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 Mission Statement
“Saved by
  Grace to Serve”
 We are called:
To Welcome All,
To be a Family of God,
and,
To Spread the Word of Christ.

HISTORY OF RIVERSIDE LUTHERAN CHURCH

 

The birth of Riverside Lutheran Church was the dream of our first pastor, Reverend Carl Grindberg. While he was working in his late teenage years at the Milwaukee Round House in the Riverside area, he had visions of a Sunday school for Children of Lutheran faith within the Riverside community. As a young adult while working at Tolerton- Warfield Wholesale Grocery in Sioux City, Carl met his wife Olive and they were married on June 5, 1922. Two years into their marriage, God called Carl into the ministry and in 1930, Carl became an ordained minister.
 
Reverend & Mrs. Grindberg’s first parish was in Petersburg, Nebraska and following five years of mere survival through their faith in God during the depression and through adverse weather conditions they decided to return to Sioux City with their four children. Reverend Grindberg returned to work at Tolerton-Warfield Wholesale grocery and recognized his opportunity to fulfill his dream for the Riverside community.
 

In the Spring of 1936, a Lutheran Sunday School was being considered by the Lutheran Brotherhood and Reverend Carl Grindberg was serving as its Chairman. A survey was taken and First Lutheran Church, St. John Lutheran Church and Morningside Lutheran Church decided to sponsor the project with District approval. A property located at 2007 Nash Street in Riverside was purchased for $1,500 and remodeling was commenced under the direction of Sonwald Sorenson. The total cost to remodel was $1,997.85 bringing the total cost of the original church to $3,497.85. Gifts of cash, labor and materials were given by the 3 sponsoring Lutheran Churches and business firms.

The first Sunday School was started in September 1936 with a beginning enrollment of 32 children which increased in a few months to over 100 young children. On January 28, 1937, a group of women who were interested in the growth of the Riverside Lutheran Church met to discuss the organization of the Ladies Aid Society. A constitution was prepared at this time to accomplish this objective.

On April 18, 1937, a group of 400 people attended the cornerstone laying services for the church. The congregation was organized on May 18, 1937 with twenty four families as charter members. See listing of charter members.

On March 26, 1944, a mortgage burning ceremony was held and the property was then valued at $13,000. In September of 1951, three lots were purchased adjacent to the church and construction of a new parsonage was begun by Koetters and Welding Contractors. The new parsonage was dedicated on March 30, 1952 and Reverend and Mrs. Rolf Boe were the first to reside in the new housing facility.
 

In the Spring of 1952, the basement of the church was flooded and completely ruined. With the spiritual help of our Heavenly Father and financial assistance from other ELCA churches in our community, the congregation remodeled the basement with a new tile floor, paint and kitchen cabinets.

In January of 1959, it was decided to build the first portion of the new Riverside Lutheran Church located at 1817 Riverside Blvd. Sponsorship loans in the amount of $60,000 from St. Olaf Lutheran Church of Bode Iowa and $25,000 from Salem Lutheran Church of Roland Iowa made it possible to begin construction in June 1960. After the morning worship service on June 26, 1960, the congregation proceeded to the new church site for a service of dedication and breaking of ground for the actual construction of the new church home. When the first phase of the new church was completed a dedication service took place on January 29, 1961 with former Pastors Carl Grindberg, Rolf Boe and Louis Smith present. Dr. Hermann Siefkes, District President, delivered the Sermon and Rite of Dedication. On October 2, 1966, the service of cornerstone laying was held with pastor Carl Grindberg as guest speaker.

.In June 1971, it was decided to secure a loan in the amount of $75,000 from Security National Bank to begin construction of a new sanctuary. A ground breaking was scheduled for July 11, 1971 and included Reverend Paul Ofstedal walking a plow that was drawn by members of the congregation. Cornerstone laying took place October 10, 1971 and on May 21, 1972, the Dedication marked the 35th anniversary of the church.

On September 13, 1981, a Conn Classic organ was dedicated at the Sunday Worship Services. Mr. William Weinmann who was the current organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sioux City presented an evening concert.

In 1983, ten stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary under the direction of Intern Ruth Frost. These special windows were designed by Ruth and her friend Jackie Lund and were created by 22 congregational members with minimal training and experience. The windows are arranged thematically from left to right according to the seasons of the church calendar year. In pairs, the windows depict the seasons of Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. The left window in each pair depicts the Biblical event associated with those seasons and the right window depicts the contemporary experience of that event in the Christian community. Their beauty and message will be a lasting source of inspiration.