The St. Louis Park Evangelical Free Church started when a three-man committee from the North Central District surveyed the area and located a site for the church, at 6805 Minnetonka Blvd. at Hampshire. In July 1944, services were held in a large canvas tent on the site. During the winter, services were held in parishoners’ homes. In May 1945, Lester Nelson was recruited to serve as the first pastor of the yet small group, a post he would fill for 12 years. That summer, a tent was again used, with a trailer installed to act as an office. Come winter, the group moved into the basement of the Curtis Norbergs at 2900 Edgewood Ave. Meanwhile, the beginnings of the church were being built, and on March 24, 1946 the first public worship service was held in the basement chapel. The congregation held its first business meeting with 18 members on October 17, 1946. The parsonage, at Minnetonka Blvd. and Idaho, was dedicated on June 13, 1948.

Construction of the superstructure over the basement was begun in the spring of 1950, and the cornerstone was laid on June 25. The congregation incorporated in December. The first service in the yet unfinished structure was held on December 22. The structure was completed and dedicated on May 22, 1951, seating 250. In 1953, an extension was built to the south side of the basement to accommodate a scout program. The church continued to purchase and build on adjacent property. Ground was broken for a new addition on April 30, 1961. A new addition (south foyer, classrooms, and elevator) was dedicated on March 27, 1988.

A complete history of the church is available from “Fiftieth Anniversary of the St. Louis Park Evangelical Free Church: 1946-1996.”


The church’s Web site is www.slpfree.org.