First Lutheran Church
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Fairfield, Iowa

Our History

 
First Lutheran Church was established in 1856, in the village of Fairfield, Iowa. It has the distinction of being the second congregation of its denomination, English Lutheran, to be established in the state of Iowa. Throughout its 155 year history, worship has always been conducted in the English language, making it unique in that right. We celebrated our 150th Anniversary in 2006 with a main celebration mid year and activities and visits from former members and pastors all year long. The church building has always stood on this location, this is the second building. The present building was finished and dedicated in 1927.
 
The past twenty-five years have seen monumental changes in the church at large as well as here at First Lutheran. In 1988 the Lutheran Church in America merged with the American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the E.L.C.A. This brought needed change throughout the church body and has been a blessing to us here at First Lutheran. In 1997 the E.L.C.A., at their Churchwide Assembly, voted to approve full communion with the Presbyterian Church, the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ. Members of First Lutheran have served as leaders in the Synod and the church at large over the years, and continue to serve on numerous committees and councils of the Iowa Synod.
 
On the local scene, this congregation, in cooperation with the neighboring Roman Catholic parish, established a forty-one unit senior citizen housing project called Calu. We spearheaded the establishment of the local food pantry, The Lord's Cupboard, which serves all those in Jefferson County who, for various reasons, need short term assistence with their food and necessities. We also participate and take an active roll in our community through various ecumenical activities. 
 
We continue to maintain and improve the church building and are proud to be 100% handicap accessible.
 
First Lutheran has been served by the following 23 Pastors;
 
Rev. Andrew Axline ……………………… 1856-1874
Rev. W.A. Sparr ……………….…………. 1874-1884
Rev. A.M. McMackin ………….………… 1884-1885
Rev. H.M. Lentz ………………….………. 1885-1891
Rev. C.M. Chatham ………….……………1891-1893
Rev. M.L. Melick ………………………… .1893-1898
Rev. W.J. Funkey ……...…………………. 1898-1904
Rev. W.L. Bright ………..………………... .1904-1910
Rev. W.A. Walgemuth……………………. 1910-1914
Rev. W.W. Barclay ……………………….. 1914-1916
Rev. H.A. Anspach ……………………….. 1916-1921
Rev. D.P. Blair ……………………………. 1922-1925
Rev. G.G. Parker…………………………... 1925-1930
Rev. W.F. Rex D.D ………………………... 1931-1938
Rev. E.A. Piper ...…………………………. 1939-1958
Rev. H.A. Kruger ………………………….. 1958-1962
Rev. Hoyt Whitebread …………….………. 1963-1971
Rev. Dean Berg …………………………… 1971-1975
Rev. Keith Lingwall ………………………... 1976-1987
Rev. John E. Meyer ……………..………….1987-1994
Rev. Peter G. Drever Jr. D.Min …………... 1994-1998
Rev. Marvin E. Robeck ………………….….2000-2009
Rev. Stacy Grau...........................................2011-2015