Redeemer Lutheran Church (Victoria, British Columbia)
|Redeemer Lutheran Church|
|Redeemer Lutheran Church|
Redeemer Lutheran Church is the church for the Lutheran parish of Langford, a community on the west shore of Victoria, British Columbia. The parish forms a part of the Alberta-British Columbia district of the Lutheran Church–Canada. The current pastor is Rev. Phillip Washeim, a graduate of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario; approximately 40 people usually attend Sunday services.
Early Years at Anglican Church
Led by Rev. C. Janzow, pastor of Victoria's Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Langford-Sidney Lutheran group held their first service on March 18, 1956. For the first three years, the group met two Sunday afternoons a month in facilities shared with them by St. Matthias Anglican Church in Langford.
In September 1957 the group formally organized under the name "Belmont Lutheran Church"; nine adult congregants ratified its constitution. On September 7, 1958, Rev. Janzow ordained Henry F. Behling, from Petoskey, Michigan, and a graduate of Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois, as Belmont’s first pastor. From 1958 till the end of 1964, when he left for a pastorate in Lakefield, Minnesota, Rev. Behling conducted weekly Sunday services.
Parish hall and church sanctuary
In December 1958, with the help of a church extension loan, the congregation acquired 2 hectares (5 acres) of land at the corner of Jacklin and Jenkins roads, across from Belmont Secondary School and the current Westshore Town Centre in Langford. Having hired an architectural firm for the design, the congregation held a ground-breaking ceremony on September 6, 1959, and construction began on a parish hall. The hall was sufficiently complete by December 24 of that same year that the congregation, now called Redeemer Lutheran Church, could hold a Christmas Eve service in the building; the finished parish hall was dedicated on March 15, 1960.
By 1963 the parish hall was deemed no longer adequate, and the congregation decided that, adjacent to the parish hall, they would need to build the church proper. Ground was broken on November 24, 1963, and the building was dedicated on May 10, 1964. With a declining congregation membership, the church met some of its needs for operating funds by gradually selling off portions of the original 2 hectares for residential building lots; by 2010 the church-owned property was reduced to 0.6 hectares (1.5 acres).
Church demolition and temporary location
Redeemer Lutheran has agreed to sell its remaining property at Jacklin and Jenkins roads to the Hayworth Living Group to construct a six-storey, 158-unit assisted living retirement home. That company has agreed to deed back a strata lot to an eventual two-storey church facility which they will build for the church within the envelope of the new $26-million building. On January 15, 2012, Redeemer Lutheran held a deconsecration service in the 1964 building, in the expectation that it would be demolished during the spring of that year. As of January 2013, however, demolition has not yet begun.
During the anticipated 18-month construction period until the new building receives its occupancy permit, the church congregation is meeting on the fourth floor of the Alexander Mackie Lodge at 753 Station Avenue in Langford. The church has placed its altar in storage but will reinstall it in the new building when construction is eventually completed.
Several pastors and vicars have served at Redeemer Lutheran over the years:
- 1958–1964: Henry Behling
- 1965 : C. Janzow/Les Carlson
- 1965–1966: Don Just
- 1967–1972: Fred Otke
- 1972–1973: Don Koch
- 1973–1985: Herman Bickel
- 1985–1987: Fred Otke/Robert Willie
- 1987–1991: Charles (Chuck) Cooley
- 1991–1992: Jeff Muchow/David Carnahan
- 1992–1997: Larry Gajdos
- 1997–1999: David Carnahan
- 1999–2000: Mark Beiderwieden/Mark Dressler
- 2000–2001: Mark Beiderwieden/ Matt Ziprick
- 2001–2002: Mark Beiderwieden/Alex Klages
- 2002– : Phillip Washeim
- Arnold Lim and Edward Hill, "Langford Lutheran church closed to make way for seniors complex", Goldstream News Gazette, February 2, 2012. Accessed 8 February 2012.
- Phillip Washeim, Redeemer Lutheran Church 50th Anniversary Service of Celebration, 5 August 2007.
- Redeemer Lutheran Church fonds, 1964-1990. Accessed 22 January 2012.