Some History of our Gloria Dei community
"Glory to God" (1961)
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church began in November 1960 and was one of the last missions to be undertaken by the former American Lutheran Church. Dedication of the church building (intended as the first unit of a someday larger structure) and the parsonage was on May 7, 1961. As yet there was no congregation. The first regular Service of Worship was held on May 14, 1961 and the first regular Sunday school session was held on June 4, 1961.
On September 30, 1961, Gloria Dei was officially organized under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Karl Holdfeld, then President of the Canadian segment of the American Lutheran Church. That day a constitution was adopted, a council was elected, and Rev. Russell Leke was called to serve as pastor.
On October 1, 1961, Rev. Lemke was installed as pastor. Forty confirmed members signed the roll that Sunday and twenty-six more were to sign before the Charter Membership Roll was closed in March of 1962. Of the sixty-six charter members, many had children, but the charter roll was signed only by the confirmed members.
Rev. Lemke served Gloria Dei until April 18, 1965. Rev. Richard Gilmore was installed as pastor on July 18, 1965. He served the congregations until July 16, 1967. Also in 1967, the congregation automatically became a member of the newly-formed Evangelical Lutheran Church with headquarters located in Saskatoon. Rev. George A. Strand, then-pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, served Gloria Dei as Interim Pastor from July 23, 1967 to April 30, 1968.
On May 5, 1968, Rev. Walter A. Lexvold was installed as pastor at Gloria Dei and served the congregation until August, 1973. During that time, Gloria Dei procured the use of Dieppe School for Sunday School classes on September 1, 1969. In 1970, our congregation became self-supporting and we had the first Men's Retreat at Luther Village. Our 10th Anniversary celebration took place on October 3, 1971.
On November 25, 1971, Rev. James Buenting was installed as pastor. During Pastor Buenting's time as pastor, the church council commissioned a study on the adequacy of the existing building. On December 1, 1974, a Building Committee was appointed. On April 1, 1976, our original debt was retired, and on August 18, the Gloria Dei congregation decided to begin immediately on the construction of the new church building. The contract was awarded to Gateway Construction Co Ltd and on September 3, excavation began. On May 8, 1977, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the dedication of our new Worship Centre, furnishing, George Stevens pipe organ (believed to have been manufactured around 1850) and Sunday school facilities took place.
Pastor Buenting served the congregation until April 25, 1982, and then Dr. Dale Berg served as interim pastor from May 1982 until 1984.
Congregation of the ELCIC (1984-2004)
On December 2, 1984, Rev. Rik Cherland was installed as pastor. During his time, Gloria Dei celebrated its 25th Anniversary - on September 28, 1986. Gloria Dei also became a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 1986, the year of inception of the ELCIC. Rev. Don Sjoberg was the first National Bishop of the ELCIC, and he and Trudy were members of Gloria Dei while they lived in Winnipeg.
Pastor Cherland served our congregations until July 2, 1989. Dr. Dale Berg again served as interim pastor until Rev. Glen Krentz was installed as pastor on September 10, 1989.
At the February 6, 2000 Annual Congregational Meeting, it was determined that Gloria Dei would move toward the purchase of a new pipe organ to replace the George Stevens pipe organ installed in 1977. The work of the appointed committee bore fruit and the new Casavant Frères Opus 3822 pipe organ was installed and dedicated on February 16, 2003. A concernt on the occasion of the pipe organ's dedication was held on April 27, 2003; this was the first of many concerts on Gloria Dei's new instrument!
Rev. Glen Krentz served Gloria Dei until June 30, 2002, the longest term of any pastor at Gloria Dei, to date. Rev. Leon Gilbertson then served as interim pastor from July 1, 2002, until the installation of Rev. Lanny Knutson, on May 1, 2004.
21st Century Church (2004-present)
In the Spring of 2004, stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary of Gloria Dei: the "Gloria Dei Window" on the north wall, and the "Grace Window" on the south wall.
Rev. Lanny Knutson retired on July 31, 2009. Rev. Theodore Chell then served as interim pastor from September 1, 2009, until the ordination and installation of Rev. Jennifer Marlor on August 6, 2010.
A Peace Pole, with "May Peace Prevail on Earth" as a message in several languages, was installed in 2011. Pastor Marlor served until the Spring of 2014.
Pastor David Lowe served as pastor until 2019. During Pastor Lowe's time, good use of the read-out board at the corner of Buckingham and Eldridge was made, inviting interest from the surrounding community, and addressing some current social issues.
On December 7, 2019, Rev. Tyler Gingrich was installed as pastor. Since March, 2020, Gloria Dei has been expanding its online presence, and reaching-out in new ways during the Covid-19 pandemic.