Annandale Evangelical Free Church Exists

to raise up a faithful generation with a Heart for God’s Truth, a Desire for God’s Purity, and a Zeal for God’s Way.

History

The Beginning

Annandale Evangelical Free Church traces its beginnings to special meetings held in a temporary tarpaper building called the “Tabernacle.” Evangelist Carl Lindberg came to Annandale around 1915 and had a tabernacle constructed on the Gene Lundeen lot near the beach on Pleasant Lake.

The tabernacle services were sponsored by members of the Albion Free Church who were concerned about the spiritual welfare of the Annandale community. Some of those involved were from Annandale but were driving to services at the Albion and Crow River Churches in the country.

A charter meeting for the new Annandale Evangelical Free Church was held February 23, 1923, at the home of Alfred and Selma Brown. Reverend Eugene Wernberg led the meeting and Walter Lundeen acted as Secretary. The charter members present were Mr. & Mrs. John Larson, Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Brown, Oscar Brown, Hannah Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Carl Lundeen, and Mr. & Mrs. Walter Brown.

In 1925 Rev. Paul Cassel, at that time pastor of the Albion Free Church, was asked to spend half of his time serving the growing Annandale Church. The group rented the German Evangelical Reformed Church, a brick building located one block south of Brown’s Ice Cream factory. In 1930, Rev. Paul Nelson came to serve the two churches. While he was pastor in 1932 the Annandale Church began to rent the property of the Advent Christian Church. This building, along with seating, piano, pulpit and parsonage, was purchased in 1946 and later remodeled in 1963.

1946 – First building purchased

The Formative Years

During those years the Annandale and Albion Churches shared a pastor who was housed at the Albion parsonage. Worship services alternated morning at one church’s location and evening at the other. A special business meeting was held on August 10, 1943 to discuss starting a full-time work in Annandale. As a result of this meeting Rev. Wallace Larson was called as the first full-time pastor in Annandale.

Over the next few decades the church continued to grow. It saw another remodeling program, several pastors and in the mid-1980s under the leadership of Pastor George Klippenes, 14 acres of land were purchased just east of town on Highway 55 where a parsonage and new church were built. The first service in the present location was held on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1988.

December 24, 1988 – first service at current location

December 24, 1988 – first service at current location

Today

In August 1992 Rev. Dennis Johnson began serving as senior pastor. By the summer of 2002 a large addition including a new sanctuary was completed tripling the size of the building.

Multiple ministries have been added over the last several years with pastoral staff added as well.

Under the present leadership, our average Sunday worship attendance has grown to 450.

As we look back over several decades of God’s faithfulness, we are deeply thankful for the Godly heritage that is ours here at Annandale Evangelical Free Church. Our prayer is that God will continue to use our church to reach all people for Christ.

August 1992 - Rev. Dennis Johnson begins as senior pastor

August 1992 – Rev. Dennis Johnson begins as senior pastor

Beliefs

EFCA_logo1

Annandale Evangelical Free Church is associated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), a denomination of about 1500 churches with 300,000 attendance nationwide.

“Evangelical” refers to our commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to the authority of the Scriptures as being without error in the original writings and the only safe and sufficient guide to faith and practice.

“Free” refers to our form of church government which assures that our local churches are free from a central controlling body. Free Churches depend upon the active participation of pastors and lay people in the decisions and direction of the local church.

“Church” refers to all people who have placed their hope and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. The church is a people, not a place.

The doctrinal statement of the EFCA

  1. God: We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
  2. The Bible: We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
  3. The Human Condition: We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
  4. Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus Israel’s promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
  5. The Work of Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
  6. The Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
  7. The Church: We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
  8. Christian Living: We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
  9. Christ’s Return: We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
  10. Response and Eternal Destiny: We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

Mission

Our Mission: Raise Up A Faithful Generation

Given the fact that many fulfilled prophecies are pointing to the soon return of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we believe that God has called us as a church to “Raise up a faithful generation, with a heart for God’s truth, a desire for God’s purity, and a zeal for God’s way.” Jesus said, “Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Matthew 24:33-34.

The end times will be a time of great apostasy, a falling away from the faith. “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion (or apostasy) occurs.” II Thessalonians 2:3; “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” II Timothy 3:1; “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12).

Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith upon the earth?” Luke 18:8. We resolve that the answer to that question be, “Yes, at Annandale Evangelical Free Church!”

A Heart for God’s Truth

We desire to anchor our people in the solid rock of God’s truth. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

In Matthew 24, Jesus repeatedly warned of false prophets in the end times: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many.” (verses 4-5; see also verses 10-11, and 23-24).

We want our people to be able to defend the truth and to be able to discern truth from error. “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I Peter 3:15.
A Desire for God’s Purity

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:6,8.

Jesus promised great rewards for those who pursue purity – both fulfillment and contentment in this life, and joy and blessing in the life to come.

Satan entices us with “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does” (I John 2:16), but this only leads to bondage for “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy”. True fulfillment comes from purity, for Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

A Desire for God’s Purity

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:6,8.

Jesus promised great rewards for those who pursue purity – both fulfillment and contentment in this life, and joy and blessing in the life to come.

Satan entices us with “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does” (I John 2:16), but this only leads to bondage for “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy”. True fulfillment comes from purity, for Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

A Zeal for God’s Way

Half-hearted commitment and lukewarm Christianity won’t cut it in the end times, because of the intensity of Satan’s onslaught. “…The devil has gone down to you. He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:12.

We must be passionate in our pursuit of God, loving him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). Only then will we be able to overcome the power of the Enemy.

“They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11.

The Importance of Connecting

We are well aware that implementing a vision statement is far more challenging than stating it. If we are to be successful in “raising up a faithful generation” at AEFC, we must be connected as a church family.

We must follow the example of the early church described in Acts 2:44-47, “All the believers were together…Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Through the ministry of hospitality, small groups, person-to-person mentorships, and couple-to-couple mentorships, together with casual times of socializing and intimate times of shared friendships, accountable relationships can be formed. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25.
Summary

We desire to be a faithful church family at AEFC, prepared to meet our Lord. “Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42.

In keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him.” II Peter 3:13-14.

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