May 19, 2013
Come to the Who We Are section to find out what we're all about!
If you're curious about what a truly nurturing community of believers is like, then we welcome you to come visit us. First time visitors.
Lyndale Church is in a partnership with Salem Lutheran and First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, owning together and sharing space in Salem's beautiful limestone sanctuary at 610 W. 28th St. Lyndale and Salem moved in December 21, 2001. First Christian January 15, 2012. We'll rotate about every 3 months through the three different sanctuaries. Check here for pictures of the construction.
IN THE NEWS
Read what the Star Tribune is saying about us here
What is UCC?
Find out about the United Church of Christ and the history of this wonderful organization on our What is UCC page.
LYNDALE'S ONE HUNDRED YEARS (1984)
In 1883 the Congregational Home Missionary Society, through its State Superintendent, Rev. W.W. Montgomery, saw the district around Lyndale Avenue South and Lake Street to be an opportunity for a new Congregational Church, inasmuch as many of the newcomers in this rapidly growing community were Congregationalists from Eastern states, and the nearest churches of that denomination were Plymouth and Park Avenue.
The Society employed a Yale Theological Seminary student to make a survey of the district, and the time and location seemed ideal for a church. A portable chapel was erected on the northwest corner of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue and on May 18, 1884, 75 people attended the opening service; and on May 25, the Sunday School held its first session with an attendance of 50. A young minister from Ortonville, the Rev. Archibald Hadden, was called to guide the new venture, and his genius for making friends and winning people, shortly resulted in a crowded chapel and a doubled enrollment in the Sunday School. The Ladies' Aid was established on the first of July with a membership of 10.
On July 9, at a meeting held in the chapel, 31 names of those who proposed to organize a Congregational Church were read, the organization of the church was effected, constitution, covenant, and creed were adopted, the first officers were elected, and a call was extended to Mr. Hadden to become pastor. In the months following there was much enthusiasm, hard work and good fellowship. Mr. Hadden's delightful way won strangers and it is reported that “the women of the church called on newcomers almost as soon as furniture vans left their doors, and generally succeeded in gaining their interest and cooperation in the new church." Before the end of the first summer it was apparent that a larger building would soon be needed, so on September 5, a committee was appointed to plan a new church building, and another committee to provide for the incorporation of the church under the State law. The name "Lyndale Congregational Church" was at this time formally adopted. The first communion service was held on Sept. 14, 1884.
A lot was purchased on the corner of Aldrich Avenue and Lake Street; and after the laying of the foundation and floor, and raising framework, all the men of the church came to a boarding-up bee, and the women shared in the work by bringing well-laden lunch baskets for the hungry builders. On October 31, the first service was held in the new chapel, and on Nov. 2, the first Sunday service. The Ladies' Aid Society cleared $80.00 at its first church fair. Dec. 31 was the date of the first annual meeting, when 32 attended the supper, although it was 30 below zero, and "pies were thawed out on top of the coal stove."
During Mr. Kellar's ministry, a branch of Lyndale Sunday School was established in a vacant residence at 3403 Lyndale Avenue South, and was called South Lyndale, and proved to be a very successful project. Linden Hills and Lynnhurst Churches were started by the help of Lyndale Church. The ten years between 1899 and 1909, when Rev. Charles Emerson Burton was pastor, have been called "Golden Years, with the activity and efficiency of the church at a high level." The Sunday School facilities were enlarged, the gymnasium was added, and in 1907 a mortgage which had been a heavy burden on Lyndale was burned, and new and greater plans were made for the future. In October 1907, Rev. Frank T. Johnson came to assist the pastor, to help in the Sunday School, the gymnasium, and in the music program. This resulted in a large church attendance and increased membership.
In 1909, Mr. Burton went to Columbus, Ohio, to be with Dr. Washington Gladden, pastor of the First Congregational Church. He was succeeded in turn by Rev. Howard Murray Jones, Rev. F.W. Foote, and Rev. R.J. Goddard, each serving about two years. Under these pastors, the church continued its high level of achievement free from debt. $1,000 a year for all benevolences was the average maintained year after year.
Our present church building was completed at a cost of about $135,000 and was dedicated on Sunday, January 20, 1924. Members and friends gathered at the old church for a prayer by the pastor, and then, led by three charter members, formed a procession to the new church, where the warmth of the lovely sanctuary was very welcome on such a bitterly cold morning. The service was simple but impressive. The dedication took place in the afternoon, the sermon being given by Rev. Charles E. Burton. Lyndale seemed to be entering upon its greatest period of usefulness, but soon it became evident that all the pledges made toward the building expenses were not to be forthcoming. The debt was heavy, conditions were discouraging, and in the period of uncertainty and desire for change that followed, Mr. Bunger resigned.
