Who We Are

     First Lutheran Church of South Bend is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  We are a part of the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA. 
     Established as the First Norwegian Lutheran Church of South Bend in 1907, we also lent our support the English speaking Finns of Raymond with the opening of Our Savior's Lutheran in 1922 and began offering services in English ourselves in 1928.
     In 1951 the Ansgari (Swedish) Lutheran Church building was purchased and moved to adjoin the building at Water and Adams.
     In 1973 we became home to the South Bend Cooperative pre-school, a relationship that lasted until 2002 when that entity disbanded.
     In 1980 we sponsored a refugee family from Cambodia and hosted English lessons for the many refugee families arriving in the harbor.
     In 2005 joint services with Our Savior's began and in 2008 the churches merged. In 2009 the Legacy Community Outreach Food Bank was established using funds from the sale of the Our Savior's church property.
     In 2011 then Pastor Laurie Johnson initiated the creation of a community garden adjacent to the Food Pantry, in 2016 the garden project faltered and is currently in renewal with a vision toward providing both a peaceful refuge and food production for members of the community.
     In 2015 a back pack feeding program was begun and now with the help of school social worker Kayla Camenzind we are reaching 31 youth a week with a combination of food and grocery vouchers to meet their nutritional needs over weekends and school holidays.