Historic country church on the prairie. Est. 1889

1889      Rev. Ostby organized the congregation as the West Prairie Norwegian United Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.

1890      West Prairie 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.

1890      Rev. C. S. Salveson served Forest City, Leland, West Prairie and Linden. In 1903 he founded Waldorf College. West Prairie numbered 100 persons in 1890. Articles of Incorporation were filed April 6, 1891. Rev. Salveson served until 1904. Interim N. C. Bruns served until October 1904.

1891      Church building was built in section 34 Newton Township, Winnebago County, Iowa. Cost to build the church was approx. $3,000.

1904      Rev. H. L. Urness served 2 years until December 1905

1906      During the summer of 1906 Rev. C. S. Halvorson of Mulsted, Alberta, Canada, served for 13 years. 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.

1911      Reverand Halvorson resigned from Buffalo Center but continued to serve West Prairie, Linden and Thompson until 1918.

1919      Rev. A. Andvik served 4 years until 1922. Interim Johanas Granskov.

1922      Rev. J. J. Skarpness served West Prairie, Thompson and Linden. He resigned July 1, 1942. Served Bethany Lutheran Thompson, West Prairie, Linden

1927      The services were completely in Norwegian language and gradually were changed to English and in 1927 all morning services were in English.

1930      The basement was built with funds from the women’s group.

1939      Electricity was installed at West Prairie.

1940      The basement was lined with wood panel.

1941      50th Anniversary celebrated. 350 people attended two meetings.

1942      West Prairie and Our Saviors formed 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.

1942      Rev. J. J. Skarpness resigned after 20 years of service. July 19, 1942, Rev. Arthur M. Feroe of Madison, MN, became pastor of West Prairie and Leland.

1946      Sunday, July 28, 1946, Rev. Arthur M. Feroe announced his resignation. He served a little over 4 years. He went to be associate pastor of United Lutheran Church Grand Forks, ND. He will work with Rev. Loyal E. Tallakson. A farewell party on September 22 preceded his farewell sermon on September 28.

1946      Sept – Oct, 1946 Interim pastor was a retired pastor, Rev. A. N. Brudvig of Scarville. His first sermon was October 6 at Our Saviors and Oct 13 at West Prairie. He served until March 8, 1947.

1946      Rev. Perry V. Sampson of Clifton, TX, accepted a call to Our Saviors and West Prairie.

1947      Will start the first part of March 1947. They have four children. He resigned Aug 31, 1951.

1950      Luther League presented the congregation with a new Wurlitzer organ.

1951      On Sept 1, 1951, interim Pastor T. H. Quanbeck, an instructor at Waldorf College, was hired. He served until June 15, 1952.

1952      On July 27, 1952, Rev. K. Bentley was called.

1956      Women were allowed to attend, speak and vote at the annual meeting.

1956      Rev. Bentley resigned.

1956      May 5, 1956, Rev. T.H. Quanbeck was hired as interim pastor until August 12, 1956.

1956      In the fall James O. Olsen, senior at Luther Seminary in St. Paul became our student pastor. He was ordained in the spring of 1957. On June 16, 1957, Rev. James O. Olsen was installed.

1957      Couples Club and Junior Choir was formed.

1959      Water system and two bathrooms installed at West Prairie.

1959      June, 1959, Pastor Olsen left.

1959      June, 1959, Alden Lerohl, student at Luther Theological Seminary became interim pastor until September 15, 1959.

1959      August 30, 1959, Rev. Robert Fitzgerald of Onawa was installed as pastor.

1959      New steps were installed at the front of the church.

1960      Sunbeam Choir was formed.

1961      October 8, 1961, the 70th Anniversary at West Prairie was celebrated with three services. 450 attended.

1964      June 14, 1964, John Dennis Olson became the first member of West Prairie to be ordained.

1967      March 1967, Pastor Fitzgerald left. He was pastor for 7 ½ years.

1967      Rev. Milo E. Lee of Renville, MN, was installed. His first sermon was in August 1967.

1971      October 10, 1971, the 80th Anniversary of West Prairie was celebrated. Pastor Lee resigned.

1977      July 31, 1977, Rev. David F. Johnson of Ridgeway Lutheran Church was hired as pastor.

1981      October 4, 1981, Rev. Allison Hanson of Coulter was installed. He retired and his son, Rev. Randy Hanson was hired as pastor.

1985      February 1, 1985, Rev. Randy Hanson of Sioux Falls, SD, was hired upon his father’s retirement.

1988      On January 1, 1988, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed. West Prairie became part of this group. The Leland Lutheran Parish bought a new parsonage in Leland, Iowa.

1989      Rev. Randy Hanson resigned.

1989      West Prairie was in the process of calling a new pastor at the time of the 100th Anniversary.

1991      Pastor Dan Christensen called as pastor.

1998     Established a Scholarship Fund to award a one time $500 scholarship to any member that successfully completes one semester or term of college.

1999      An addition of a fellowship hall, kitchen and new Sunday School rooms were built.

2002      Interim Pastor C. H. Baalson

2004      Pastor Jackie Swanson called as pastor.

2005      Interim pastors filled the pulpit from One In Christ Parish; Pastor Randy Baldwin, Pastor Dykstra and Pastor Bill Peters.

2007      Interim Pastor C. H. Baalson

2007      Pastor Timothy C. Miller called as pastor of Leland Lutheran Parish, Our Saviors and West Prairie.

2010      West Prairie purchased and shipped a church bell to the Tanidare Parish in Soweto, Namibia, in southwest Africa.

2012      March 4, 2012, a special congregational meeting was held to conduct a first vote on West Prairie Evangelical Lutheran Church’s affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). (The ELCA constitution requires two votes to pass before leaving the ELCA.) This is the resolution that was voted on: “BE IT RESOLVED, that West Prairie Evangelical Lutheran Church of Leland, Iowa, terminate its affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and affiliate with another Lutheran denomination.” There were 54 voting members present and the vote passed: Yes, change affiliation = 36; No, remain in the ELCA = 18.

2012      On September 30, 2012, the yoke between West Prairie and Our Saviors was broken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Leland Lutheran Parish was dissolved.

2012      November 11, 2012, West Prairie held a second vote to adopt the 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).

2012      Pulpit supply.

2013      In August, Pastor Steve Bang was called as pastor of West Prairie.

2014      Sunday, June 8, 2014. At 9:30 AM, we all shared a cup of egg coffee along with our favorite Norwegian goodies and other treats as we reminisced about West Prairie following church services! After everyone left the repaired funeral clapper was installed to its original location in the bell tower.

2014      Sunday, June 22, 2014, was the first church service with the new air conditioner for the sanctuary. Two new high efficiency furnaces were also installed to heat the sanctuary and old church basement area.

2014      August 31, West Prairie celebrates 125th Anniversary.