Join us this Sunday @ 10 a.m.
12775 Northland Dr, Big Rapids
        CLICK HERE for directions

REDEEMER     LUTHERAN

ONE REDEEMER. REDEMPTION FOR ALL.

Our History

Upcoming Events

Sunday, Aug 20 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sunday, Aug 20 at 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday, Aug 20 at 11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
Monday, Aug 21 All Day
Our History

August 24, 1977 - Pastor Edwin Schmelzer of Remus informs the WELS District Mission Board of interested families living in the Big Rapids area.

November, 1977 - An exploratory meeting is held by Pastor Schmelzer in the stock room of Ilene Industries, Big Rapids.  A group of four families attends -- John & Janice Smith;  Dewain & Sharon Walz;  Alvah & Diane Lintemuth;  and Raymond & Virginia Robitaille.  

November 20, 1977 - The first WELS service is held in Big Rapids.  Services are on Sunday evenings at 7:30, with Sunday School at 6:30.  A corner of the Ilene Industries factory, owned by John Smith and Raymond Robataille, is transformed into a church.  An altar is donated from another church.  A small organ is donated.  The Remus and Broomfield WELS churches each donate old hymnals and folding chairs.  Dividers are purchased with donation money and initial offerings.  Through advertisements and word-of-mouth, each Sunday more and more people attend.  And by the grace of God, a church is started.

September, 1978 - A group of about 20-25 members gather to adopt a constitution for Redeemer Lutheran Church (RLC) of Big Rapids, Michigan.  Mission status is applied for the church, and granted by WELS.

July 15, 1979 - John Brenner is installed as the first resident pastor of RLC.

December 5, 1982 - Last service in the Ilene Industries building, which served as the RLC worship facility for over five years.  Land is purchased south of Big Rapids for $15,000.  The initial church building is erected on the land for about $123,000.

1984 - Church parsonage is built.

1985 - Pastor Brenner receives a call to Michigan Lutheran Seminary (MLS) in Saginaw.  RLC is served by tutors from MLS and vacancy pastor Cary Grant.

1987 - Pastor John Schroeder is assigned from WELS Seminary, and ordained/installed as RLC pastor.

November, 1989 - Pastor Schroeder receives a call to Olivia, Minnesota.  Pastor Michael Biedenbender of Faith Lutheran, Mount Pleasant serves as vacancy pastor.

1990 - Pastor Lloyd Schlomer is called, accepts, and is installed at RLC.

1995 - Pastor Schlomer is called to Moorhead, Minnesota.  Pastor Biedenbender again serves as vacancy pastor.

1995 - Pastor Biedenbender agrees to serve as remote pastor for RLC, while continuing to serve as pastor in Mount Pleasant.  RLC and Faith Lutheran agree to jointly call WELS Seminary vicars yearly, who will reside at the RLC parsonage.

1995-1996 - Vicar Dan Schmidt.

1996-1997 - Vicar John Ehlers.

1997-1998 - Vicar Michael Hartman.

1998-1999 - Vicar Ron Gusman.

1999-2000 - Vicar Paul Schulz.

August, 2000 - Ground-breaking is held for a new building addition.

2000-2001 - Vicar Wayne Haldorson.

2001-2002 - Vicar Pat Brown.

May, 2002 - A new sanctuary is built and dedicated.  The kitchen is also enlarged, and 3 Sunday School rooms added.

2002-2003 - Vicar John Meyer.

2003-2004 - Vicar James Hoogervorst.

September 7, 2003 - The RLC 25th Anniversary is celebrated, with Pastor Brenner delivering the message.

2004-2005 - Vicar Christopher Sand.

2005-2006 - Vicar Scott Bergemann.

2006-2007 - Vicar Seth Dorn.

2007-2008 - Vicar Kurt Hagen.

2008-2009 - Vicar Joel Kluender.

2009-2010 - Vicar Colin Rieke.

July, 2010 - RLC and Faith Lutheran celebrate Pastor Biendenbender's 25th year in the ministry.

2010-2011 - Vicar Luke Tembreull.

May, 2011 - Tim Denney is assigned from WELS Seminary to be pastor at RLC.

August, 2011 - Pastor Tim Denney is ordained and installed at RLC.

2014 - Church sanctuary is renovated with new pews, sound system, south exit doors, and window treatments.