The History of Faith Lutheran Church

The founding of Faith Lutheran Church is really the story of two churches joining together to create Faith. Many long-time members recall their time with the two young churches, Advent Lutheran Church and Messiah Lutheran Church, and remember how the two congregations joined together.

In the beginning…

Advent began as a mission church of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) with door-to-door canvassing in June 1976. It was formally established when 40 families became charter members on December 4, 1976. Advent was the first church in the city of Clive, according to “A Celebration of Memories,” which was written for Faith’s 10th anniversary.

The first Christmas service was held at Living History Farms. Regular Sunday services were held at Valley III Theater in Valley West Mall, with Sunday School classes conducted in the mall atrium.

On September 25, 1977, Advent dedicated its new church building at the corner of 104th Street and University Avenue. That space is now the Commons of our current church building. That winter and fall was a challenging time for Lutheran churches across the country. In Des Moines, members of Trinity Lutheran voted to remain with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) by a majority of three votes. After that, 35 families left Trinity and formed a new congregation affiliated with the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC). They named their congregation Messiah. The new congregation worshiped in various church buildings before buying and renovating two office condominium units near 86th Street and Hickman Road.

The two think about becoming one…

According to the written history, it was April 4, 1984, when leaders from both Advent and Messiah met for breakfast at a Village Inn on University Avenue in West Des Moines to discuss the possibility of merging their two congregations.

By August 1984, both congregations had voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger. In a “Name the Church” contest held that October, the winning name was determined: Faith. A married couple from each of the merging congregations had submitted the winning name and were rewarded with a dinner with the ALC Bishop.

Building a new church

On March 19, 1987, members held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Faith Lutheran Church. After the morning worship, the congregation went outside and formed the outline of the new building, which is the current sanctuary, St. Michael’s Hall (upstairs) and Hannah Hall (downstairs).

Faith transitioned its denominal affiliation from ALC to ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) when the ELCA was created on January 1, 1988 as a merger of three existing Lutheran denominations—the ALC, LCA (Lutheran Church in America), and AELC.

The baptismal font in the center of the Commons was installed in November 1989.

The Eternal Light above the baptismal font was dedicated in 1990.

The Dobson Pipe Organ Opus 61 was dedicated on June 6, 1993.

On October 2, 1994, the Memory Garden was dedicated as a living memorial to loved ones.

A major construction project, completed in 2009, was the two-story addition to the eastern side of St. Michael’s Hall and Hannah Hall. This allowed much-needed additional space for the growing children and youth education programs on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. This addition, though our latest, honors our church’s earliest history. The first floor is named Advent Hall; the second floor is Messiah Hall.