The History of Joy
(taken from the introduction of Joy Cookbook)
In 1971, a call was made to the American Lutheran Church headquarters when the people realized a need for a new congregation to be formed in the city of Prescott. A survey was conducted, and in 1972, the list was given to the ALC division of the American Missions of Minneapolis, Minnesota. On May 22, 1972, the American Missions established the religious society of the ALC in Prescott, which was called the American Lutheran Church of Prescott. The society extended a call to Pastor Sherman Iverson in June of 1972 and purchased a parsonage at 1654 Walnut Street.
A steering committee was formed and was comprised of Ken Roen, Gene Meier, Steve Johnson, Roy Hanson, Bruce Tromberg, Cal Timm, Bob Wittenberg, and Russ Jensen. They were responsible for the development of the congregation and its needs; the biggest needs being land, a building, and finance.
The Sunday School began on September 10, 1972, with 32 children under the direction of Eleanor Voelker, the first Sunday School Superintendent. The first Christmas program was performed December 17, 1972 at St. John’s United Church of Christ. Confirmation classes were held at the American Legion Hall beginning September 20, 1972. The choir was organized in 1972 under the direction of Deanna Roen and accompanied by Dee Jensen.
New names for the church were submitted to the steering committee, and on October 24, 1972, the name of “Joy”, submitted by Jackie Gora, was selected. The name was supported by many Biblical references, specifically appropriate was
1John 1:4 “Our joy may be complete”.
On December 2, 1972, a meeting was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church during which a constitution was presented and adopted. The American Missions agreement was adopted, a call committee was voted in, and a church council was elected. The name was changed to Joy Lutheran Church. A proposed budget was presented for 1973.
The first worship service was set for Sunday, August 13, 1972 at 10:15am at rural St. John’s United church of Christ. Attendance at the first service was 150 people. Feeling the squeeze after three months with an average attendance of 110, the steering committee began the process of selecting a building site for the new congregation. On August 16, 1972, the purchase of 5.5 acres across from Prescott Senior High School was negotiated with Ralph Borner. The first service was held in the new church on December 2, 1973. Dedication of the new church took place on Sunday, March 3, 1974with the worship service led by Bishop Vernon Anderson. Joy Lutheran Church of Prescott at 1435 St. Croix Street consisted of 110 charter members representing 52 family units.
As a result of the fast growth of Prescott, in 1986, there was a need to build a larger facility within the next 2-5 years. The vote to build was passed on April 9, 1988. Under the theme of “On Our Way Rejoicing”, ground was broken for the new building on April 16, 1989. Under the leadership of Pastor Tim Peterson, a building fund campaign for the new building was launched. On Sunday, June 25, 1989, the cornerstone was laid. The new building was dedicated on November 5, 1989.
Again in 2005, Joy Lutheran Church, through continued growth, realized the need to add additional educational space and new office space as well as additional remodeling of the current church. Under the leadership of Pastor Norm Belland, another building fund campaign was launched with the theme “Growing with Joy.” As a result of that campaign, building began in the spring of 2007 with dedication of the new addition held in December of 2007.