The first Lutheran Church in Fall Creek was also the first one in Eau Claire County…. St. John’s, south of Fall Creek. Prior to 1864, the German Lutherans in the area were served by occasional itinerant pastors who performed marriages and baptisms when they came around. The first church building was completed in 1968, but was destroyed by a tornado just two years later in 1870 (May 5). By the time the village area was quite well populated, and the people who were closest to town formed their own congregation, as the country schoolhouse where they are temporarily having services was not large enough to accommodate the entire group of members. The congregation in town became known as Trinity Lutheran, and the same pastor served both groups (W.J. Friedrich).
Both groups, Trinity and St. John’s started erecting churches, and they were dedicated at about the same time (December of 1872). Trinity Church was located in what is now Randall Park. Pastor Friedrich served both churches for several years.
After about 15 years in Trinity, during which there was much dissension among the members, a group broke off and formed St. James in January of 1885. They were affiliated with the Iowa Synod. The building was dedicated in August of 1885, with Carl Baumbach as pastor. He serviced until 1921, when J. F. Drewelow was called. During Drewelow’s tenure, the church was remodeled, a basement dug, transepts added, with balcony and choir loft. Rev. Drewelow was here until 1926, when Rev. B. Spaulding was called. He was here for 17 years until his death in 1943. During his time as pastor, the parsonage was purchased for $4,000.
By 1943, J. H. Abelman was pastor of Trinity Church, and it was affiliated with the Ohio Synod. St. James was a member of the Iowa Synod. On the national level both synods had joined in 1930, so it seemed logical that the local churches should merge, and both congregations voted to do that.
At a joint meeting in January of 1944, Pastor Bloede was called. He had been at Trinity from 1930 to 1937, and was known and like by both groups. He was here from 1944 until 1956, when Pastor Kolberg was called. He retired in 1963, and Pastor Wittenberg became pastor. He was here until 1970 when Theodore Nystuen was installed. Then in 1987, Pastor Nystuen retired and Douglas Brandt was called to serve the congregations. Pastor Brandt served our congregation until January 15, 2006. Pastor Joanne Sorenson was installed to serve our congregation January 2007. She served our congregation with great energy and passion until 2016 when she followed her heart to serve on even a larger scale traveling to do mission work.
In 2017, Pastor Rick Biederman was called to service at St. James Trinity Lutheran Church. Not only was he called to service our congregation, but he was also called to service English Lutheran Church of Bateman in Chippewa Falls. He has served both congregations with great enthusiasm and leadership making us all feel comfortable with the transition to sharing a pastor with another congregation.