Historic country church on the prairie. Est. 1889

2014 –  125th Anniversary Celebration

West Prairie Lutheran Church was organized in 1889 by Reverand Ostby. The next year it joined with Forest City Lutheran and Linden Lutheran of rural Thompson, Iowa, to extend a call to Reverand C. S. Salveson.

When Reverand Salveson first began conducting services, they were held in the Hugeland school house located one mile north of the present cemetery. In 1891 the congregation decided to build their own church on the cemetery land which they owned. West Prairie church was completed in the fall of 1891 at a cost of approximately $3,000. Reverand Salveson served the parish until 1904 when he left to form an educational institution in Forest City, Iowa. This institution became Waldorf College.

West Prairie congregation separated from Forest City Lutheran. New arrangements were made to form a charge of the congregations of Linden, Bethany of Thompson, West Prairie and Buffalo Center. They called Pastor C. S. Halvorson. In 1911 Reverand Halvorson resigned from Buffalo Center but continued to serve West Prairie, Linden and Thompson until 1918.

Reverand J. J. Skarpness became pastor in 1922. The services were completely in Norwegian language and gradually were changed to English and in 1927 all morning services were in English. The basement was built in 1930, electricity installed in 1939 and the 50th anniversary celebrated in 1941. Reverand Skarpness retired in 1942 after 20 years of service to the congregations.

West Prairie joined with Our Saviors congregation in Leland to form the Leland Lutheran Parish. The parish purchased a house to be used as a parsonage. Services were held every Sunday morning in both churches. This was the beginning of the alternating early/late hour for services.

In 1950 the Luther League presented the congregation with a new Wurlitzer organ. In 1956 women were allowed to attend, speak and vote at the annual meeting. The Couples Club and Junior Choir were organized in 1957. The church observed its 70th anniversary in 1961. West Prairie became a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America January 1, 1988. Also that year the parish bought a new parsonage in Leland, Iowa. Centennial ceremonies were held for the West Prairie congregation in 1989. An addition of a fellowship hall, kitchen and new Sunday School rooms were built in 1999.

On September 30, 2012, the yoke between West Prairie and Our Saviors was broken by the ELCA and the Leland Lutheran Parish was dissolved.

On November 11, 2012, West Prairie held a second vote to adopt a resolution to leave the ELCA. The vote passed; 50 Yes, 7 No. West Prairie voted to join the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).