Mid-1888, Elim Lutheran began in Hannah Lund’s Parlor, where a small group of Lutherans began meeting for informal worship services.
1889, Construction began on a white frame chapel and was completed in 1890. It seated 150 and cost $15,000.
Elim’s congregation was formally organized on December 8, 1889. Rev. F.A. Linder was Elim’s first pastor and served until the fall of 1891, when he was called to serve in Salt Lake City.
1893, Rev. Peter Peterson became Elim’s second Pastor.
1895 – 1903, During the transition between pastors, Sr. Hulda Hultquist assisted the congregation in worship duties.
1903, Rev. O.A. Elmquist became Elim’s third pastor. Soon, pews were installed in the chapel, and the pastor built a pulpit altar and altar rail, which remained in use until 1948 when the building was replaced.
1906, A Luther League group of 18 young adults was organized.
Pastor Elmquist also worked with congregations in Park City, Bingham Canyon and Rock Springs, WY. Other pastors would follow him and serve in these areas until the early 1940s.
June 1917, Rev. Arthur E. Olson became the fourth resident pastor.
June 1919, the Elim congregation adopted the English language for all church services.
August 1928, Rev. Roy B. Carlson began his ministry at Elim. The Great Depression made it very difficult for the congregation to survive, much less thrive, and the congregation’s membership never rose much above 50 persons.
1938, During Pastor Carlson’s 12-year ministry, the “Mr. and Mrs. Club” for younger married couples was started, and, in 1938, the congregation celebrated its 50th Golden Jubilee.
1940 – 1942, Elim was served by two capable seminary students, Neale Nelson and Carl Bergquist.
June 1942, at a time when Ogden was growing rapidly due to Wartime industries and defense installations, Rev. Frank A. Johnson came to serve Elim.
Summer 1944, Rev. L. Floyd Lewis accepted a joint call of the congregation and commission on American Missions to serve as pastor of Elim and surrounding defense area with specific duties at Hill Field, Sahara Village and Bushnell General Hospital in Brigham City.
November 1944, a three-point plan of action was approved and included: (1) an intensified program of evangelism to increase membership and improve stewardship, (2) an all-out effort to increase the building fund to $25,000 and hire an architect to prepare preliminary sketches and a prospectus, and (3) a plan for actual construction.
November, 1947, Ground-breaking ceremonies for the new church were held.
1948, The cornerstone for the new church was laid.
March 6, 1949, The first worship service with communion was held in the new sanctuary.
1950, Pastor Lewis accepted a call to Fontana, California. During Pastor Lewis’ tenure, church membership had increased 120% to nearly 300 members. A new organization for single women, the “Ailota Girls,” was established, and the Lutheran Brotherhood was revived.
November 1950, Pastor C. Stanton Peterson became Elim’s next pastor. During his ministry, many uncompleted details of the church were finished. After Pastor Peterson’s resignation, there was a vacancy for two years.
1955, Rev. Lowell Erickson became the new pastor and served Elim for just over 5 years.
1958, The congregation decided to purchase a new parsonage, and volunteers remodeled the old parsonage and converted the building into 6 classrooms named “Glen Hall,” in honor of the congregation’s only son to be killed in WWII.
1960, Pastor Erickson and his family accepted a call to Glendale, California. By this time, the congregation had grown to 485 baptized members (310 confirmed).
January 16, 1961, Rev. Leonard Dalberg became Elim’s 11th resident pastor.
1962, A fund-raising campaign was begun by the congregation for the enlargement of the sanctuary and the building of an educational/office wing.
1963, Ground for the expansion was broken, and the “renewed” Elim was dedicated on October 13, 1963, just 75 years and 3 days after the congregation’s first pastor began his work in Ogden. 1963 was a high-water mark for Elim in several ways. It celebrated its “Diamond Jubilee” anniversary, completed the expansion program, and reached 800 baptized members and 450 confirmed members. It also started Elim’s first year as part of the new “Lutheran Church in America,” which grew out of the merger of four large Lutheran synods.
1967, Rev. Lyle Paulsen was called to serve Elim and began his ministry in November of that year.
1969, Elim’s social hall was remodeled and redecorated.
1973, Pastor Paulsen left Utah and moved to Tucson, AZ.
1984, Elim opened its doors for a neighborhood after school program for latchkey children, fittingly called “Oasis Program” and called Deaconess Karen McClendon to lead this ministry.
1988, Elim became part of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA. Later that year, Pastor Reenstjerna instituted several adult courses, including one that was particularly helpful to members who felt they needed to know more about comparisons between the Lutheran and Mormon faiths. He developed a curriculum called “Apologetics” that proved helpful in greatly lessening the minority complex that plagues so many non-Mormons in the land of “Zion.” In the summer of 1988, Pastor Reenstjerna was called to Sun Valley, California.
1989, Rev. Karl W. Kruse began his ministry at Elim. In the fall, as a way of celebrating Elim’s 100 years of ministry in Utah, the congregation donated $5,000 as a gift to Grace Lutheran Church.
1995, Pastor Kruse was invited by the ELCA to lead Alternative Worship workshops at the ELCA Global Mission Event in Fort Collins, CO.
2000, Pastor Kruse extended Elim’s ministry by becoming involved internationally in the leading and teaching of prayer and prayer ministries.
2002, At the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly in Salt Lake City, Pastor Kruse’s wife, Nancy, was elected to serve on the Synod’s Congregational Ministries Board. She also served as the Executive Director of Community of Churches in Utah.
2003, Ginny Roberts was commissioned as Elim’s second Minister of Prayer.
October 2005, Pastor Kruse accepted a call as Associate Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Again without a pastor, the lay members of Elim stepped up to keep the church going, especially Congregation President Rick Givens. Several supply pastors took turns in the pulpit, notably Pastor Robert Tyce. Other pastors who led Sunday worship during the hiatus were Pastor Duane Adams, Pastor Bill Heersink, and Pastor Steve Ingram. Lay members who preached included Rick Givens, Mary Givens, Ginny Roberts, Louise Cole, and Dave Thomas.
January 2007, The Lord provided a new opportunity for Elim’s need for a pastor, and Rev. DanaLee Ommen’s first Sunday at Elim was March 25, 2007. Pastor Ommen (later, Simon) brought a new emphasis on involving lay members in leading the worship service.
February 2016, Pastor Simon resigned her call to begin a Certified Spiritual Director Program, and the congregation began the search for a resident pastor.
February 2016, During the ensuing search, Rev. Gordon Young became the primary supply pastor for the congregation.
November 2016, Rev. Bruce Kolasch accepted the call to become Elim’s pastor; he was formally installed in December.
Elim Lutheran Church
Pastor: Bruce Kolasch
President: Rick Widner
Sunday School: 9 a.m
Worship: 10 a.m
575 23rd Street
Ogden, UT 84401-1539