Swedish Evangelical Free Church, 1900

Our history began with a vision over a century ago, when a group of Swedish families gathered in a home in Lanse to worship their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord blessed their faithfulness, and they soon erected the Swedish Free Church in the town. God blessed them and gave yet another vision. So, in 1933, they pulled down the walls of the church and erected a new building. From the late 1940’s until 1966, the church was pastored by several young student ministers, and for the first time, the English language was spoken in the services.

Swedish Free Church Sunday School class, 1932

In 1966, however, the congregation had diminished. Many had moved away and most of those dedicated Christians who had founded the church were home with their Lord. To the seven faithful members left in the church, the future looked bleak. Again, however, they looked to their Lord, and He gave yet another vision. The seven members called a full-time pastor, Rev. Robert Ritchie, to the church, and for the next four years the Lord began to grow the church both numerically and spiritually.

Golden Jubilee Celebration, 1942

In 1970, Pastor Jack Kelly accepted a call to come here, and two years later, the Lord touched the hearts of these people with a new vision. They ventured out again in faith to expand their facilities. By 1974, the Lord gave yet another vision–a burden for people, not just programs and buildings–for those in our area who needed to be introduced to the Savior. That vision continues today. As the church grew, the congregation began plans to relocate. The new church (our fourth and present facility) was erected and dedicated on November 20, 1977.

In 1998, Pastor Matt Mitchell and his family joined us here to serve as our pastor to guide, lead, and equip us to further the kingdom of Christ.

The Ark Park, a delightful playground for church and community children, was dedicated on August 27, 2000. We went online with www.lansefree.org in April of 2001.

For over 120 years, God has been faithful to Lanse Free Church, so we are excited to look to the future to see what He has in store!

History Compiled by Vera Edgren, Sue Swisher, and Pastor Matt