Jesus Christ calls American Lutheran Church to nourish the world by faithfully sharing His gifts.
The establishment of American Lutheran Church (ALC) began in 1932 when Rev. Henry Mueller of Waterloo canvassed the area. His survey indicated there was sufficient interest in having a church in Jesup; however, plans to move forward with a church were delayed because of the depressed economic conditions of the time.
ALC was formally established in 1934. On the evening of July 3, 1934, a group of Lutherans consisting of the members of eight families and five adult individuals met in Colonial Hall (the present City Hall location) to formally organize the Church. This group totaled 39 in number. The congregation worshiped in the upper story of Colonial Hall until December 24, 1948 when the congregation moved to the new location, 552 Purdy Street, where the present church was built.
Since that time two additions have been added, the Parish Education addition in 1965 and the Accessibility addition in 2009.
We believe that God is Trinity-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- one God in three persons. This confusing yet holy mystery means that God is community, and God has created us to be community as well.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God-- a sacred story that helps us understand who God is and who we are as people of God.
We believe that God invites us to bring all of who we are to worship and Bible study, including our joys, our celebrations, our sadness, and our doubts.
We believe that God sends us out to be a part of God’s mission by sharing our gifts with the world-- our resources, our time, our stories.
We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). One of the foundational Lutheran beliefs is that we do not save ourselves, but instead God saves us because of God’s great love for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing-- it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8.
We are one of many congregations of the Northeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA, a group of Lutheran congregations in Northeastern Iowa that work together to share resources, to network in mission, education, and service opportunities, and to support one another in ministries in our area and beyond. We have companion relationships with churches in Hungary and in Namibia.
We join with the other congregations in the Jesup area to form the Jesup Ministerial Alliance, which works together to provide community worship services; summer lunch programs; funds for assistance with rent, food, and gas; Community Wide Vacation Bible School, and other programs.
Children are especially welcome in our worship services. We incorporate children into our worship service in a variety of ways. Every Sunday has a special children’s message, and the children dismiss us from worship each week. During the school year, the children take up a “noisy offering” of pocket change that is distributed to various mission projects beyond our doors. Children’s activity bags for use during worship are available on the usher’s stand. And if your children make some noise (as all children do from time to time), please know that we are still grateful for the presence of these beloved members of the body of Christ.
Our accessibility addition, added to the church building in 2009, includes a ramp outside the church and an elevator inside, so that the church building is accessible to all people, regardless of mobility issues.
Kristen is originally from Clinton, Iowa. She graduated from Luther College in 2004 with a degree in Psychology, and she graduated from Wartburg Seminary with her MDiv in 2011. She has been involved in various kinds of ministry throughout her life. She was on summer staff at Camp EWALU in Strawberry Point, IA, for seven summers. She played concerts at churches throughout the southeastern United States on a Captive Free Music Ministry team in 2004-2005. Prior to attending seminary, she worked as a preschool teacher's assistant for two years. After she graduated from seminary, she spent a year and a half working as a chaplain at the University of Iowa Hospital. Her first call was at Calvary Lutheran Church in Buffalo, IA. ALC is her second call.
Pastor Kristen loves music, knitting, reading, and spending time with her family. She is married to Charlie, and they have two children, Caroline and Erick.
Jessica Saunders has served as the secretary at American Lutheran Church since the summer of 2017 and can often be heard sharing special music at services. Saunders is also an adjunct professor of Voice at Kirkwood Community College and runs an active private voice studio in Jesup and Coralville, Iowa.
Shirley has served as the organist at American Lutheran for many years. She is busy substitute teaching, teaching piano, accompanying, and enjoying her eleven grandchildren. She is always looking for musicians who are willing to do Special Music, so please contact her if you are interested!