HOPE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH
Wendell and Charlotte Johnson had a strong desire for an Evangelical Free Church in
The group continued to meet for weekly Bible studies led by Pastors Dave Stevenson, Bob Lundberg, Dale Anderson, Carroll Peters, Earl Gunsolley and Ray Johnson taking turns.
George & Linnea Peterson opened their home to the group. Pastor Bob Lundberg said he would lead the Bible Study and Sunday morning services, while still serving as pastor at the Arthur EFC. Dr. Arnold T. Olson, EFCA President, came with Pastor Lundberg and brought the message in November 1977.
For the first 13 years, the congregation held their services in homes, the meeting room of the Farm Bureau building, and the upstairs of the Ben Franklin Store; and then one of the members purchased a two story building in the Bargloff’s Addition on the North side of
Pastor Michael Bailey began his ministry here as the first full time pastor in August, 1979, and served the church for the next three years. Rev. Don Trulson became the pastor in 1982. During his ministry, three and one half acres of land were purchased at corner of Highway 7 & Abner Bell Road, (2015 West Milwaukee Avenue) for the future home of the church. Ground breaking ceremonies were held March 4, 1990. Construction began on the new building with a sanctuary to seat 220, as well as facilitate a baptistry, fellowship hall, pastor’s study, secretary’s office, library, kitchen, nursery and Sunday School classrooms. The first service was held on September 16, 1990, and the building was dedicated to the Lord the weekend of November 17 & 18, 1990, with Dr. Thomas McDill, former president of the Evangelical Free Church of America as the guest speaker.
The history of the Center Grove EFC dates back to 1901 when the church was first organized as the Swedish Free Christian Church of
Pastor Bob Spilger began serving the Center Grove Evangelical Free Church in 1993 and was doing pulpit supply at the Storm Lake EFC during the time when the decision was made to merge the two congregations. It was on January 26, 1997, that the Center Grove Evangelical Free Church held their last church service at Center Grove. The following Sunday on February 1, 1997, the two congregations merged. A new Constitution and By-Laws were written and the church name was changed to Hope Evangelical Free Church. Pastor Bob Spilger continued his ministry here until May 30, 1999. The Center Grove property was sold and the proceeds from the sale were used to help pay the mortgage on Hope EFC building. The Center Grove church building was taken down in December 2003.
God’s blessing was on ministry at Hope EFC and by December 1999 the final payment was made on the $350,000.00 facility. The church family rejoiced in the blessing of the Lord at the mortgage burning celebration.
In 2002, the Hope EFC invited a Latino congregation “Sendero De Salvacion” to use our facilities for their services and to help them reach the Spanish speaking people who live in the
Pastor Martin Uppendahl, & Pastor John Aiken, served as interim Pastors from May 1999 through August 27, 2000.
Pastor Bob Brenner was called to serve the congregation in the fall of 1999 and he and wife Judy moved here to begin their ministry in February, 2000. But then God called Bob to his heavenly home just one week later. The church was again looking for a pastor and called Jim & Tammy Hofman to serve the congregation. His ministry began in the fall of 2000 and continued until November of 2005.
Pastor David Johnson married Judy Brenner on March 15, 2003, and they moved to
God has given us a wonderful facility and a nucleus of believers who love the Lord and desire to see His work go forward in