In 1952, Storm Lake was a community of 7,000 and had no Lutheran Church affiliated with the National Lutheran Council. The Iowa District of the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (UELC) was looking for a mission field. Pastor H. Irving Petersen, president of the Iowa District, met with a group of individuals in February 1952 to ascertain interest and after that meeting, "much calling was done to prospective members and the congregation began to take shape." The first worship service was held about six weeks later, the congregation was officially organized seven months later, and land for a church building was purchased within a year.
On "O Day" (Organization Day, September 21, 1952), 88 charter members were received into membership. By the congregation’s second anniversary and dedication of the First Unit (September 12, 1954), the membership had reached 200. At its 10-year anniversary (1962), membership totaled 453. At the 25 year anniversary (1977), membership totaled 878. At the 50 year anniversary (2002), membership was approximately 875.
We've had a long history of wonderful pastors...
|1952-1956||Carl F Schattauer, Jr.|
|1956-1957||Lyle Shaw (Interim)|
|1966-1967||Carl Wenger (Interim)|
|1981-1982||Paul Anderson (Intern)|
|1982-1983||Marcia Hall (Interim)|
|1983||Carroll Lang (Interim)|
|1983-1992||Dr. Victor Wenger|
|1988-1992||Mike Elias (Associate)|
|1992-1993||Eldon Person (Interim)|
|1994-1998||Kenneth Storck (Associate)|
|1998-1999||Victor Thasiah (Intern)|
|1999-2001||Connie Spitzack (Associate)|
|1999-2007||Mark Youngquist (Associate)|
|2000-2001||Ray Holmquist (Interim)|
|2014||Paul Bengston (Interim)|
A Building Committee was established in mid-August 1952, and in January 1953, just nine months after the first worship service, approximately six acres from the George Angier property were purchased. The Angier property was subdivided into nine residential lots. St. Mark Lutheran Church would be built on a lot measuring 220 by 320 feet; the remaining lots would be sold. In less than 10 months (October 1953), all eight lots were sold. When completed the First Unit would serve the congregation’s worship, educational, and fellowship needs until the sanctuary was built in 1967.
Building a parsonage became one of the congregation’s objectives in 1955. In 1993, it was renovated and served as the pastor’s residence until 2001. It was later removed to expand the parking lot. In 1991, the Koinonia Room (library) and Fellowship Hall were remodeled; and five Sunday School rooms and the pastoral offices were built.
Today, the church building is noted for its stained glass windows. Christ is the focal point of the sanctuary's north wall; symbols of our Christian faith fill the three other walls.
A complete history of the St. Mark congregation was written in 2002 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. Copies of Lift High the Cross and a detailed description of the stained glass windows can be found in the church library.