HISTORY OF GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
Grace Lutheran Church began with the first worship service being held in Grandma’s Daycare (the former Wesleyan Church) building at Fifth and Minnesota on October 5, 2003. The Grace Lutheran Church congregation started with all lay leadership. The first congregational meeting held on October 8, 2003 gave Grace Lutheran Church its name, and thus began the birth of our new church in Hayward.
Professor and Pastor Jim Burtness (Dolores) was very helpful in forming our new church.
Pastor Carl Buettemeier, White Bear Lake, MN called and offered his support and would come to preach often bringing along his wife, Jane and his guitar.
Pastor Larry Lystig (wife Carolyn) served as interim pastor until the call for a permanent pastor was accomplished. Pastor Lystig conducted his first worship service on March 20, 2005 and served until June 30, 2005.
Grace Lutheran Church formed as an independent church. The congregation voted on September 12, 2004 to affiliate with Augsburg Lutheran Church (ALC). Grace Lutheran Church withdrew its affiliation with ALC in October 2005 and joined Lutheran Churches in Missions for Christ (LCMC).
In November 2004, William (Butch) and Pat Johnson donated a 15 acre site on Greenwood Lane to Grace Lutheran Church. On Sunday, November 7, 2004 members of Grace Lutheran Church assembled at the newly-received property on Greenwood Lane for a thanksgiving worship service.
Karen Gustafson was hired on March 8, 2004 to fill the part-time Secretary/Volunteer Coordinator position. The Council on April 4, 2006 changed the office position title to Officer Manager/ Administrator. Karen filled this position for Grace for almost thirteen years.
Karen retired on December 16, 2016 with Amy Jorczak taking over the position.
Grace Lutheran Church’s first confirmation was held on May 1, 2005 with twelve confirmands being confirmed.
Tony Hopp was appointed Financial Secretary by the Council on April 4, 2006.
A letter of call was issued to Pastor Tony Stoutenburg for the position of Senior Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in 2005. Pastor Tony, his wife Pam and son Matt came from the state of Washington, where he was the pastor of two ELCA churches. Pastor Tony conducted his first services at Grace Lutheran Church on July 2nd and 3rd. He was installed on Sunday, July 17, 2005 and served until December 2018.
In the fall of 2005, Grace Lutheran Church moved to a larger worship home on Highway B.
A “Ground Breaking Celebration” was held on October 5, 2008 on the church property on Greenwood Lane, the future building site for Grace Lutheran Church.
Grace Lutheran Church was served by interim pastors while going through the Call process for a new pastor. Pastor Eric Hulstrand and Pastor Jordan Scott assisted our congregation during the interim of finding a new pastor.
A letter of call was issued to Pastor Stewart Carlson on November 10, 2019. Pastor Stew’s first service was Jan. 5, 2020, and he was installed on July 19, 2020. Pastor Stew was LCMC certified in 2008 and was pastor at Silver Bay, MN for seven years. He is originally from Lindstrom, MN. Due to an unexpected illness, Pastor Stew passed away on March 23, 2021.
Jeff Hogden started on March 27, 2021 as our supply pastor. The congregation voted on September 26, 2021 to extend an “Interim Letter of Call”. Jeff was ordained at Peace Lutheran Church in Balwin, WI on October 30, 2021 and installed at Grace Lutheran Church on November 14, 2021.
The Building and Grounds Committee on January 18, 2020 proposed building an Open Air Pavilion on to the west side of the church. The facility could be used for church functions, family gatherings and community support. Louisiana-Pacific (LP) gifted Grace the 4 X 8 primed/grooved panels for the Pavilion and most of the labor was done by congregation members. The Building and Grounds Committee completed the project in summer 2020. The Hayward Chamber of Commerce did a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 1, 2020.
The Building and Grounds Committee on January 12, 2021 discussed using our garage as a workshop for youth involvement for woodworking building projects. This venture would be tied to the work that Podge Turnbull is doing with the Christian Youth Organization, Cross Trail Outfitters. The Council approved funds for the Garage Project on March 16, 2021. The project will be completed by the end of February 2022.
An additional project, building a lean-to for storage on the north side of the church was approved by the Council on April 20, 2021. The project was completed in summer 2021.