|Our Savior Lutheran Church|
Our Savior Lutheran Church was organized February 8th, 1959 as a result of the mission work done by the Reverend Walter Frey. Oregon Elementary School became the first meeting place. The congregation had grown by 1960 and the new meeting place was a building at the corner of Ohio and 11th which had been a Baptist and later a Presbyterian church (now the Lowe's parking lot). Pastor Frey concluded his ministry here at the end of 1963.
In August of 1965, a worship service/picnic was held at Karr Canyon. In September the Child Care Center was operational in the old church and attendance averaged 10 children a day. In October 1965, on Reformation Sunday a ground breaking ceremony for OSLC was held on Washington Ave.
In May 1966 the Child Care Center closed for financial reasons. The Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls also began meeting at OSLC. Sunday School attendance was 112. Construction was completed on the church and parish building. We lost our long time organist Lou Ainsworth. She was replaced by Ruth Sorenson. In 1966, the present building complex of contemporary Scandinavian design was built while the Reverend Robert G. Harloff served as pastor. It consisted of two structures and 1999 brought the completion of the third structure.
The Reverend Emmett L. Schmitt became the congregation's third pastor. February 1969, a Tenth Anniversary pot luck was held. Summer evening services were held at 8 PM. Morning service was at 9 AM during the summer and 10:30 the rest of the year. An open air service/picnic was held in the mountains during the summer. In 1971, nursery facilities were provided for children during the service. Forty families were on a list for cleaning the church. Luther League (youth) did the yard work. In 1972, communion for the 6th graders was instituted.
In May 1972, Ken and Shirley Hutt donated the wrought iron Jesus figure on the front of the church. A professional custodian was hired on a trial basis. In 1973, Cheryl Sandenaw was our first young lady acolyte. Vacation Church School was held with Trinity Lutheran Church.
In February 1974, a 15th anniversary dinner was held with a carry-in supper and informal program. Only one service was held that year for Christmas Eve, at 7:30 PM. In June 1975, the men provided food for the church picnic held at Fireman's Park.
In November 1976, several security measures were discussed. A storage building was constructed and the window in the sacristy was eliminated and a steel door put on the room.
The Reverend Phillip S. Ramstad became the congregations's fourth pastor when the Reverend Schmitt retired in 1978. During the Reverend Ramstad's ministry the church added and paid for the church organ.
In September 1979 a dinner was planned to introduce to the congregation the 'Lutheran Book of Worship.' The youth were asked to take care of the luminaries on Christmas Eve.
On November 24th, 1985, the congregation burned the mortgage on the church building. Karen Hawley served as organist from 1986 through the summer of 1998.
In 1988, the Reverend Mark H. Braaten served our congregation as our fifth pastor. A second contemporary service was added due to the increased attendance at the 10:30 service. Tim Meyer served as the guitarist at this service until his move out of the area in 1997.
In 1995, the Reverend Michael R. Struck joined us as our sixth pastor. When Tim Meyer moved from the area, Pastor Mike played guitar during the early service for the first and last songs. The remaining songs were played on the piano by Gisela Coleman who also took over as organist in 1998 when Karen Hawley moved from the area.
In 1998 a gift of $50,000 was given to the church on grounds it be used to build the education building which was in the original plans. A pledge drive was undertaken, and the outstanding support by the congregation resulted in the start of construction of the new building in March of 1998. Bishop Bjornberg of the Rocky Mountain Synod attended our 40th anniversary celebration in February of 1999 and participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building. The building was completed in September and dedicated on the 18th as part of the opening ceremonies for the new education year.
In November, the two rooms at the back of the sanctuary were removed to make room for increased attendance. This work was completed in time for the Christmas Eve services. The new back room on the left side of the church was converted over to a cry room for families with young children with a large window placed in the front of the room.
In 2004 Diana Hamilton took over playing the organ and piano for the services. An electronic keyboard was purchased in 2006 with memorial money as an additional musical instrument for the contemporary service. It is also used at times for the traditional service.
In 2005 Pastor Bruce Freeman was called as our seventh and current pastor. The first and second services were swapped to be in line with current trends. The traditional service is now at 8:15 and the contemporary service is at 10:30.
In 2005 we expanded our outreach program by gifts for the hurricane victims and started a Helping Hands program to help those in need in our community. This Helping Hands program has been a continuing program.
In April of 2007 Beverly Kaply was hired as an assistant to Pastor Bruce. Peggy Fisher was placed in the position of Helping Hands coordinator with an office in the education building.
Thursday August 14, 2008 the church was broken into thru a window on the north side of the choir room. The offices were vandalized and a fire was set in the choir room. All 4 rooms in the back of the church were damaged. Worship services were held in the parish hall until repairs were made. The offices were moved to two unused rooms in the education building. We were able to move back to worship in the church building on November 9th. The back rooms were closed off with plastic for construction. We entered and left thru the front side doors. We started using the main entrance doors at the back on Christmas Eve while construction was progressing. The narthex was painted and tile laid and finished for worship on January 25, 2009. Just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration on February 8th.
In December of 2009 the congregation voted to remodel the kitchen. Some monies had already been collected for this project. Pledges were taken and plans were presented to the congregation for acceptance. The remodeling started in August. The remodeling was done in time for a council sponsored breakfast on September 12th, 2010. The kitchen was dedicated on October 16th with Bishop Bjornberg attending.
In December of 2010 a projector system was installed in the sanctuary. Two projectors were hung from the ceiling and two screens hung on the front wall. This equipment had been purchased with donations earlier in the year.
In January of 2011 we returned to one Sunday service due to a decline in attendance. A Saturday service was added on the first Saturday of each month. This was a contemporary service with a blend of word and visual presentations.
January of 2012 Pastor Bruce submitted paperwork ending his call as Pastor of Our Savior effective the end of February. Father Tom Arrowsmith-Lowe and Pastor Bill Stroud volunteered their services during the Lent season. Reverend Ron Brooker from Las Cruces bacame our interim pastor beginning April 27. He stayed in Alamogordo days as needed around the Sunday service every week. May 5th Pastor Rick Green from Roswell became our new interim pastor, again staying days needed around Sundays.