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The Early Years - "First Scandinavian Lutheran Congregation"

The first Norwegian settlement was organized in New Westminster in 1884. Out of this group grew the first organized congregation under the name of “First Scandinavian Lutheran Congregation” organized in 1891. They held their services in an old Indian church at the foot of Tenth Street, New Westminster.

Another Norwegian settlement formed in Annieville which was part of the same congregation. The first Church was built in Annieville by this congregation since this group did not have a meeting place in their area. The congregation continues as Trinity Lutheran Church to this day. The original church property was purchased by the Norum family who changed the building through extensive remodelling to become their home.

Coming Together with Others - “Nidaros Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church”

Another congregation was organized in Brownsville (south side of the Fraser River) in 1906.

In 1911, the congregation in New Westminster was re-organized and decided to affiliate with the Norwegian Synod.  The Brownsville group asked to join this New Westminster congregation and were accepted as members. In 1912 the name was changed to Nidaros Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

From 1911 to 1924 the congregation rented St. Paul’s Church on Royal Avenue as their place of worship. The first service in the church at Merrivale and Carnarvon was held on May 4, 1924. This building served in basement form until 1935 when it was completed. The first service in the completed church was held on March 3, 1935.



 “They will name Him Immanuel.”
(Hebrew for ‘God with us’).  In 1909 Immanuel’s first congregation was organized and a building lot was purchased at Eleventh Street and St. Andrews Street. By 1911 the building was constructed and by 1912 the first Sunday school class met with 4 teachers and 20 students. May 23, 1915 saw the first class confirmed and by 1922 these classes were permitted to be taught in English.  In 1926 the church was raised and a basement was built to accommodate their expansion. In 1928 a new organ was purchased, but it wasn’t until 1945 that the first choir was organized. In 1958 new pews were purchased for the ordination of Ferdy Baglo and helped accommodate their 50th anniversary celebrations the following year. 

“Mount Zion Lutheran Church”

In 1958 the church at Merrivale and Carnarvon was sold and a new church was built on the corner of 10th Avenue and Cumberland Street. The name was changed at this time from Nidaros to Mount Zion Lutheran Church. On the night of July 31, 1978 Mount Zion church was partially destroyed by an electrical fire in the center of the church. It took more than a year to rebuild but was finished in September 1979.

Merger Discussions

It was 1974 when talks began about merging with Mount Zion. Although it would take sixteen years to come together, on January 21 1990, the merger was made official. 

The roots of our congregations go back to fisherman and their families and those who lived along the Fraser River.  From our Norwegian and Swedish roots, we are blessed to have expanded our present-day identity to reflect the broad diversity of the community in which we live and serve. Thanks be to God!