May 20, 2019


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Church History

Resurrection Lutheran Church was started in 1996 by the ELCA and Pastor Ted Vanderpan, bringing a contemporary Lutheran worship option to Woodbury, Cottage Grove and the surrounding areas. The church was officially organized as a member of the ELCA in 1998.

In the early years of the church, members met for worship at Middleton Elementary School. Pastor Sara Vanderpan was called in 2000 to lead Youth and Family ministry. As the need for space increased, planning for a church building began. The current 13,000 square ft. building was constructed in 2003 and includes a 350 seat sanctuary, offices, nursery, and education space. The master plan for the 24 acre site includes additional phases which will allow for expanded main worship space and education areas.

The church building construction was the realization of a dream for Inez Oehlke from whom Resurrection purchased the land for the project. The first farmers settled the land 150 years ago, and the Oehlkes were the fourth owner of the property.  She and her late husband Glen had always wanted a Lutheran church to be built on that site. The Oehlke farm is the site for our summer outdoor worship.

Pastors Ted and Sara Vanderpan left Resurrection during the winter of 2009-10 and Reverend John Keller was called as the Lead Pastor from 2010-2015.  Pastor Paul Dean was called in February 2017 and is currently serving as our Pastor. Resurrection continues to add new ministries and small group opportunities to further our mission to call all people to a vibrant life of faith in Christ.



History of the ELCA

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed over 20 years ago. This new church was formed from three separate and well-established North American church bodies:


  • The American Lutheran Church
  • The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and
  • The Lutheran Church in America.

Beginning January 1, 1988, these churches, with shared beliefs and missions, officially formed the ELCA. Two decades later, this energized church is composed of 4.8 million members and nearly 10,500 congregations across the U.S. and Caribbean. Today, the ELCA reflects the rich and diverse heritage of the people it serves.


But to understand our heritage fully, one must trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.

Read about Lutheran Roots in America on the ELCA website >>


Go to our own What is the ELCA page >>