History

Our church began as Sedona Lutheran Church. On March 6, 1977, Pastor Roland Harder held a worship service and held a first interest meeting at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in West Sedona. Forty-seven people attended, which included Adeline and Homer Perry. 

During 1978, Pastor Harder continued to hold services and made house calls one day a week. The first Advisory Council was formed. Three acres of land at the corner of Chapel Road and Highway 179 was purchased for $84,156 by the Lutheran Church of America. What a fantastic gift to all of us that they had planned for our future. 

In 1980, Pastor Richard Langsdale arrived for mission development. A parsonage was purchased in the Village of Oak Creek. The first women’s group began.

In 1981, the Christ Lutheran Church Charter opened in January with 73 members. The Women’s Guild was also chartered. Before the Charter was closed and the congregation was organized on November 8, our name was changed to Christ Lutheran Church. 

By 1982, our congregation had outgrown St. Andrews and we moved to Wayside Chapel in uptown Sedona. In 1983, Pastor Langsdale was reassigned due to health reasons. Pastor Roy Guinn arrived and our choir began under the direction of Lorraine Johnson. 

In 1984, the building campaign began under the leadership of Howard Snyder. Ground breaking was held on August 25, 1985 and construction of our church building began. The new church building was dedicated on May 11.1986. The total cost of the building was $564,470. An organ was donated, the first office coordinator was hired and the first joint Vacation Bible School was started with the Church of the Red Rocks. 

In 1987, the first confirmation class was confirmed. Pastor Guinn resigned to accept a call in Tucson. Pastor Richard Knutzen arrived in July, 1988. The Columbarium was dedicated and the Parsonage was sold. The Men’s Breakfast meetings began. 

In 1990, the first Pitchfork BBQ for Lutheran Social Ministries was held. The Church office was computerized and a Long Range Planning Committee was formed. 

In 1992, the Stephen Ministry began. The first interest meeting was held for the Cottonwood/Clarkdale Mission Church, sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church. 

In 1994, a Master Site Plan was presented to the congregation and adopted. Jim Buchanan became our organist/keyboardist. The contemporary “Celebrate” worship service was initiated. The Cottonwood/Clarkdale Mission Church was named Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church and became financially independent. An adjacent 3.5 acre property to Christ Lutheran Church was purchased for $360,000. 

In 1995, youth and adults went on the first service project trip to the Navajo Reservation. Pastor Knutzen retired in July. A keyboard was purchased by funds raised by a Jim Buchanan and Friends concert. Pastor Quello began in February 1996. Jim Buchanan was hired as Music Director. In October 1999, Pastor Quello died. 

Land adjacent to Meadowlark Lane was sold to the Jewish Community, who had been sharing our church facilities for their Saturday services. The ladies of Christ Lutheran Church and the ladies of the Jewish Community began their annual exchange luncheon. 

In 2001, Pastor Jim Schwartz began in February. We expanded our church parking lot and refinished it in 2004. 

In 2006, we began our every Sunday Communion. The Handbell Choir was expanded to 3 octaves of handbells. A memorial fountain was donated for the Church patio. 

Christ Lutheran Church celebrated “25 years of Caring and Sharing” with an anniversary luncheon on Sunday, October 29, 2006 at Mulligan’s Grille in the Village of Oak Creek. 

On Sunday, July 31, 2011, Pastor Schwartz retired. 


© Christ Lutheran Church - Sedona, 2013