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All Saints' Lutheran Church celebrates 50 years

All Saints Lutheran Church in Federal Way. - Courtesy photo
All Saints Lutheran Church in Federal Way.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

All Saints' Lutheran Church is hosting a series of special celebrations to commemorate its 50 years of Christian service to the Federal Way and South King County communities.

For most of those years, at its conspicuous location on the corner of South 272nd Street and Military Road South, All Saints' has served as the church home for thousands of Christian worshipers.

Although enormous growth and dramatic changes have taken place throughout our community, All Saints' has steadfastly endured. Most of us have no recollection that anything other than the All Saints' church has ever existed at this prominent location.

It was at the historic Steel Lake Grange where services were first conducted. Some old-timers may, with nostalgia, remember the old Grange Hall, which sat on the corner of South 288th Street and Military Road South (the present site of the Walgreen's drug store).

In 1966, the church home moved to a new but modest sanctuary that was built on the present site. Since that time there have been significant additions to the facility, culminating in the present larger and more modern sanctuary, which was dedicated in 1993.

The first event planned to celebrate this 50-year milestone is that of "remembrance" to be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 6.

Past and present members and former pastors will gather for special ceremonies followed by a luncheon hosted by the church. Retired Pastor Elvin Bjork, All Saints' first pastor, will be among those on hand.

As a young minister at the time, Pastor Bjork officially commissioned the church and presided over the newly formed parish for about six years.

During the "remembrance" celebration, the pastors and early members will share fond memories from their respective eras.  Some charter members will also be on hand, including several who have remained active at All Saints' ever since the beginning.

The second major event is that of "rejoicing" and will take place on Reformation Sunday, Oct. 28, which is a very special day for non-Catholic Christian denominations.

The Rev. Bishop Robert Hofstad will be featured as the honored guest and will deliver a special sermon on that day. After the worship service, a German potluck dinner will be provided in honor of the Reverend Martin Luther, who championed the beginnings of the Protestant movement on this special day nearly 500 years ago.

Finally, on Sunday, Dec. 2, the church will celebrate a "rededication." It was exactly on that day, 50 years ago, that All Saints' was officially commissioned under a charter of the Lutheran Churches of America. Following a Rededication Service by ASLC's Pastor Jan Otto, there will be a social gathering along with refreshments.

All members of the community, as well as past church members, are invited to take part in this special "once in a lifetime" series of events. Call the church at (253) 852-4884 for more information.

Pictured below: The first photo shows the church today, as viewed from the corner of South 272nd Street and Military Road South. The second photo, from the early 1960s, shows Steel Lake Grange Hall on South 288th Street, the church's first home. The site is now occupied by Walgreen's:

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