History of First Lutheran Church


(Extracted from the program for the "Fiftieth Anniversary of First Lutheran Church, 1908-1958")

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1905 - 1908  - organizing efforts by Pastor Matthias Harald KITTLESEN, in the Ellensburg, Denmark, and West Side areas.
1908 - 1928  - Professor A. MIKKELSEN was appointed Raadgivende Medlem (Spiritual Adviser Member) each year.  He was a retired Theological
               Seminary professor, who with his wife, made their home with their daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. John MUNSON of the
               Normal School.
1908, 16 May - Den Forste Lutherske Kirke (First Lutheran Church) was organized; services held in Norwegian.

Charter Members:  Mrs. Edward ANDERSON
                  Mr. and Mrs. Chris EIDAL
                  Mrs. Olaf HANSON
                  Mr. and Mrs. Hans JENSEN
                  Peter JENSEN
                  Mrs. Azora KAY
                  Alethe Leeland KAY
                  Pastor and Mrs. M. H. KITTLESEN
                  Mr. and Mrs. Nels KREGNESS
                  Marie Moe WINTHER
                  Mr. and Mrs. Swan SORENSON
                  Sigvald SVANSEN
                  Mr. and Mrs. Peter WOLD

1908, Fall   - Land purchased on Lot 1, Block 41, Shoudy's First Addition, Ellensburg.
1908, 10 Oct - Pastor KITTLESEN resigns; Rev. Mons Pedersen GJERDE of Seattle assists for a few months.
1908, 16 Dec - Congregation was incorporated.
1909, Jan    - Title and Warranty Deed secured.
1909, Apr 11 - Pastor Olav Ellingsen HAAHEIM assumes pastoral duties; family includes Mrs. HAAHEIM and children, Evelyn, Harold and Clara.
1909, May    - Church's constitution and by-laws were adopted.
1909, Dec 12 - Church building was dedicated by Pastor B. A. BORREVICK during a district convention in Ellensburg.
1911         - Pastor HAAHEIM started church work in North Yakima, Sunnyside and Prosser.
1912, Summer - First Religionskole (Summer Bible School); 6 children attended.
1914         - Pastor HAAHEIM leaves.
1914, Oct 11 - Pastor Gotfred M. AASHEIM assumes pastoral duties; family includes Mrs. AASHEIM.
1915         - Parsonage built.
1916, Jun 12 - Pastor AASHEIM leaves.
1916, Sept   - Pastor Gudbrand BLESSUM of Astoria, Oregon was called, but as his wife was seriously ill, the services were held only every 
               third Sunday from January 17 until May 17, when they were able to move to Ellensburg.  Pastor BLESSUM was a skilled and 
               creative woodworker who made the altar.
1924         - Pastor BLESSUM resigned to take the pastorate at Sylvana, Washington.
1924, Nov 2  - Pastor Claus Paulson GRAMBO assumes pastoral duties; family arrives with him.
1924         - Pastor GRAMBO changed services from all in Norwegian to part Norwegian and part English.
1927         - Language was discussed and changed to all English for all year except Christmas Day.
1927, Oct 27 - Pastor GRAMBO leaves.
1927, winter - Pastor Jonas L. BESTUL assumes pastoral duties; family includes Mrs. BESTUL.
1931, Apr    - Pastor BESTUL leaves.
1932, Apr 15 - Pastor Rudolph A. HANSEN assumes pastoral duties; family includes wife and son, Rudolph.  Mrs. HANSEN died during these years
               of ministry, and Pastor HANSEN married Miss Olive BRECKEN and later had a daughter, Ruth.
1941         - Pastor HANSEN resigned to accept a ministry in Erickson parish in Manitoba, Canada.
1942, July   - Pastor Luther O. STOMMEN, a June graduate of Augsburg Theological Seminary, was installed as pastor.
1948, Apr 26 - 40th Anniversary and rededication of remodeled and enlarged church.  Pastor R. A. HANSEN was at the time the only living
               former pastor, and was present for the rededication.  Three charter members were living at that time: Mrs. Marie Moe
               WINTHER of Portland, Oregon; Mrs. Marie JENSEN of Everett, Washington; and Mr. Chris EIDAL of Seattle, Washington.
1944, June 2 - Bachelor Pastor Luther O. STROMMEN married Miss Helen LARSON of Minneapolis.  Children Mary Ellen, Christine and Jeannine were
               born in the following years in Ellensburg.
1949, Apr 13 - Pastor STROMMEN resigned to accept a call to Rockford, Illinois.
1949, Sept   - Pastor Harry T. SORENSON assumed pastoral duties; family included wife, and later daughters Linda and Cherie.
1951         - Adjoining property was purchased to expand the church.
1952, May 14 - Church Constitution revised.
1953-1955    - Lower flower of the Sunday School building was rented to the Ellensburg School District for Kindergarten space.
1954, Sept   - Pastor SORENSON accepted call to Zion Lutheran in Minot, North Dakota.
1955, Jan    - Pastor Silas E. ERICKSON assumed pastoral duties; family included wife and daughter, Ruth.
1958         - 50th Anniversary; only living charter member was Mrs. Hans JENSEN of Everett, Washington.

First organized in July of 1909 and held in the Denmark and West Side areas by Pastor KITTLESEN.
Mrs. Swan SORENSEN was one of the faithful teachers, along with the pastors, during the early years.
By 1951 the Sunday School enrollment was at 220 children, 15 teachers and 27 assistants.
In the 1950's recognition was given to Mrs. Selma LUNSTRUM, Mrs. George BURTON, and Mrs. Agnes NORDQUIST for their devoted work.

The Kvindeforening (Ladies Aid) was organized May 6, 1909.  Its membership in 1910 was 20.  Frequently seen names in the early year records
are: Mrs. A. OLSON, Mrs. H. J. EILERTSON, Mrs. Chris EIDAL, Mrs. Anna ANDERSON, Mrs. Louis LARSON, Mrs. Morris SORENSON, Mrs. Selma LUNSTRUM,
Mrs. George BURTON, Mrs. Marie JENSEN, Mrs. Swan SORENSON, Mrs. Jack JENSON, Mrs. Chris NYGAARD, Mrs. Loy Rusch BOETCHER, Mrs. Ole NORDQUIST,

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