who we are
Sharon Lutheran Church is people - a caring, worshipping, active people.
Discover Sharon's Rich History
Sharon Lutheran Church began in early 1918. We have grown from 20 individuals to more than 4200 baptized members! Read More
History of Our Church
Discover Sharon's Rich History

Regular services for the congregation began in early 1918 when pastors from the Fargo District traveled to Grand Forks' Saron Norwegian Evangelic Lutheran Congregation. Norwegian was the primary language with English used for some evening services. In May 1918, there were 20 individuals who worshiped in various homes. Sunday School was started by Mrs. Jorgen Iverson and Mrs. Amund Ostmo with 22 students, also held in homes. In 1919, the congregation moved to it's first church building at Second Avenue and Cottonwood Street.

On December 8, 1920, Saron became a religious corporation with the purpose of maintaining and promoting religious worship according to The Lutheran Free Church of America. Trustees at the time were Lauritz Johnson, Ador Johnson, and Sever Neste. They believed that the church should be a feeding and resting place for God's people. The name "Saron" comes from a plain in Israel mentioned in Isaiah 65:10-"Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks."

Pastor HovlandPastor Pederson

Reverend Ingel Hovland was called to be pastor in 1920 and served until 1927. He also served in Grafton, North Dakota at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. In 1927, Reverend Ludvig Pederson became pastor, and served until his death in 1938. During that time, English had become the primary language, with Norwegian used for special services. The church membership had increased to 146 individuals.





Pastor Norum

Cottonwood Church

Reverend Ingvald M. Norum served the congregation from 1938 to 1944. During his term, a lot was purchased on Fourth Avenue and Cottonwood Street for a new church. The Lutheran Free Church Extension Fund helped with church improvements and the new building.








Pastor MonsonPastor Framstad

In August 1945, Reverend Forrest Monson became Pastor. He served Sharon until he became Secretary of the Lutheran Free Church Synod in 1953. The name was changed to Sharon Lutheran Free Church of Grand Forks on March 1, 1948. Reverend Clarence Framstad became the interim pastor and later was called as the full time pastor. He served through 1956.





Pastor Sortland

From 1957-1965, the congregation was served by Reverend Allan Sortland. Major changes occurred during his tenure. The Lutheran Free Church Synod joined the American Lutheran Church, and the congregation voted to join the new organization on February 1, 1963. Since United Lutheran Church (which was also of the American Lutheran Church) was only 2 blocks away, it was decided that in order to better serve the community a new location was needed. Five acres of land was purchased at the corner of 17th Avenue and 20th Street South. A building committee was appointed and plans were made for the first unit of the new church which consisted of an education unit and fellowship hall.




Pastor Vold

Reverend Harold O. Vold began his 12 year ministry at Sharon in 1966. Shortly after his arrival, the congregation sold it's church buildings to the Faith Evangelical Free Church. By August, construction of the present fellowship hall and educational unit was begun at the new location. Beginning June 5, 1966 and continuing until construction was completed, worship services and Sunday School classes were held in the Ben Franklin Elementary School at 1116 South 20th Street. The new unit was ready for the first services and Sunday School classes on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967. Dedication of this unit was held May 7, 1967 with the theme "God Who Gives Growth". Worship services were held in the fellowship hall until the sanctuary was completed in 1978. Dedication of the new sanctuary was April 30, 1978.

Pastor SieglePastor Fick

Reverend Raymond C. Siegle followed Pastor Vold in 1979 and Reverend Pastor John Fick joined him in 1981. In 1983, the congregation revised the constitution creating the Parish Planning Council and eight working boards with a ninth added later. It was also during this year that a Wicks Pipe Organ was purchased and installed in the sanctuary. During the 1980's, staff was added, including a full time secretary, full time Youth Director and a half time Education Director. Two memorable events occurred in 1987. The merger of several Lutheran synods created the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, of which Sharon is a member. Also, Sharon's Christmas program was held at the University of North Dakota's Chester Fritz Auditorium with more than 2000 persons in attendance.



Pastor NatwickPastor Jorgenson

In 1992, the sanctuary was expanded to provide seating for an additional 110 persons, plus a narthex was created in the space that was originally an outdoor courtyard. Additional office space and four classrooms were added. Reverend Laurie Natwick served Sharon from 1990-1996, until she was called to Bismarck, North Dakota. Pastor Karen Jorgenson served Sharon from 1997-2000.







1997 brought many changes to the community. After a devastating flood, Sharon became home to students from South Middle School in the newly completed church classrooms until a new school was built for South. The contemporary worship services moved into the new fellowship hall and continued to grow.






Pastor Cara Tanis served Sharon Lutheran as Associate Pastor from 2001 - 2003.

Pastor Tom Nyman served as interim Administrative Pastor from 2002 - 2003.

In August 2003, Pastor Deanna Wildermuth joined Sharon as the Administrative Pastor. She served until 2009.

Pastor David Eppelsheimer joined the staff as Associate Pastor from 2004 until 2011. 

From 2009 – 2011, Pastor Jim Bjorge, Pastor Dave Johnson, and Pastor Mark Halaas all served at various times as interim Administrative Pastors.

During the summer of 2010, a major renovation of the sanctuary as well as the installation of an elevator was completed through the efforts of the “Fulfilling the Dream” capital campaign.


Pastor Roger Brockmeyer became a part-time interim worship leader in 2012 and moved into a part-time visitation pastor position in the following years.

Pastor Lynn Ronsberg joined Sharon as Administrative Pastor in February of 2012. 

Pastor Nate Sutton followed a year later in July of 2013 as Associate Pastor.




Last Published: September 9, 2014 11:57 AM