Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Norwalk New Life Lutheran Church

    Norwalk New Life Lutheran Church, 4380 Wakonda Drive, Norwalk, IA 50211, phone (515) 285-5965, http://www.newlifenorwalk.org/

    A Brief History Of New Life Lutheran Church copied from their website at http://www.newlifenorwalk.org/

    New Life Lutheran Church began as a mission congregation. In 1968, seven Protestant denominations agreed to work in Lakewood on an ecumenical approach to ministry. The project was turned over to the American Lutheran Church in the all of 1970 after withdrawal of the other 6 denominations. Pastor John ROHDE was called as the pastor-developer of the congregation. He served the congregation from 1971 to 1972. Together with Frances SCHMIDT, a parish worker, they canvassed the area. The first worship was on April 25, 1971, at Echo Valley Country Club. The congregation was officially organized on June 20, 1971. In October of 1971, the location of worship was moved to the vocal room of the Norwalk High School.

    Pastor Gerald GUNDERSON was called and installed on August 20, 1972. He served the congregation until 1976. The first unit of the Church building was dedicated on April 15, 1973. The New Life Preschool began operation in September of 1974. Pastor Glenn KRAMER was called and installed on May 23, 1976. He served the congregation until 1980.Dedication of the new Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall was held on February 8, 1979. The congregation sponsored a refugee family in 1979.

    Pastor Robert ROD was called and installed on June 15, 1980 and served the congregation until January of 1984. The tenth anniversary was celebrated on June 21, 1981.

    Pastor Gary PANKO was called and installed on August 26, 1984. In October of 1985, the congregation was able to refinance its debt and thereby was no longer a mission congregation. In 1988, along with many other Lutheran congregations, New Life joined the merger of churches which formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1991, the Congregation celebrated our 20th Anniversary with Bishop Paul WERGER as our special guest. In 1996, the congregation hired its first youth worker.

    Also in 1996 the congregation celebrated our 25th Anniversary with Bishop Phil HOUGEN as our special guest. In 1997, the congregation conducted a "Vision Under Construction" capital fund appeal to raise monies to construct an education wing. In 1998, the congregation approved a renovation of the existing facility and retained Walters HOMES to construct an education wing to the south of the fellowship hall. On February 28, 1999, the education wing was dedicated with Bishop Phil HOUGEN as our guest preacher. Pastor PANKO resigned as Pastor to accept a call to Bethleham Lutheran in Royal, Iowa in September of 1999.

    Pastor Tim MAYBEE was called to New Life Lutheran Church on September 4, 2000 and he was installed on November 5, 2000. A vibrant youth led worship service was begin on Sunday nights and enjoyed wonderful participation for a number of years. Pastor Tim accepted a call to serve Fjeldberg Lutheran Church in Huxley IA in late 2008.

    Pastor Nate LIEDTKE was called to serve New Life Lutheran Church on September 17, 2009. He was installed Jan. 24, 2010. During 2011 we as a congregation celebrated 40 years of ministry in Norwalk. The congregation responded to this milestone with a "GIVING NEW LIFE new life" campaign which reduced the mortgage by more than $40,000. An After-School Program was begun for 3rd-5th grade students on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in the fall of 2011. This program continues today. We have also experienced the largest growth year of any of the previous 40. By God's grace we continue to see many visitors and guests and have many new members joining this wonderful and God blessed ministry. In the summer of 2012 an outreach ministry of leading worship at the Fort Des Moines Senior Housing Center on Army Post Road was begun.