Rev. Thomas Williams, a professor at Hamlin University, served as interim pastor until Rev. Charles T. Alexander came in November, 1926. Mr. Williams interested people in the Bible, and built up the spiritual life of Lyndale. Rev. George L. Waite came to the Church from Canada in Nov. 1929, bringing many new points of view. Both men realized that Lyndale was passing through a period of restlessness and a desire for readjustment. In the fall of 1932, Rev. Fred A. Stever of the First Congregational Church of Kankakee, Illinois, took up the work, and the church soon began to feel the benefits of his organizing ability. Due to tireless efforts and careful planning on the part of the Trustees, the Church's financial status was considerably improved. When Mr. Stever left in the fall of
1941, the first mortgage totaled only $18,500 and the second $5,000.
Rev. Chauncey Blossom, who came to Lyndale, from New Ulm in February 1942, did a great deal, in the short time he served, in restoring a fine spirit of unity and a belief that "the best days of Lyndale are not behind but ahead." His farewell sermon on May 16, 1943, "The Church Must Go Forward," was a wonderful appeal for loyalty and faith in the church. Mr. Blossom left Minnesota and went to Everett, Wash. because of a needed change in climate for his family. On Nov. 15, 1943, the Trustees purchased a fine home at 3038 Emerson Ave. South. The parsonage was dedicated on the afternoon of January 2, 1944.
The Rev. J. Kendrick Strong was called from the Mount Desert Larger Parish of Seal Harbor, Maine, and began his pastorate in October 1943. With our country in the midst of World War II, there were problems that had to be met. Due to the rationing of gasoline, the Rev. Strong rode his bicycle as he went about making Pastoral calls. Also during these times a program called "Shag-Town Canteen" was carried on at the church meeting and adjusting our program to the needs of the times and community.
In June 1944, the Church celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the church. The occasion was observed with special services and was attended by former members and pastors. On Sunday, March 2, 1947, the resignation of the Rev. Kendrick Strong was presented and was regretfully accepted by the congregation. A committee, representing the organizations of the church and the congregation, was duly elected and began work finding a new minister for Lyndale Church.
At a meeting of the congregation on June 16, 1947, the committee presented the name of the Rev. Owen C. Jones, of Scranton, Pa., and the motion was made to issue a call for the Rev. Jones to come as the Minister of Lyndale Church. In Sept. of 1947, the Rev. Jones came to Lyndale Church and began as Minister of the church. During the years of the ministry of Rev. Jones, the congregation grew in membership and a number of new programs and activities were begun. As families began to move from the church neighborhood, it was decided that it would be to an advantage to go to the Unified Sunday Program - namely, to have the Sunday Church School meeting at the same time as the
Morning Worship. Throughout these years, Lyndale Church united with Joyce Methodist Church for a number of cooperative programs. Also at this time, a definite Memorial Committee was organized and under their direction and through generous Memorial Gifts many very beautiful and useful gifts were added to the church. Such Memorial Gifts given then and through the present time have been, the Altar
Cross and Candelabra; the Organ Chimes; the Altar, Pulpit and Bible Markers Antependium in each of the liturgical colors; the new front sidewalk; the remodeling and furnishing of the Memorial Meeting Room; the Cathedral Light fixtures in the Sanctuary; new furniture in the Pastor's Study; the Amplifier and Speaker System; Carpeting throughout the Church; new Flags for the Sanctuary; as well as many more very beautiful and worthwhile gifts.
In Sept. 1958, the Rev. Jones resigned as Pastor of Lyndale Church and took up the work as Minister in Plymouth Congregational Church in Los Angeles, California. On Sunday, March 1, 1959 the Rev. O.H. Buchmueller, coming from the St. James United Church of Christ, Barnesville, Minn. began his work as the Minister of Lyndale Church. In the last week of March 1959, the Rev. and Mrs. Buchmueller and their daughters moved into the new parsonage, located at 4249 Dupont Ave. So.
