Hope Free Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in February of 1967, and the decision was made to affiliate with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations headquartered in suburban Minneapolis, MN. It was the desire of the founding members to have a church that held to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture and one that was free from the pressures of a synodical relationship.
Rev. Albert Hautamaki was called as the first pastor of Hope Free, and he began serving in June of 1967. Also in that year, a beautiful, 8-acre parcel of land was obtained for the construction of a church building, and the congregation was worshiping in their new building by January of 1968. Since then, a large garage has been added, as well as a beautiful, spacious parsonage.
In addition to Pastor Hautamaki, Pastors Ernest Langness, Paul Nash, Harvey Jackson, Merle Knutson, Michael Burke and Micah Hjermstad have all served at Hope Free. In August of 2016, Pastor Dave Ryerson became the 8th pastor of Hope Free and is currently serving there today.
As we move forward, Hope Free Evangelical Lutheran Church continues by faith to put into practice Christ’s words in the Great Commission from Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”