Following World War II there was an increase in American citizens in Oslo and with them, the desire for an American Church. Dr. Oscar C. Hanson was tasked to establish and organize the new congregation. His dedicated efforts over two year’s time laid a strong foundation for ALC. The first service was held on October 12, 1958.
October 1964 saw the dedication of our beautiful church building in Frogner, made possible by the generosity of members and friends in Norway and America and the support of the parent church body in America. The exterior bronze sculpture “Christ the King” by Professor Egon Weiner (formerly of the Chicago Art Institute) was unveiled August 1967.
During the building of our church in the early 1960’s, Lutherans in the Midwest in the US were asked if they would make commemorative gifts to the building fund. They responded by giving in memory of their Norwegian grandparents and parents who immigrated to New World. Those immigrants were, by all accounts, impoverished and modest people who took little more than their faith with them on this journey. Yet the effect of that faith rippled forward through the generations and helped build our church in Oslo. Since Dr. Oscar Hanson’s pastorate, we have been served by the following pastors: Dr. George Aus, the Rev. Myrus Knutson, the Rev. Arnold W. Nelson, the Rev. James R. Long, the Rev. Harry T. Cleven, the Rev. Richard A. Solberg, the Rev. Norman P. Belland, the Rev. Guy Redfield, and the Rev. Stephan Kienberger. Our pastor today is the Rev. Timothy Stewart.
Over these past 50 years we’ve changed and developed as a congregation. Starting out with mostly Lutheran Americans, we are now an international congregation with members from more than thirty countries and nearly as many church traditions. Ex-patriots have always been essential in the American Lutheran Congregation, but in addition we are now made up of students, and researchers, refugees and academics, business people and asylum seekers, diplomats and families, visitors passing through and folks who have been a part of this church for their whole life. And we recognize that with the Spirit’s guidance we continue to change today.
Spend a few minutes looking by clicking here at the faces of these people and read their stories and think of their decision to immigrate to a new life. Think of how their lives lead to the building our church, how our church serves as a place of worship for people from all over the world. Think of the ripples that this small church makes and how those ripples reach even across the world and change lives in places as distant as Africa.
Interested in the legacy of the ALC? If you want to know more about the directory of people who helped build the ALC or perhaps purchase our history booklet, please contact us.