The History

The Log Church | Crosslake Evangelical Free Church

The beginning of what would become the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church goes back to 1968, when interest developed for an alternative worship service in the Crosslake area. The thought was that a “Tourist Church” in the independent Evangelical tradition would help meet the spiritual needs of many summer residents and visitors in the area. This led to the renting of the Game and Fish Club building in Crosslake and asking Rev. David Martin, who was serving at the time as a Pastor of the Lakewood Evangelical Free Church in Baxter, to come and serve as a part-time pastor for the three summer months that the church would hold services.

From 1972 to 1981, Dr. Edwin Groenhoff, a college professor, writer, artist, and preacher was Pastor of the “Tourist Church”. During this time, the ministry expanded from 3 months to 6 months, with two services being held each Sunday during the summer. By the summer of 1981, it was felt that God was leading the church into a new phase of ministry as interest developed among the permanent residents of the area to establish a year-round church. This resulted in the official organizing of the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church, and Articles of Incorporation were signed on June 28, 1981. Rev. Rudy Messerli was called to be the first-year-round pastor and he accepted the call to minister to both the Free Church in Jenkins, Minnesota as well as The Crosslake Church. During his pastorate a constitution was adopted, and a church membership list was established. As the church continued to grow, two needs became evident. One was the need for a full-time pastor and the other was the need for a church building that would be versatile enough to meet the demands of both the large summer congregation and the year-round congregation. A pastoral search committee was formed, and this led to the eventual calling of Rev. Scott Fine, who moved to Crosslake with his wife, Jeanne. A building committee was formed, and plans were presented to the congregation for a log church that would be nestled in the woods amongst a three-acre lot the church had purchased. Work began in February, 1983 and continued at a tremendous pace, work that was done mostly by volunteers. The new log church was dedicated on October 16, 1983.

By 1987 the building and property were debt free. The church continued to grow and in October,1993 it was evident that more room was needed. Approval was given and construction was started on an addition. The expansion was completed in 1995 and gave much needed space for Christian Education and sanctuary seating for 500.

These days we continue to see an increase in attendance of Sunday worship and Christian Education. More and more families are moving to the Lakes Area and are looking for a church home. 2014 growth of the church prompted us to put another addition on the church that was needed for quite some time. We added 6 new classrooms, a gym, a large Youth Room, an elevator, a new library and a large fellowship area. In 2015 Pastor Mark Holmen stepped in as our interim Senior Pastor and in February, 2017 Pastor Mark Holmen was called to be the Senior Pastor of The Log Church.