American Lutheran Church (ELCA) is a community of faith trusting in a God who loves and accepts us for WHO we are and meets us WHERE we are. We are a community following Jesus, who embodies humility, vulnerability, compassion – love and service. We are a community living through the Holy Spirit, who empowers us with unique gifts to do the ministry to which we are called. American Lutheran Church, faithfully living, loving, and serving in God’s grace.
In 1946 a small group of faithful people sought to begin a Lutheran mission congregation in Ashland, Nebraska. The first worship service of American Lutheran Church was held in the local American Legion Hall on Sunday evening, September 19, 1946, with 37 people in attendance. Rev. Vernon Strempke was installed as the first pastor on December 8th. Beginning in December that year the new congregation began worshiping at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ashland.
1947 saw a number of firsts for the growing congregation. In January, the first Sunday School was organized with thirteen children present. The congregation organized and adopted a constitution, March 30, with 22 adults and 17 children as charter members. Formal signing of incorporation took place in June. The first communion service was held on April 6, and the first church council meeting was held on April 13th. Luther League, Women’s Aid, choir and Bible School all started in 1947 as well.
In the fall of 1949 a building committee was organized and land was purchased at 20th and Silver Street. In 1950 the congregation decided to build its own building where the current church now stands. The new building was dedicated on Sunday, February 25, 1951. At that time there were 62 members of the congregation.
The next 14 years saw the active congregation continue to grow. In August of 1966, plans were made to expand the church building and a note for construction was taken out, with members of the congregation agreeing to do the finishing work. Dedication of the addition was held on May 14, 1967.
In 1992, a pledge drive was started to build a new 240-seat sanctuary, 7 new Sunday school rooms, new offices, and an expanded narthex. The former sanctuary became the congregation’s new fellowship hall. The new church building was dedicated on August 28, 1994.
In 2009, American Lutheran Church endured the pain and loss of separation. Disagreement with the vision of the ELCA led to a group of members leaving the congregation. The Holy Spirit brought new life from despair, as those who remained in the congregation united and began participating in God’s mission with revitalized passion and purpose.
Today, American Lutheran Church is a growing, thriving community of faith, which is devoted to enriching the faith and lives of each person we encounter. ALC supports a variety of ministries including the Closet, the Kids’ Cupboard, Christian education, Vacation Bible School, music ministries, WELCA, and men’s ministry.
American Lutheran Church welcomes everyone to join in Living, Loving, and Serving in God’s Grace in worship, gatherings, and throughout our daily lives in our community.