In April 1950, a call was sent to Pastor C. A. Stub offering a salary of $2,500, plus 3 special offerings. The call was accepted, and Pastor Stub was installed September 17, 1950.
Work was begun on the new sexton’s house that fall with completion the following spring.
Beginning in October, Pastor Stub sent a monthly newsletter to the congregation. From this newsletter, it is noted that Danish services were held at 9:30 a.m. one Sunday per month with English services at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. In the Annual Report he indicates that nine Danish services were held in 1951, but makes no mention of Danish services in 1953. Also, that year the word “Danish” was deleted from the church name. So, it would appear that over the years, the Danish language was quietly phased out.
The Young People’s Society was again small with many of the young men once more called into military service. The two Ladies Aid Societies continued to be helpful in providing new carpet for the church, new auditorium chairs, new hymnals for the church and a new altar for the Sunday School. In 1950, the name of the Junior Ladies Aid was changed to the Lutheran Guild and the age limitation dropped.
The Ladies Aid celebrated their 50th Anniversary on April 6, 1951, at the Women’s Club in Cedar Falls. Other improvements included a new floor in the auditorium, basement walls painted; and in the church, the crucifix was replaced with Thorvaldsen’s statue of Christ. All this helped to prepare for the District Convention held at Fredsville in 1954.
In his Annual Report for 1955, Pastor Stub noted with pleasure, the good attendance at Sunday School. He also commented about the mid-week Lenten services held in cooperation with other Lutheran Churches in the area. He calls attention to the fact that although attendance at worship had been good, the church could only seat about one-third of the membership of the congregation. The Building Fund, started in 1948, had now grown to $4,738.
By January 1958, the Building Fund stood at $7,000 and the congregation now seemed ready to move into a building program for a new church. The old church needed a new roof and other major repairs, and it was thought unwise to spend much money on a building so old. In April, 1958, a building committee and a finance committee were appointed to work with the church council in the preliminary investigation of a new church building.
Also, in 1958, the congregation participated with other Lutheran Churches in the area in establishing the Cedar Falls Lutheran Home for the Aged. Working with District and local AELC congregations, Fredsville helped to organize two new congregations, St. Paul in Cedar Heights and St. Peter’s in North Cedar. In December, 1958, Pastor Stub suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized for a month, returning to the pulpit on February 1, 1959.
As building plans progressed, various proposals were considered from time to time, but the big question was whether or not an educational unit should be included in the plans. Because the initial fund drive did not meet expectations, it was decided that only the church should be built at that time. In the spring of 1960, building plans were approved and construction bids totaling $79,600 were accepted. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on June 12, and construction was soon underway.
At the congregational meeting July 14, 1960, Pastor Stub announced his resignation effective December 31, 1960. He later agreed to stay until a new pastor arrived; but in November, the Stubs moved to a house they purchased in Cedar Falls.
Material shortages delayed the progress of the new building, but the cornerstone arrived and was laid at a special ceremony October 9, 1960, with Dr. Alfred Jensen, Synod President, officiating.
As the building neared completion in early spring of 1961, plans were made for a Dedication Service combined with an observance of the 90th Anniversary of the congregation. This was held on April 23, 1961, with Pastor Stub conducting the final service in the old church and Dr. Einar Farstrup. Synod President and Rev. Harold Olsen, District President, dedicating the new church. Former pastors, Rev. Jens Holst, Rev. Svend Kjaer and Rev. Marvin Nygaard also participated in the observance as well as pastor-elect Harald Sorensen and A. C. Nielsen of Grand View College.
The bell from the old church tower was mounted on a platform and located where the altar of the old church formerly stood. The bell is still tolled at funeral services.
Rev. Harald Sorensen came to Fredsville following his graduation from Seminary in 1961. The quaint white church, which had served the congregation for 76 years, was dismantled, and with it went many memories of past events.
A number of other changes soon came about. Purchase of new Lutheran hymnals was approved and the revised order of worship of the AELC was adopted for use. In 1962, the congregation approved having Sunday Church School meeting an hour earlier than the worship service. Two new organizations for the women of the church came into being and a new committee established. The Altar Guild was formed to take care of the paraments and altar furnishings and the choir robes. The Evening Circle was organized for those women who were unable to attend the afternoon meetings of the other two women’s groups. A Christian Education Committee was appointed to direct the work of the educational program of the church.
In June, pastor and delegates traveled to Detroit, Michigan, to attend the closing convention of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church and to be present for the Constituting Convention of the new Lutheran Church in America. In September, the congregation became a part of the Iowa Synod of the L.C.A.
With the new church finished and nearly paid for, consideration was given to replacing the parsonage. After several plans were considered, it was decided that a new parsonage should be built to be completed by Thanksgiving, 1963, at a cost not to exceed $18,000. A bid of $17,466 was accepted and work begun. Dr. R. J. Lingwall, President of the Iowa Synod, L.C.A., dedicated the new parsonage on the first Sunday in December 1963.
