Our Church History
Redeemer congregation was started as a mission project under the auspices of the Mission Board of the Colorado District (now the Rocky Mountain District) of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and St. John’s Lutheran Church, Salt Lake City, and was financed by the Church Extension Fund of the Colorado District.
In 1948, the residence at 1885 E. Hillcrest Ave. was purchased. Rev. H. Klein of St. Mark’s, Provo, and Rev. R. Schulz of St. John’s began to conduct worship services in the residence.
On December 4, 1949, Rev. Robert Hoyer was installed as the first resident pastor of Redeemer.
Easter Sunday, April 9, 1950, forty-two adults were taken into communicant membership, and Redeemer congregation was organized as an official member of the Colorado District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
The present Redeemer chapel was dedicated March 8, 1953.
In 1954, Rev. Hoyer received and accepted a call to become editor of Adult Bible study materials for the Lutheran Church. Rev. J. Hennig of Christ Lutheran, Murray, served as vacancy pastor until the Rev. Kenneth Heinitz was installed as pastor of Redeemer on September 16, 1954. He served until he accepted a call to teach at Concordia College, River Forest, Ill. in 1957.
The Rev. George Bruening accepted the call to serve Redeemer in 1958 and led the congregation to construct it’s first educational wing. The building was dedicated on April 20, 1959. Pastor Bruening accepted a call in August 1960, and the Rev. William Gieck accepted the call to serve Redeemer and was installed in November 1960. In 1961 another portion of the educational wing was dedicated and with the encouragement of Pastor Gieck Redeemer started the Christian day school. Miss Jeanine Lange was contracted to teach grades 1 and 2 the first year. Mr. Harold Ebke was called in 1962 as principal and teacher of grades 4-6 and his wife Lori was contracted to teach grades 1-3. Mr. Ebke served until 1976.
Pastor William Gieck accepted a call to California in October 1963. The congregation then extended a call to the Rev. Clayton Hammell who accepted and was installed in April 1964. The congregation, day school, and Sunday school grew in numbers during the 60’s. Pastor Hammell continued to serve Redeemer until his retirement in 1977.
The decade of the 70’s was a period of transition for Redeemer. Due to the economy at the time families began moving away from Utah thus a decline in church membership and attendance as well as low enrollment in the school. In 1976 a new principal, Mr. Richard Weniger, was called to serve the day school. With Pastor Hammell’s retirement in 1977, the Rev. David Fischer was called to serve as pastor and was installed September 1977.
Under Mr. Weniger’s leadership the school enrollment reached it’s maximum of 115 by the early 1980’s. Mr. Weniger accepted a call to Oregon in 1986. Mr. Rodney Mara was called and installed as principal in 1986. With encouragement from Pastor Fischer the congregation expanded the school facility and six new classrooms were dedicated in 1987. It can now house an enrollment of 220 students.
Mr. Mara accepted a call to California in 1989. The day school has continued to produce excellent Lutheran education under principals Mr. Greg Harman 1989-1997, Mr. Mark Angell 1997-2002, Mr. Dahl Duffin 2002-2003, Mr. Herman Lawson 2003-2006, Mr. Glenn Brietling, 2006-2007, Mrs. Linda Tatomer 2007-2010, Mr. Al Baake 2010-2011, Mrs. Melody Barenbrugge 2012-2018, and currently Dr. Joni Davis since July 2018.
Pastor Fischer served Redeemer through June of 2017, continuing to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the people of Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities. Pastor Kevin Belter was ordained here on July 2, 2017 and is currently serving as our pastor and an instructor in our school.
The Lord has blessed Redeemer Lutheran Church and School over the years with a caring congregation, concerned staff members, committed parents, and loving children. Our prayer is that He will continue to bless Redeemer Lutheran Church and School in the future.
ALL GLORY TO GOD!