Concordia Lutheran Church
1015 NE Orchard Drive, Pullman, WA 99163
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A Brief History of Concordia Lutheran Church
In June of 1953, the District assigned the Reverand Fred Bartling to start a new student mission in the Moscow/Pullman area. Reverand Bartling was a recent graduate from Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Worship services began in September of 1953. The small congregation worshipped in various places including the Compton Union Building at Washington State University, Moscow's Seventh Day Adventist Church, and an old house and the new parsonage at the present location. In October 1954, a Bible class and Sunday School were started with 14 pupils in the Sunday School. Also, in October, the women of the congregation, including student wives, organized the Chapel Guild. Later they joined the Lutheran Women's Missionary League.
The original plan was to establish a church in Moscow. With this in mind, the Bartlings initially lived in Moscow. In March 1953, the lot where the church is currently located was purchased for $19,000 from Mrs. Helen Compton, a former WSU president's wife. The groundbreaking ceremony for the church was in March 1955. The Church Constitution was signed April 15, 1955, with 21 families as Charter Members. Charter Members included present members Carl and Joy Schroeder, Agnes Kerkman, Elaine Acuff, and Bob and Carol Thornton. The Church was incorporated in Washington State on June 29, 1955. The new church was dedicated October 28, 1956, with a membership of 100 worshippers. Much of the building of the church and the parsonage was done by donated labor of the members and students.
The church was remodeled and the fellowship hall was added in 1978-80 and dedicated in October 1980. The cost of the remodeling and addition was $175,000. The congregation also celebrated its 25th anniversary at this time. The members and students again helped with the construction.
Concordia now has a communicant membership of more than 150. The Reverend Dudley E. Nolting is currently the pastor and has served in this position since August 1984. Other pastors during the past have been:
James A. Rimbach (5/73 to 6/83)
Historically, Concordia has had an active Campus Ministry program. In 1972, Concordia added an additional staff member, Marva Sedore, to better facilitate its campus ministry efforts. Following Marva's departure, Robert Luhring continued to enhance Concordia's ministry to students until the summer of 1988. Carolyn Grohn, a graduate student in Family Studies at WSU, served as Coordinator of Campus Ministry from 1988 to the summer of 1992. At that time, a member of Concordia, Ann Summerson, served the student population for one year. When her husband's graduate studies took them out of the area, Carol Sayles-Rydbom accepted the position as Coordinator of Campus Ministry and served in that role from August 1993 to 1997. Ann Summerson took over the position again starting in 1997.
Since 1953, this blended congregation of university students and residents from around the Palouse has been serving the Lord Jesus Christ. With God's help, "the mission of Concordia Lutheran Church is to give glory to the Triune God and to present His loving message of grace to each other, the community and the world." As the Spirit of God continues to bless our efforts, we look forward to grace through worship, growth through Christian education and encouragement through fellowship. We invite you to be a significant part of our present and our future!