On Nov. 1, 1959, the congregation celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the church. The Rev. Carl Hansen, Minnesota Conference Minister, was the speaker. In 1959, a special congregational meeting was called for the purpose of voting on the merger of the Congregational Christian and Evangelical and Reformed Church. By a majority vote, Lyndale Church voted in favor of this merger and became a part of the United Church of Christ.
Through the following years, some very interesting and challenging programs were carried on. The year 1965 marked the beginning of a program of having students from the United Theological Seminary serve a year of Internship at Lyndale Church. Over a period of five years, we had four students with us: Charles Leek, James Martin, Dan Schnabel (2 years), and Dennis Schaeffer. Also in 1965 we began a cooperative program with Lynnhurst in which numbers of activities and summer worship services were carried on unitedly. In 1970, it was decided that it would be to greater advantage to consider more neighborhood programs and Lyndale Church together with Joyce United Methodist Church began working in many united services and organizational activities. As a definite part of our united work with Joyce Church, in 1970, we were able to secure the service of Mrs. Lorraine Howard, a commissioned Deaconess in the Methodist Church. Mrs. Howard remained with us, working jointly in the two churches and the neighborhood until the Fall of 1976. A happy celebration was held on Sunday Feb. 16, 1969 when the congregation gathered to make the final payment on the church and parsonage mortgages. This event was made possible through a generous anonymous gift from a member of the church, and by a special offering that was taken for that purpose. Recognizing the importance of Missions as a part of the curriculum of our Sunday School, a great emphasis has been placed upon various Mission Projects. In response to this responsibility our children and young people, with the support of the congregation, have given over $10,000 in the last 15 years. The greatest amount of this money has gone to Fort Berthold Indian Mission Program centered around Bismarck, North Dakota, and the American Bible Society.
On September 16, 1979 Lyndale Church celebrated our 95th Anniversary, with a worship service and reception. The Guest Preacher was the Rev. Frank Pirazzini, Conference Minister of the Minnesota United Church of Christ. At the Annual Meeting in January of 1980 the Rev. Oscar Buchmueller announced he would retire after Easter. Rev. Buchmueller had been our pastor 21 years, longer than any previous pastor. A retirement party was held in his honor, with members and friends attending from far and wide.
With the retirement of Rev. Buchmueller questions were raised about the future ministry of Lyndale Church. A planning committee who worked with the Conference came to the conclusion a pastor should try to be found who could bring more young people into the Church. At this same time, the congregation had the privilege of being served as interim Pastor by the Rev. Harold King, former pastor of Wayzata Community Church. Dr. King's seven months were a time of building up the congregations spirits and affirming the worth of everyone, and the potential of Lyndale Church.
In December 1980, Don Portwood became our Pastor. Don moved to Minneapolis with his wife Barbara and their two sons, Matthew and Benjamin, from Barneveld, Wisconsin, where he had served four years. Just as 35 years earlier it seemed advantageous to move to a unified Sunday program
Of great help to the building and heat bill was the raising of $5000 by members and friends of the Church to repair windows and put storm windows on throughout the building. As the congregation began to look to 1984 and our 100th Anniversary, and as the continued deterioration of the building walls and stained glass windows accelerated, a committee was formed to begin to raise money for improvements and repairs. The 2nd Century Drive received pledges of nearly $50,000 from members and friends, toward the work of tuckpointing walls, and saving and protecting the beautiful stained glass windows. Though over $100,000 is needed to do the work, a start has been made.
As we headed into our centennial year, the issue of building use became a subject of debate and concern. The building had been receiving more use by various groups in the community as part of the Church's ministry to the community. In November of 1983 the congregation, after much negotiation and debate, voted to invite the Fuller Young People's Theatre to share space on 2nd floor, formerly used for Sunday School classes. In this 100th Anniversary year, Lyndale Church continues to struggle with how a small, but growing congregation, with a beautiful but costly building, can not only stay alive, but minister in new ways, to the glory of God. It has been a time of transition as new people have joined the Church, as changes have occurred, as conflicts have arisen. But conflict and change and struggle are nothing new to Lyndale Church, nor to the people of God. And so as we look back to 1884, and to all the years of people who have been a part of Lyndale Church, we give thanks to God. But we also look forward, as the 100th Anniversary Banner says, to our next 100 years. We go into our 2nd Century of ministry with hope and trust in a God who moves us forward, into a future that is a continuation of the exciting and challenging journey of faith and ministry Lyndale Church started 100 years ago. And we go with a growing awareness that God's Spirit not only leads us and draws us on, but goes with us.
Next 27 years coming