended!
A PASSION FOR CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
In 1976 the church turned its focus to education and began a kindergarten program. That in turn led to the opening of Our Redeemer’s Christian School in 1982 with fifteen students. To make a long story short, the school has continued to expand. In 1983 the Christian day school was expanded to a K-8 program and in 1995 a high school was added. In May of 2001 the church dedicated its new classroom/gymnasium building. Today there are some 300 students at Our Redeemer’s with many of them coming from other churches in the community. For that we thank God. It is simply our goal as a school to help Christian parents (whatever their denomination) to raise their children for Christ.