A Brief History Of Christ Lutheran
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church was born on September 15, 1957 after much discussion and consultation at the homes of Mr. & Mrs. Ben Johnson on Red River Road. Initially, services were held in Algonquin School about four blocks from the present site. The purpose of the congregation was to fulfill the great commission of our Lord described in Matthew 28:19 – 20, namely, to reach out with the good news of salvation by the grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Frank Maunula was the first called pastor and there were 24 founding communicant members. Vicar Floyd Dahl served prior to organization from September 1956 – July 1957.
Pastors Who Have Served Christ Lutheran
|Pastor Frank Maunula||August 1957 – October 1967|
|Pastor Clark Wilkie||December 1967 – April 1975|
|Pastor Don Tompkins||January 1976 – June 1977|
|Pastor Karl Sauer||June 1978 – June 1990|
|Pastor Paul Schallhorn||May 1991 – July 1998|
|Pastor Daniel Repo||October 1998 – April 2012|
Over two dozen individuals have served as president of the congregation beginning with Walter Miller up to our present chairman, Tim Wilkie. Christ Lutheran is administered by a Church Council and Board of Elders.
The Dorcas Ladies group has been very supportive in the mission of the congregation for over 50 years. In addition, the women participate in the International Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. Their first president was Lempi Johnson.
Sunday School and youth Confirmation programs have always been an important emphasis at Christ. Recent Christmas Musical productions have been a great hit. During the summers, Christ Lutheran has hosted the children of the neighborhood in a week long Vacation Bible School.
The congregation has a long history of youth ministry that involves the young people in Bible studies, worship services, recreational activities and trips to youth gatherings across Canada. Our latest initiative is the Young At Heart program which seeks to raise sufficient funds and pledges to support a part time youth worker.
With music being such an important part of worship, Christ Lutheran has three music ensembles: Crusaders adult choir, a contemporary style group, Bread of Life and the youth praise band, Lost and Found. Instrumentalists and vocalists are encouraged to use their talents to enhance services.
Christian education programs include Bible classes and both adult and youth confirmation classes.
|Ground Breaking for the Parish Hall of Christ Lutheran. Present are Paul Maunula, Wilf Dawson, Floyd Dahl, Allan Maunula and Pastor Frank Maunula.||First Council of Christ Lutheran
Front Row – Ben Johnson, Walter Miller
Back Row – Bill Sinnemaki, Toivo Viitanen, Arthur Aho
|Pastors Karl Sauer and Frank Maunula at the Mortgage Burning for Christ Lutheran Church.||Pastor Frank Maunula and Leonard Poho, President of the congregation, at the Cornerstone Laying for Christ Lutheran Church.|
The church and parsonage were constructed on 3.2 acres of land that was purchased from the City of Port Arthur in 1957. The parish hall was built in 1958 while the sanctuary and youth centre were built in 1962, followed by the parsonage in 1963. Portions of the property have been sold to Dawson apartments and to Lakehead Senior Citizen’s Apartments Inc. in 1981 and 1982. The Good Shepherd Village apartment complex is a cooperative venture with Christ Lutheran and neighboring Bethlehem Christian Reformed Churches. Lakehead Christian Senior Citizens Apartments (L.C.S.C.A.) manages the complex.
Members of the Christ Lutheran are actively involved in Aurora Lutheran Bible Camp, located on Warnica Lake, northwest of the city. The church also supports the Lutheran Community Care Centre, established in 1978, to provide holistic care for people with special needs. The LCCC is highly respected now as a referral agency and continues to run a pastoral care program, counseling, supported housing, a street ministry and other services.
From its inception, Christ Lutheran has provided support for ministry to Finnish speaking people of Thunder Bay area. Services continue to be offered periodically in that language by pastors from the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM).
As we give thanks for the Lord’s abundant blessings in the past we look forward with confidence in this new century. Our mission of “Living and Sharing the Good News of Christ” compels us to seek innovative methods of meeting the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of people. We believe each member has a unique talent to share for the benefit of the body of Christ. Some members have received special training at the Lutheran Enrichment School to equip them for congregational work. God continues to richly bless our music program with a Music Director and volunteers. Our latest project is the expansion of our Youth Ministry program. The redemptive love of Christ is the context in which lives are being changed as we gather around Word and Sacrament.