The founding of the city of North Platte took place in 1866 as the Union Pacific railroad was pushing westward over the grasslands and prairies of Nebraska to become its main artery of transportation for industry and commerce.
On December 7, 1868, The Rev. H.W. Kuhns, pastor of the Lutheran Church in Omaha, received from the Union Pacific Railroad Lots 7 and 8, block 115, Original Town, North Platte, for one dollar, donated in trust for use of the Lutheran Church. The first church services in North Platte were held in 1868 by the Rev. Cook, a Lutheran minister, in the old log school house.
An official of the Nebraska Synod visited the Lutherans in North Platte in 1880 to organize a church. Articles of Incorporation for "First Evangelical Lutheran Church" were drawn up on August 26, 1880, and perfected on May 8, 1881.
The lots located at what is now the northwest corner of Fifth and Dewey were sold in 1885 and two lots on the northwest corner of Fifth and Sycamore were purchased. A parsonage was built in 1885 on the second lot from the corner. The church was built on the corner lot in 1886 and dedicated on January 2, 1887. A 1,200 church bell was installed ten years later, the same bell is still in use in our present church.
The congregation grew to 343 confirmed members and entered a new church building program in 1918. The new building was dedicated in 1920. A parish educational building was added and dedicated March 23, 1952. An additional educational unit was built in 1967.
In 1979, an intensive renovation and beautification program was undertaken in contemplation of the observance of the centennial anniversary. Additional properties were purchased for landscaping and parking.
In 2005 our Congregation celebrated 125 years of ministry and we are looking ahead to the next 125 years of worship, fellowship and ministry.
First Evangelical Lutheran Church's focus of ministry includes strengthening youth and family and engaging in community outreach. Please join us at First Evangelical Lutheran Church and be a part of this growing community of believers!
First Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and works closely in mission with the agencies and institutions of the Nebraska Synod of the ELCA.
You are invited to personally visit our congregation. Click here for directions and a map to our church. We look forward to having you worship with us soon.