Learn More About Gloria Dei of Tomah
Gloria Dei believes:
- That the Bible is the final authority on all matters of morality, faith and life.
- In the traditional Lutheran heritage as expressed in the Creeds and Lutheran Confessions in accordance with the Bible and practiced in the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
- That Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior has commissioned us to learn, to teach and to live by His commands.
- That we are called to be an open church, accepting all who wish to become a follower of Jesus through worship, community outreach and worldwide mission.
- That we are people bought by God’s grace and therefore a culture of joy should permeate all that we do, as demonstrated through our use of our time, our talent and our treasure.
Our congregation began on September 28, 1945, when seven people met with Pastor Clarence Solberg of Sparta, Wisconsin to discuss the process for organizing a Lutheran congregation in Tomah, Wisconsin. We held our first worship service on October 12, 1945. We then submitted a petition representing 33 families to the Evangelical Lutheran Church Home Missions Committee of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, with the request to organize a Lutheran Church in Tomah.
On May 28, 1946, Pastor Norman Nelson was called to be our first pastor, and conducted his first Sunday morning service with 45 people present. Our congregation was officially chartered on July 11, 1946 and named the American Lutheran Church. The 1960 merger of three Lutheran synods resulted in the American Lutheran Church synod. To avoid confusion with the synod, the congregation was renamed Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in 1965.
We began regular worship in the old Church of God building on McLean and Council. In November of 1946, we began construction on a new building on Superior and Nott that became our place of worship on November 28, 1948. In less than 20 years we outgrew this facility. In September 1964, we broke ground for our current home on West Elizabeth Street and dedicated the building on September 12, 1965.
The congregation added classrooms, office, and an elevator to the present building in 1989. On August 17, 2003 we broke ground once again, on a new addition adding a new Sanctuary to the south side of the existing building, expanding the kitchen, and education area. The dedication ceremonies for that addition took place on September 12, 2004.
One of the primary reasons for interest in forming this congregation was to provide an opportunity to teach the children of these families about the Word of God in a Sunday school setting. Gloria Dei continues growing the faith of our children through Sunday School, Confirmation, Vacation Bible School, and various events for our youth.
A Women’s Group was formed and has been active with Bible Study circles, congregational serving groups and projects to assist congregational and mission life.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church has a traditional Lutheran Heritage. Our congregation was originally affiliated with the ELC (Evangelical Lutheran Church), which merged to form the American Lutheran Church Synod in 1960. The ALC merged with two other synods to form the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) in 1988. In 2010, Gloria Dei became solely affiliated with Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ.
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) is an association of congregations and individuals who are:
- free in Christ;
- accountable to one another;
- rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions;
- working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.
Today, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is the faith home of more than 900 members and 400 families. Throughout the life of the church, it has faithfully sought to serve the area by providing a true Christian witness through the preaching of the Word of God and the administration of the sacraments.