In 1929, on a small piece of land in the great vastness that was to become the Peace Region of British Columbia, a Lutheran church was built by a Pastor Peter Ellingson. This church building became the home of the Doe Creek Lutheran Congregation and is located in the area we now call North Rolla. The members of the congregation were primarily farmers, loggers and other pioneers who had brought their families to these northern wilds. Many were family of primarily Norwegian descent.
The building project began in the fall of 1937 and was finished in the fall of 1938. The first services held in the new church were a wedding on Saturday October 29, 1938, and then the next day, Sunday October 30, 1938, there was a baptism. What a wonderful way to start of the life of a new church building!
During his time at the Doe Creek Lutheran Congregation, Pastor Peter Ellingson also traveled to other areas of the Peace River to serve as pastor often serving Dawson Creek, North Rolla, Fort St. John and Montney. The tales say that in winter he would set out on cross country skis to get from one ministry to the next and then, eventually back home.
During this time, members were still meeting to worship at the Doe Creek Lutheran Church in North Rolla, and Pastor Peter Ellingson was still traveling back and forth for services. This would continue for many years, with any pastor who was called to the area.
Eventually it became evident that Dawson Creek was continuing to grow as a community, and North Rolla was not. The pastor of the Doe Creek Lutheran Congregation at the time, Pastor A.K. Haugen, decided to move his family to Dawson Creek and many members of the congregation soon followed. For a while services were held in his own home, but eventually it became evident that a church building was needed. As the years rolled on more people were settling in or near Dawson Creek and so that congregation continued to grow.
Then, in 1978-1980, another change came to the congregation of Grace Lutheran Church – another new building! The congregation had outgrown the first church they had build in Dawson Creek and so raised funds and planned and worked together to build a larger church home. The first service of this new church building was on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1980 and it was officially dedicated on September 28, 1980. Located on 17th Street, this building is still our congregation home today.
The roots of our congregation go deep into this Peace Country soil and we are proud to be a part of this vibrant and flourishing community.