Spring Valley has its origin in the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Swan Lake, which started in 1875. Eventually, as the church grew, they divided into two churches. It had become difficult for people to attend services regularly due to distance and impassable roads.
A new church was built 9 miles west and 2 miles north of Viborg in 1892. In 1902, the building was destroyed in a storm, and by 1904 a new church had been built.
By 1964, membership had grown, and the church needed repair, so they voted to build a new church. Church members, unified in this endeavor, donated their time and talents to build the new church. Even now, one can still feel the pride the members have for being a part of such an undertaking.
On March 26, 2010, the unthinkable happened. Spring Valley Church burned to the ground. It didn’t take long for the decision to be made that it needed to be replaced.
So up from the rubble, it emerged. Again you can feel the congregation’s pride for our church firmly planted on the hill.
Besides church buildings, there have been changes over the years. We have joined merged Lutheran organizations and have become a member congregation of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC.)
We have seen many ministers come and go. We have shared ministers with Turkey Valley Lutheran and presently share with Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Viborg.
In the beginning, services were held in the Danish language. Although that has ceased, our Danish heritage remains strong. Betty Jensen and John Ebbesen constructed a ship that hangs in the church. It not only replicates these hanging in churches of Denmark but reminds us that Jesus is here to “Pilot me over life’s tumultuous seas.”
We are grateful to God for guidance through so many storms and look forward to our future.
2.01. To supplement and further explicate the Statement of Faith set out in the LCMC Constitution, a Statement of Faith to which the churches of Augustana expressly subscribe, the churches of the Augustana District also add:
2.02. Sinners are made right with God by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone. This is the article of faith by which the church stands or falls.
2.03. The Word of God is Jesus Christ, the proclamation of him, and the Holy Scriptures. This Word functions as both law and gospel, which need to be distinguished, but not separated. The law orders society and convicts us of sin, showing us our need for a Savior. The gospel is the power of God that liberates us from sin, death, and the power of the devil, and brings us, by grace, from death to life.
2.04. Christ commanded that his Word be proclaimed. Through it, the Holy Spirit works faith when and where he pleases and repentant sinners are elected unto salvation. Christians live out their earthly lives as totally justified and totally sinful.
2.05. Because the church is the assembly of believers among whom the Gospel is taught purely and the sacraments are administered rightly, it is not necessary that human traditions, rites, and ceremonies, instituted by men, should be alike everywhere. God instituted one office of ministry through which the means of salvation are provided. For the sake of good order, a pastor is authorized to function in this public office by virtue of a church’s call. Churches band together in fellowship and mission to strengthen their ministries, acknowledging participation in the universal Church of our Lord.
Augustana IV; Smalcald, Part II, Article 1: “Nothing in this article can be given up or compromised.”
1. John 1:1, 14
2. Matthew 18:20; I John 1:1, 2
3. II Timothy 3:16
4. Smalcald, Part III, Article II. The Law
5. Romans 1:16
7. Romans 10:17; Augustana V; Small Catechism Part II, Third Article.
8. Smalcald, Part III, Article III. Penitence.
9. Augustana VII; Smalcald Part III, Article XII
10. Augustana V.
11. Augustana XIV.
12. Ephesians 4:4-6
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