Lanse Evangelical Free Church to Celebrate 125th Anniversary

LANSE – The Lanse Evangelical Free Church on Cotohisc Road in Lanse is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a weekend of special events Oct. 7-8.

Pastor Matt Mitchell, the church’s shepherd for the last 19 years, says, “We are really excited to pass this major milestone and hope that our friends and neighbors will join us as we praise God for His faithfulness to us through all of these years.”

On Saturday, Oct. 7, the church will hold an anniversary reception at 5 p.m. with Swedish finger foods to honor the Swedish heritage of the church.

Lita Houston, church historian, remarked that, “Our church was organized on Feb. 13, 1892 with 10 charter members as a Swedish Free Church. The preaching and singing was in Swedish for the first 60 years of our history.”

The church’s Celebration Choir will sing a special song in Swedish.

Following the reception, participants will enjoy an anniversary program, “LEFC Memories and Milestones,” featuring storytelling from long-term and former members and pastors, including Pastor Jack Kelly, who led the church in the 1970’s during a particularly fruitful season of outreach and growth.

Mitchell says, “I’m looking forward to hearing some of the ‘family stories’ that only come out when you get everybody together for a reunion.” A booklet detailing the history of the church is being prepared for distribution.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Carl Johnson, a representative of Trinity International University, will give a presentation at 9 a.m. on the theological school with which the Lanse congregation has partnered for many decades and from which several of their pastors have graduated.

At 10 a.m., the church will hold a “Gospel Roots Celebration Worship Service” featuring Kevin Kompelien, the current president of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), the association of church to which the Lanse Free Church belongs.

Kompelien had previously served as the international leader for the Africa division of ReachGlobal (the international mission of the EFCA) and as a local church pastor for more than 20 years.

Kompelien plans to speak on “Jesus’ Heart for His Church.” Mitchell says, “I am so pleased that Kevin and Becky can be with us for our big event. Kevin is a gospel-centered shepherd and a clear communicator. I love being a part of the EFCA under his leadership and can’t wait to hear what he has to say.”

At the end of the worship service, the church family will gather together to take a big group picture of all of the attendees.

For more details about the history of this church, its special event and its good news about Jesus Christ, visit its Web site,, or the church’s Facebook page.

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