For over 150 years, Vinje Lutheran Church has gathered to worship God and serve our community. Throughout these many years we have come to learn that the Church is not about buildings (we’ve had 4), pastors (we’ve had many), or any one ministry (again, we’ve engaged in a lot) but rather a community of faith that lives as the Body of Christ in all that we do.
As you can imagine, over the years there have been good days and bad days, but through it all we have experienced God with us and guiding our congregation.
Take a look at some of the things God has done with Vinje over the years.
A building renovation, Renewing God’s House, was completed: sanctuary floors and pews were refurbished, sound baffles were installed, gathering entry space was built, offices were relocated, bathrooms moved, and youth room and theater were reconfigured.
Loving Arms Childcare began as a ministry of Vinje.
Stained glass surrounding the sanctuary was dedicated. It was designed by Minneapolis artist William Saltzman and installed by Gaytee Studio. The windows are crafted of 2000 feet of hand blown antique glass from Germany and are a contemporary depiction of "the Spirit of God moved...".
St. Mark Hall, St. Luke Hall and St. John Hall were completed in 1966. Total cost of the building project was $1,100,000 including installing the 23 rank Reuter organ, fixtures, furniture and kitchen equipment.
On Palm Sunday, the final worship service took place in the Becker Avenue building. After worship the entire congregation in one group marched down 5th Street to Willmar Avenue to the new (current) church building located at 1101 Willmar Avenue SW. The sanctuary, St. Matthew Hall and the educational unit along the east side were completed first.
A unique building plan was accepted and ground broken for Vinje’s fourth (and current location).
Vinje Education Center was completed adjacent to the church at a cost of $140,000.
Vikor congregation voted unanimously to merge with Vinje.
The first English speaking services were introduced.
Vinje’s third church, along with a parsonage, was constructed on the corner of Becker Avenue and 5th Street SW at the cost of approximately $20,000.
May 30, 1875
Vinje congregation voted to join the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Church of America.
In an effort to have a more centrally located church building & parsonage, the second Vinje church building was built on the corner of Becker Avenue and 6th Street SE, near the current site of the Vinje Cemetery.
Vinje’s first building was built on the southeast shore of Swan Lake (where Eagle Creek Golf Course now resides). The church was built of logs and served as both church and school for five years.
September 17, 1867
Forty voting members organized the Vinje congregation. The name "Vinje" was chosen because many of the members had come from the Vinje Prektekald in Telemarken, Norway.
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