History

Messiah LogoA Short History of Messiah Lutheran Church

It was largely through the efforts of Reverend F. Nordstrom of Wasa Lutheran Church in Port Richmond and a small group of seventeen individuals living in the town of Annadale, that Messiah became a reality. From her small beginning, Messiah Lutheran Church has been a symbol of the eternal verities of God. She has made the word of God known to the souls of the weary of the noise and uproar of the big city and they have heard the still, small voice of calm speaking peace and courage to them. She has pointed them to the Savior who has delivered them from sin unto a new life of love and good works.

The first permanent site was purchased on Fabian Street. Ground breaking for the new church took place on January 20, 1924 by Rev. Nordstrom. The cornerstone was laid on May 4, 1924 and the church was dedicated on October 7, 1924. In seven years Pastor Nordstrom had realized his dream and seen the young church off to a strong beginning.

On February 2, 1928, a motion was made and passed that the church seek a more centrally located site for the new church. After much consideration, the congregation voted to purchase the property on which Messiah now stands.

Ground for the new church was broken on July 13, 1930, the cornerstone was laid November 2, 1930 and the church dedicated on December 6, 1931.

In July of 1945 our first parsonage was purchased.

From 1953-1959, service youth work reached new heights and Messiah first held two Sunday services, the new Service Book and the Hymnal was first used and a Memorial Fund was set up to provide means whereby persons could make a gift to the church in memory of a deceased loved one.

In the early 1960s an extended renovation project took place. The church was re-painted, and the apse behind the altar was also done. Radiator covers were installed, new and dramatic lighting fixtures were wired.

On January 3, 1964 following Pastor Erson’s resignation the previous year, Pastor John Heller came to Messiah to begin his pastorate. Also in 1964, Mr. Raymond Kvande, who had served as part-time Pastor since 1962, resigned to be ordained. Mr Phillip Erlander took his place and served as part time assistant for two years.

In 1972 a Leisure Time Ministry program for Senior Citizens of the Church and community was organized.  Another community-oriented program was established in 1972 with the beginning of the Messiah Nursery School.

In the late 1970s renovations on the church entrance and improvements in Messiah Center were completed. The Paul Kroon Center was dedicated on October 18, 1987 in memory of Pastor Paul Kroon who served as our shepherd (1977-1987).

In 1988 Pastor Squire began his stay at Messiah. Messiah’s involvement with the community continues with the sponsoring of such groups as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Leisure Time Ministry, AA, Al‑Anon, The Annadale Garden Club and more.  Messiah also continues to serve its own members with activities which include a Choir, Sunday School, W.E.L.C.A., Martha Mary Sewing, and Adult Bible Study.

From Fabian Street to Drumgoole Road East, from Nordstrom to Squire, from 1923 to the present the better part of a century have passed in the life of Messiah Lutheran Church. Many years of one life transcribed in the decisions of hundreds of singular lives. The faces, the names, the personalities that animate an idea, that carry a faith, that manifest each personal interpretation of one Theme – these make a church.

-excerpted from a 75th Anniversary speech Written by: Brett Meaney, 1998
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