About Grace Lutheran Church

About Pastor Tobison

Pastor Tobison was raised on a farm near Coleman, Wisconsin. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coleman. He graduated from Coleman High School in 1977. After graduation he worked for seven years as a radio announcer followed by 13 years working for Oshkosh B’Gosh in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was married to Ardis Prellwitz on July 23, 1983.

Pastor Tobison’s pursuit of the public ministry began in 1999 when he enrolled at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota. He graduated from Martin Luther College in 2002 and continued his studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin in the fall of that same year. He served his vicar year at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in St. Peters, Missouri. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and received his call to Grace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota in 2006. In 2014 Pastor Tobison accepted a call to serve as pastor in a second congregation. In addition to Grace he now also serves St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in rural, Darwin, Minnesota. With the help of translators, Pastor Tobison also conducts Bible studies over the Internet with Christians living in foreign countries.

Pastor Tobison enjoys distance running, camping, sports and reading. Most of all he enjoys the many opportunities he is blessed with to share the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

History of Grace Lutheran Church

Grace Lutheran Church was established in 1953. Grace is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), a nationwide Lutheran church body with more than 1,200 congregations.

1953 – A group of concerned Christians withdrew from Peace Lutheran Church of Hutchinson, Missouri Synod. They approached the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod for spiritual guidance and financial assistance

1953 – On April 23rd, the congregation organized with 39 voting members and 93 communicant members

1953 – On April 26th the first service was held in the Episcopal Church with Pastor John Raabe of Litchfield serving as the vacancy pastor until a resident pastor could be called. A Sunday School was begun immediately, with the first classes held in the Paul Boettcher home

1953 – April 29th, In a special meeting of the congregation, the resolution was adopted to purchase two lots, located on Fifth Avenue between Lynn Road and Grove Street, from Henry Wendorff at a cost of $1000 the Wendorffs donated a third lot.

1953 – On October 25th, Rev. Harold Hempel was installed as the congregation’s first full time pastor. At once the congregation entered a building program with the assistance of a $25,000 loan from the Church Extension Fund. Mr. Wilbert Kottke, Mr. Fred Rannow, Mr. Peter Miller, Mr. Leo Rannow, and Mr. Richard Slyter were appointed to the building committee.

1954 – The cornerstone was laid in the new church in a special service on July 24, 1954, and the church was completed for dedication on November 14, 1954. A ranch style parsonage, begun in March of 1954, also stood completed for dedication on the same day.

1954 – The Grace Lutheran Ladies Circle was organized on January 4, 1954 with 25 ladies.

1957 – The congregation became self-supporting in 1957. A new organ was dedicated in a special service in March of 1957.

1964 – Pastor Hempel followed a call to Michigan and was succeeded by Pastor Francis Machina

1965 – In November, Pastor Machina resigned.

1966 – In May, Candidate Douglas Bode was assigned to Grace Congregation, and was ordained and installed on July 10, 1966.

1970 – In late Summer of 1970, Pastor Bode accepted a call to establish a new mission congregation in Denver, Colorado. The congregation then called Pastor Roland Scheele of Arlington, Minnesota, who was installed on December 6, 1970

1974 – Pastor Scheele resigns due to health reasons. The congregation then called Rev. Gail Johnson, who was installed as pastor on June 9, 1974.

1975 – The mortgage on the Church property was paid off, and a ceremony recognizing this achievement was held in the service on November 16, 1975.

1977 – In the Fall of 1977, Pastor Johnson accepted a call to serve two congregations in South Dakota and Pastor Lloyd Hahnke served as Vacancy Pastor until April of 1978

1978 – Pastor Edmund Schulz was installed on April 16, 1978

1980 – A second building program was begun, which included the edition of: a large narthex, new church entrance, church offices, multi-purpose room, lavatories, and a concrete surface parking lot.

1986 – A new organ and church lighting were installed.

1989 – Pastor Schulz retired in the Fall of 1989, and Pastor David Rosenow was installed on November 5, 1989.

1991 – The church basement was remodeled.

1993 – Grace celebrated it’s 40th anniversary with the burning of the second mortgage. The parsonage was also remodeled that year, including: new steel siding, new windows, and the edition of a double garage.

1998 – In January, Pastor Rosenow accepted a call to Wisconsin and Pastor Karl Schultz served as Vacancy Pastor until June.

1998 – Pastor Brian Ewings was installed on June 14, 1998. A new roof was constructed on the Church as well.

2003 – The congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary with a catered dinner and special service in April. A number of past pastors and members were in attendance.

2004 – A new sound system was installed

2005 – The church is once again added on to, with the addition of an elevator and a lobby area.

2006 – Pastor Ewings resigned and Pastor Daniel Reich of Immanuel in Hutchinson served as the Vacancy Pastor. The congregation decided to call a candidate from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and Candidate Gregory Tobison was assigned to Grace. Candidate Tobison was ordained as a Pastor and installed on July 16th, 2006 in a 2:00 PM service. A lunch followed the service.

2007 – Grace begins broadcasting its church services on HCVN Channel 10

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