HISTORY OF FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH, SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO
The initial church service of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church was held on Sunday, May 4, 1952, at the Fraternal Hall, 415 Grand Ave. On August 11, 1953, 22 members voted to become charter members of the new congregation.
The first permanent pastor First Lutheran Church was the Reverend M. L. Wyneken. He started his ministry at First Lutheran on Sunday March 7, 1954. From 1929 to 1945, the Reverend lived in the jungles of the Nilamel District of India working among primitive hill tribes, among whom we now have 18 established missions. Rev. and Mrs. Wyneken, with the help of the congregation, built the church parsonage at 37 Lilac Lane. The house was dedicated on June 25, 1955. The cost to build the home was $15,000. This house still serves as the parsonage today.
The new congregation obtained land for erecting a new church building, located at Dolores and Willow Streets in Sunshine Gardens. The church was completed in the fall of 1955. The cost to build the church was $50,000. The church building was constructed almost entirely by the volunteer work of members and friends, and was dedicated in October of 1956.
In the years 1961 – 1962 First Lutheran members built a church school with volunteer labor from the congregation. The school opened in 1962 with Kenneth Huedephol as principal.
Pastor Wyncken was pastor at First Lutheran for fifteen years. The pastors following Pastor Wyncken as pastors of First Lutheran Church included Rev. Trenton Ferro, serving from 1969 – 1972, Rev. Eric Cash, 1972 – 1977, followed by Rev. Darrill Sandberg from 1978 – 1999. Pastor Jeffrey Schufreider has been pastor of First Lutheran since September, 2000.
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