Our Story

How it all started...

"For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church has a long, rich history in the Stillaguamish Valley. In 1876, the first services were held by missionary Rev. Carlson, who arrived at Utsalady to journey into a town called Centerville, now known as Stanwood. In those first days children were baptized, the Lord's Supper was served, the congregation was organized, and a temporary constitution was adopted. It was the beginning of the Stillaguamish Norwegian Lutheran Church.  
In the early days, missionary pastors served a vast territory of congregations, living in one area but serving congregations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Many people moved from the Dakota Territory and Nebraska to settle in Centerville in the Washington Territory. With the population growth, soon a resident pastor was installed.  
The first church building property was located on the corner of 102nd Ave NW and 270th St. NW. Most of the work on the first church building was done by members of the congregation. This was the first Lutheran church building erected on the Pacific Coast.  The first services were held in the new church building on Sunday, October 12, 1879. Through the years much was accomplished toward the development of the church. The first Ladies Aid was organized, a pump organ was purchased along with a bell for the church steeple, and a choir was organized.
But in May of 1892, disaster struck. Stanwood experienced a major fire. A strong wind spread the fire from the hotel northward until 12 other buildings were burned, including the church. Congregation members were able to save the organ and pews. When the steeple collapsed, the bell fell to the ground but was not damaged. The original bell is still in our steeple and is rung every Sunday. The organ and pews that were saved are in the current church now as well.
N.P. Leque later wrote: Just when the church building was completely finished...it burned down. The church proper burned first. We saved the organ and pews. Many of us stood helpless and looked. The sidings of the tower burned off. We saw the bell hanging in its place. We wondered. Finally a corner post broke, the bell gave one toll and was thrown to the ground away from the fire and was found undamaged. It is still doing service in the new church.
The fire was a severe blow but the pioneers had been tested by hardships before and they did not give up. The congregation met in the hardware store until a new church location was decided. With gifts of land, money and labor, the church was built. This church building was dedicated on August 12, 1894, and is still used today.
Through the years many things have changed, and many have remained the same. The church name was changed from Stillaguamish Norwegian Lutheran Church to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church of Stanwood. We have Sunday services in English, no longer in Norwegian. Our sanctuary and altar have been renovated. Our church facade was changed as additions were made to our building.
We are grateful for the years the Lord has blessed Our Saviour's Lutheran. We look back with a sense of thanksgiving to God, and look forward to His continued blessings and guidance.
A full account of the history of OSLC is recorded in the booklet In Celebration of Our 135th Anniversary. This booklet is available in the church office.

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Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 8:30 am and 10:30 am.