St. John Lutheran Church (Nelson, British Columbia)

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St. John Lutheran Church (Nelson, British Columbia)

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The interior area of British Columbia was first opened to missionaries of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod before 1910. In that year the Rev. Rehwinkel was stationed at Pincher Creek in Alberta and served the southern part of that province and BC covering a two hundred mile circuit. Several Lutheran families lived in various locations and received occasional visits from Rehwinkel and pastors out of Vancouver. By 1920 there was enough work for a resident pastor in the Nelson Parish (1921-1930) and Pastor C. Jungemann was sent by the Alberta-British Columbia District. He was followed by Rev.Fred Korbitz who resided in Creston and then in 1923 by Rev. Carl Janzow who remained in the area until 1935. Rev. Janzow was full of energy and missionary zeal and was responsible for giving many interior congregations their start. The Nelson congregation was organized in 1926 when their constitution was written (translated into English in 1928). They built their first church in 1927 and dedicated it in 1928. The Ladies Aid and Walther League began in 1927 in the congregation as well. Rev. Janzow started a Christian Day School in the basement of the new church that same year and it operated until 1936. The school was always subsidized because of low numbers. The Second World War years were hard on the congregation and membership declined to the point that in 1944 the congregation in Castlegar was added to the Parish. The years subsequent to the war saw a modest growth in the congregation although a number of pastors came and went until the mid fifties when Pastor Carl Hennig remained for over twelve years. During his time renovations were carried out in the church and growth occurred. However, after his departure in 1967 a rift developed in the congregation and in 1968 a large number of the members were released to join the ELCC. In 1970 the congregation called Rev. Robert Nabor in a shared ministry with Castlegar. The congregation joined the newly formed Lutheran Church-Canada in 1988.

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