Gloria Dei started as a mission congregation in 1905 and was known as the Rice Lake Evangelical Lutheran Church. Many congregations grew out of this one including the Sandy Congregation who would later become Gloria Dei. The first Sandy Church was built in 1927, replacing the little cabin church across the road.
They were part of the National Evangelical Lutheran Church (NELC). In 1952 they called a fulltime Pastor who served Gilbert, Virginia, Sandy, Vermilion, Tower-Soudan and Waasa. A parsonage was built to house this Pastor on land donated by Willard and Elsie Esala on Highway 169 in Pike River Township. This is still the parsonage used today. It was dedicated on January 24, 1954.
There were two local Congregations - Sandy Congregation known as Immanuel and Vermilion known as Our Saviors. In May of 1957 Sandy chose the new name of Gloria Dei and the ground-breaking for the new church building was begun on land next to the parsonage. The first worship service was conducted on December 31, 1957 but the official dedication did not take place until June 1, 1958.
In 1959, Gloria Dei was honored to be the site for the annual convention of the NELC. It was at this convention that the NELC, with its 68 congregations and 10,400 members, was formally invited to join the Luitheran Church- Missouri Synod after thirty-five years of close ties and doctrinal agreement. The official merger, however, was not completed until 1963.
There have been many additions to the building over the years including new offices, bathrooms, sacristy, and an extension to the sanctuary. The altar was remodeled a little over ten years ago and new carpet, pew cushions, and flooring put down in the sanctuary and the Narthex.
The Lord has blessed this congregation for many, many years and we continue to have an active group of members. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"
The first service of Redeemer Lutheran Church was conducted by Rev. Erick Schmiege on 1/23/55 in the Hearding Auditorium in Aurora, Minnesota, with 24 people in attendance. The congregation was organized in the fall of 1955 and the Church Constitution was signed on 9/11/55.
Initially, a modern house trailer was used for worship, to house the vicar and also as a meeting place and classroom. Land was acquired from the village of Aurora and the Town of White in the spring of 1956 and building plans were begun. Our first resident pastor was ordained and installed on 7/1/56. The first service was held in the church basement Thanksgiving, 1957. The first service in the upstairs sanctuary was the 1957 Christmas Eve service and the official dedication of the church was on 9/21/58.
Changes to the community's population have had an impact on Redeemer Lutheran Church, as the demographics of the church reflect those of the community. But throughout all the changes, the unchanging God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, has remained unchanged and the Word of Salvation continues to be proclaimed in this congregation.
Redeemer has been truly blessed by our Lord over the years as we have witnessed many changes. He has blessed us with faithful "shepherds" preaching the true Word and claiming the saving grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We have continued worshipping in our building and been given the resources to meet all the needs over the years. We have benefitted from hearing the Word through the many Bible studies offered in the church and homes over the years.
Our addition was completed in 2012. It provides access for anyone needing the use on an elevator to reach our sanctuary on the upper level. The upper level provides additional room for seating for Bible classes and meetings. The lower level also provides room for additional seating for congregational gatherings.