Pastor Olson is an ordained pastor in the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. He and his wife Carol live in Beaumont, AB.
This History of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren in Canada
The Church of the Lutheran Brethren in Canada (CLBC) had it’s beginning following a spiritual revival in Saskatchewan circa 1917- 1918. Pioneers with Scandinavian roots that had spent a short time in Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States, moved north to Canada to “claim their homestead,” virtually free land offered by the Canadian government to settlers.
Some of these new immigrants had experienced good fellowship within the new, fledgling Lutheran Brethren Synod in the United States. They had been instrumental in establishing Lutheran Brethren Congregations and had constructed church buildings while in the American Midwest.
The first Canadian Lutheran Brethren Church was built in Strongfield with local families and others from towns such as Loreburn, Elbow, Hawarden and Broderick. A church was later built in the Broderick area.
When the “dirty-thirties” came, life was hard in the southern part of the prairies, with minimal or no crops to harvest. A number of the founding families moved north to the Hagen, Saskatchewan area.
These pioneers were survivors, whose practical deep faith including prayer, daily carried them through the struggles of life. They had connections with the Inner Mission Society and the Norwegian bedehus, (prayer house) movement.
The CLBC currently has ten congregations, six in Alberta and four in Saskatchewan. The Alberta congregations are located in Beaumont (near Edmonton), Camrose, two in Calgary, Morrin and Okotoks. The Saskatchewan congregations are located in Birch Hills, Estevan as well as two in Saskatoon.
In addition to the ten member congregations, Saron Lutheran Church near Hagen, is served by the Lutheran Brethren Pastor from Birch Hills and Torquay Lutheran Church is served by the Estevan Pastors.
As mentioned above, like many other Canadian Synods and/or Denominational Bodies, the CLBC had its beginnings birthed out of events that occurred in the United States and before.
The organization of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren took place when five independent Lutheran congregations met in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in December of 1900 to form a new synod. They were not splitting from another synod or denomination, but were eager to join together for purposes of a shared Christian mission. Mission, both at home and abroad, would be at the heart of this new network of congregations. This central focus on evangelism and personal discipleship, so important in 1900, is just as important to the CLB today.
As the congregations of the CLB strengthened their focus a burden for Christian education and world and home missions developed. Our Seminary, International Missions and Synod Support Staff are primarily located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Today there are six independent Lutheran Brethren Synods, namely those in Canada, Cameroon, Chad, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
Today, in this 21st century, the CLB maintains a strong focus on worldwide missions, reaching out to neighbours in our communities and, through a variety of mission commitments overseas, to neighbours in Cameroon, Chad, Japan and Taiwan, plus individuals in other countries.
Read more on the CLBC website: http://www.lbcanada.org