History of Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hartland


Established on May 5, 1867

It was on a Sunday afternoon, May 5, 1867, that the Danish and German emigrants living in the vicinity of Hartland accepted the invitation of the Jacob Blitsch family to gather in their home for the purpose of organizing a Lutheran congregation.

The first wooden frame church was completed by January the following year, and on January 12, 1868 the Rev. O. J. Hattlestad conducted the first worship service. 

From 1873 – 1910 a very unique arrangement seemed to have prevailed. There appears that there were two congregations, one Danish and one German, each arranging and conducting their own services.  Each congregation called and supported their own pastors.  However, there was a common church council which seemingly functioned solely for the purpose of maintaining the church property; each congregation sharing in the financial support of the work. 

The big change came on February 7, 1910 when the two congregations decided to worship each in their own church.  The Danish congregation purchased the church building and site for $l,000. and the German congregation built their own church on a site directly across the highway.  The German church became known as “Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church” and later became affiliated with the Wisconsin Synod of the Synodical Conference. 

The Danish congregation continued as an independent congregation and built a new church on the old site (pictured above) which was dedicated May 7, 1911 during the second year of the Rev. C. M. Olsen’s pastorate.  The church cost approximately $6,685.00 to build.

ELCA looks ahead to 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation     CHICAGO (ELCA) – As a church that believes the good news of Jesus Christ provides “the freedom and the courage to boldly participate in what God is up to in the world,” members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are making plans for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in October 2017. 

“The evangelical Lutheran Reformation offers the promise of God’s love that makes possible a life of a living, daring confidence in God’s grace,” said the Rev. Marcus Kunz, assistant to the ELCA presiding bishop and executive for theological discernment.
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustine monk, posted his “Ninety-five Theses” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, protesting the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church.

 “When Martin Luther posted his ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ the resulting debate about Christian teaching and practice led to changes that have shaped the course of western Christianity for almost 500 years,” said Kunz. “At the heart of these wide-reaching changes was a deep conviction that God’s mercy or grace in Jesus is given freely to all. Some of the familiar ways of talking about Jesus in our time have left some people cold, feeling trapped or demeaned.”

Kunz said the 500th anniversary observance is an opportunity for the ELCA “to give fresh expression of the liberating and renewing hope in Christ that Martin Luther described.”   Read the entire article at: www.elca.org

Current picture of Sanctuary – 2014
W299 N5782 County Rd. E
Hartland, WI  53029