(Adapted with permission from an article in the Kimball, Minnesota newspaper)
Ascension Lutheran Church in Kimball has installed its first resident minister.
The congregation, which today has twenty-five members, was begun as a mission church at the Streich farm in Eden Valley in 1993. It is affiliated with the Church of the Lutheran Confession, a synod of the Lutheran church. Although there are several churches of that synod within Minnesota, the nearest one is at least 80 miles to the north or south of here.
At first the congregation met at North Junior High School in St. Cloud. When that location became unavailable, the congregation moved to Kimball, into the former D.A.C. building, which is now its permanent home.
Kimball is a geographically central location for Ascension’s members, who come from Avon, Eden Valley, St. Cloud, and further. Interestingly, none of the twenty-five members is from Kimball, something they’d like to see change soon.
In 1996 Ascension had its first Christmas program; there were three children in it. In 1999 it had its first Vacation Bible School. There were six children in the 2000 Christmas program.
Until recently the tiny church had a different pastor every week. Many were seminary students from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Other visiting pastors have come from as far away as Mankato.
Karl Neumann, a retired minister who had visited Ascension several times, became the church’s first resident minister. He and his wife recently relocated from Texas to Watkins.
Born in a suburb of Berlin in 1919, he came to the U.S. as a child just before Thanksgiving in 1923. Coming from post-World War I Germany, he was awestruck by the bounty in America.
Neumann attended Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm and graduated from Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin. He completed seminary at Thiensville in 1944, the same year he became a citizen and married his wife Lorraine.
Pastor Neumann has previously served (Wisconsin synod–ed.) congregations in Minnesota, South Dakota, Arizona, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Each Sunday Ascension holds worship service at 9:30 a.m., followed by Sunday School and Bible Class at 10:30. For more information you may call Pastor Neumann at (320) 764-2975. Visitors are always welcome!
Since its beginnings at the Reuben and Joan Streich farm in 1993, Ascension Lutheran has been under the auspices of Grace Lutheran Church of Fridley, whose pastors (Daniel Fleischer, John Ude) have until now coordinated the congregation’s ministry and on-going outreach efforts.
With regard to the April 29th installation service, Mrs. Streich passes along these interesting sidelights: “During the installation service we also had special music. The opening hymn was ‘Beautiful Savior,’ with Pam Streich on flute, Karen Marschel on clarinet, and Sue Nelson on the organ. The Sunday School children also sang.”
May the Lord richly bless the gospel ministry in this central Minnesota area!