The old parsonage was sold and torn down for the lumber, and the old barn taken down with the lumber used for a garage at the sexton’s house. Also, in 1963, the Fredsville Lutheran Church Women’s organization was formed to coordinate the work of the 3 women’s groups and to participate in the district, state, and national organization of the Lutheran Church Women, L.C.A.
In 1964, a Library Committee was appointed, and work was begun to provide a library for the church. A three-year confirmation program was recommended by the Christian Education Committee as part of a total program of religious education for the congregation. In September 1964, Pastor Sorensen resigned to accept a call to a mission congregation in California effective in October 1964.
The Rev. Joseph B. Sibert was installed as pastor in January 1965. Changes continued with the elimination of the publishing of contribution lists, the start of regular midweek Lenten services (which later involved the neighboring Methodist and Reformed churches), a new constitution adopted which changed the organizational structure of the congregation and enlarged the council to 12 members, the adoption of the Order of Service from the new Lutheran Hymnal, and the decision to build the educational wing on the church.
In January 1966, the congregation voted to appoint a new education building committee and a finance committee to raise funds for the new wing. Both committees were hard at work through the year so that detailed plans could be presented at the Annual Meeting in January 1967. At that time, the financial report indicated that notes on the church were all paid and a balance due on the parsonage of $5,472. Cash and pledges for the new addition totaled $36,722. The low bid of $74,145 was approved with the contract awarded to Cervetti Construction, the same contractor who had built the church.
In March, the auditorium was torn down and the lumber sold. Ground breaking ceremonies were held April 2, 1967, and construction was soon underway. The building was completed early the following year with dedication services held on March 17, 1968. The Rev. Harold Olsen, Secretary of the Iowa Synod, officiated with Pastor Stub and Pastor Sibert participating.
Property improvements continued with the remodeling of the sexton’s house, the addition of new sidewalks, and painting of the buildings. New forms of worship were tried from time to time and stewardship was improved with the adoption of the envelope system and pledges being received for the general fund. Pastor Sibert retired in 1984 after 19 years of service to Fredsville.
Pastor Don Benson was called to Fredsville in 1985. Pastor Benson started the idea of giving a special offering once a month for different causes. This offering was used for many special projects such as “One In Missions”. During this time the rear parking lot and drive were created, the church boilers were made energy efficient, and a new furnace was installed in the parsonage. Pastor Benson resigned in 1992 after 7 years of service.
Pastor Steven J. Solberg was called to Fredsville in 1993. In 1994 Shanda Van Reisen became our youth director and expanded the offerings of our youth program. Holly Harvey succeeded her in 1998 and concentrated on further developing our program for the elementary level.
A handbell choir was organized in the 1997. Led by Jeanne Thuesen, this music ministry group continues to meet weekly and play once a month for worship as well as providing special music on Christmas Eve. Also, small groups from the handbell choir sometimes play in quartets for worship. Members periodically attend workshops and conferences.
The year 1999 brought many changes for Fredsville. Pastor Solberg accepted a call to be Associate Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He resigned after 6 years of years of service. Emly Steege, Fredsville’s sexton and dear friend, retired after 35 years of dedicated service. Tim Bastron accepted the position of Youth Director with plans of reinvigorating the youth program, including the renovation of the Sexton’s house to serve as a youth house. Pastor Don Feuerhak was called and began his duties as pastor in December, 1999.
Also in 1999, plans were made to improve the church building. As part of a six year plan, the main entrance to the church was renovated, replacing the old doors and windows with energy efficient fixtures. Also completed was window replacement throughout the church fellowship hall, replacement of the boiler and resealing the sanctuary ceiling.
Pastor Don was instrumental in beginning Fredsville’s support of the Salvation Army Women’s Shelter. He made the congregation aware of their needs, both ongoing and special requests that arose, and delivered donations to the shelter on Fredsville’s behalf.
Kristi Mangler served as Youth Director from 2001-2003 and then she joined her husband who accepted the job as program director for the Bible Camp at Lake Okoboji. Chuck Lines, Carl Bakker and Jessica Steen have also served in the youth director position over the last decade. Andrea Koch was youth director from 2008-2011 and was especially instrumental in helping promote and hold monthly Kidz Klub activities.
Pastor Don served the congregation until May 2010. Then, Pastor Patricia Shaw was Fredsville’s interim pastor from August 2010-May 2011.
A call was extended to Pastor Lisa Dietrich in March 2011, and she began serving our congregation on May 8, 2011. Before she came, significant updates were made to the parsonage including painting it and installing new appliances. She is the first pastor to live in the parsonage since 1999.
In recent years, significant outreach and many servant events have marked the ministry of Fredsville Congregation. We collect donated clothing and household items for the Salvation Army Women’s shelter, supplies for Bremwood Lutheran Children’s Home and books/magazines for People’s Clinic of Waterloo. In May and November, we hold food drives for area food pantries. Members of the congregation also provide danish strips and cookies for Cedar Falls Lutheran Home events.