Photo courtesy of Georgia Mason
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Anton, Colorado
Celebrates 60th Anniversary
On November 8th, 2009 Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Anton, Colorado will celebrate
their 60th anniversary with a service at 10:00 AM followed by a potluck dinner. Everyone is invited to attend.
The church is located just east of Highway 63 on Highway 36.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church was organized in November, 1949, when Pastor Ted Pedersen of Trinity Lutheran in Akron invited several Lutheran families to meet at the Harrisburg schoolhouse. The congregation was first called Anton Lutheran Church and was affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMC). They brought hymnals from Akron and worshiped on Sunday evening at the Harrisburg School. Kerosene lamps and a gasoline lantern were used for light. One of the boys was pumping air into the lantern to try to make it burn and he said, “Let there be light!” At that moment it began to burn bright. Pastor Pedersen and the boys built the tables and benches for VBS.
After a time, the church purchased two acres of land and with donated labor built the present church building. It was dedicated in August, 1951. There were two outhouses and a cistern for the water supply and finally there was electricity. The junipers were planted around the church and watered by hand. In 1953, a house was purchased to move to the church property for a parsonage, but due to the drought had to be sold. In 1954, the congregation joined the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and worship was conducted by Pastor Teash of Otis. Services were in the afternoon until December that year when Pastor K. M. Ludvigsen began Sunday morning services. Early in 1955 the congregation started having a covered dish dinner once a month and the tradition still continues today.
From 1955 through 1959 there was a lot of dirt blowing. They cleaned the church on Sunday morning just before worship. A building addition was dedicated in 1958 when the entryway and restrooms were added and the outhouses were retired. In 1960, the name was changed to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
In 1963 after practice for the Christmas Program, a rug was left on the heat register. There was extensive damage to the church interior. The church had to be remodeled and insulation was added.
In 1988, Our Savior’s became a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Rocky Mountain Synod when the ALC and other Lutheran Church bodies merged. In1989, the church had a new saying after water pipes broke and flooded the basement: “The Lord has saved us through drought, fire AND flood.”
In 1996, the outside ramp built by Tom Rodwell made the sanctuary wheelchair accessible. In 2008, with the help of the Urban Servants Corp of Denver, the sanctuary was redecorated with new carpet and paint. Various pastors have served the congregation on Sundays and other special days.
Ted Pedersen (November, 1949 – May, 1954); Teash (May, 1954 – December, 1954); K. M. Ludvigsen (1954 – 1969); Phil Moeller (1969 – 1975); Stan Emerson (1975 – 1976).
Gary Halverson was installed as the first resident pastor on December 12, 1976 through generous grants from St. John’s Lutheran in Bird City, Kansas, St. Paul’s Lutheran in Otis, Colorado, St. John’s Lutheran in Yuma, Colorado, and the American Lutheran Church’s DMSA. Other pastors followed: Dennis Mueller (1982 – 1985); Craig Bock (1986 – 1989); Pastor Sally Ponfick (1989 – 2008). Pastor Teri Hermsmeyer from Boulder, Colorado is the current pastor.
Through the years, Our Savior’s has partnered in ministry with neighboring churches. We share joint Thanksgiving and Good Friday/Passover services with Bethel Union Church, Lindon Baptist Church, Last Chance Methodist Church, and Woodrow Baptist Church. In addition, we share ministry with Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Akron. The pastors provide vacation and emergency relief for each other. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us reach our 60th anniversary. God has blessed us and we continue to pray for his guidance. Our church’s mission is to seek, find and do God’s will together!
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