A Brief History
In the early 1950's, Westmount was a developing area in Edmonton. The Rev. George Evenson, then Pastor of Central Lutheran Church and the Canadian Member of the Board of the Home Missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was advised of a massive residential development taking place west of the municipal airport. He called on the city planner to determine what areas were set aside for churches, and reserved the site where Mt. Zion is now.
Pastor Evenson reported his findings to Dr. Mars Dale, President of the Canada District, and Dr. P. Dybvig, Executive Director of the Board of Home Missions. They came to Edmonton to evaluate the proposal that a new mission be placed here. At the fall 1953 meeting of the Board of Home Missions, the Board approved in principle a decision to build the church as one of the 1954 projects. However, in the spring of 1954 the mission budget was cut back and the Edmonton mission was one of several projects dropped. A new method of funding the projects was proposed, that well-established congregations be asked to sponsor approved missions. Dr. Evenson suggested that his home congregation, Lake Sinai Lutheran Church in South Dakota be approached. The names of these six dedicated supporters are: Iver Erickson, Edward Evenson, Arnt Hope, Albert Negstad, Peter Peterson and Osborne Stime. The lots were purchased and a new mission established.
Services were first held in the Inglewood School on December 12, 1954. A parsonage was built and dedicated in February 1955. In April 1955, a congregation was organized and ground breaking occurred on April 24, 1955. On December 11, 1955 the cornerstone of the church was laid. The church was dedicated in September of 1956. In 1956, a Parish Worker, Anita (Wolter) Yont was called to assist with this rapidly-growing congregation and she served for 10 years. Mount Zion sponsored a new parish in St. Albert, and in 1966 thirty-five members from Mount Zion transferred to St. Albert Lutheran Church. Between 1960 and 1968 two morning worship services were held. There was a large Sunday School, and active Youth Group, and a Women's Group.
In 1980 the debt was completely paid off and at the worship service commerating out 25th Anniversary, there was a mortgage-burning ceremony. On the same day, ground was broken for a new two-storey Education/fellowship wing, estimated to cost $200,000. The new wing contained Sunday School rooms, a multi-purpose lounge, a remodeled kitchen and washrooms. Almost half the cost was raised through members contributions. The sale of the parsonage helped to pay down considerably more of the debt. The remainder was financed by debentures sold to members of the congregation. The
debentures were all redeemed.
Ten pastors have served Mount Zion:
Pastor C. E. Lund 1954 - 1957
Pastor L. Likness 1957 - 1962
Dr. R. Nostbakken 1963 - 1965
Pastor P. Jorgensen 1965 - 1972
Pastor G. Strand 1971 - 1972
Pastor R. G. Lemke 1972 - 1984
Pastor C. Nelson 1984 - 1987
Pastor O. D. Olsen 1987 - 1995
Pastor D. Roste 1995 - 2010
Pastor J. Jarvis 2011
Under the supervision of Pastor O. D. Olsen, and in cooperation with the E.L.C.I.C, Mount Zion was priviledged to have the services of four student intern pastors, from 1990 to 1994, each serving for a one year period. They were Karl Johnsen, Paul Weatherington, Jeff Christiansen, and Lenise Michalow. In the year 1999 - 2000, Mount Zion again provided an intern-training opportunity for seminary student Jane Zinken.
In 1996 Mount Zion initiated a Health Ministry Program. Evelyne Forbes, R.N. served as our Parish Nurse until 2002. Julie Hink, R.N., served as Parish Nurse/Deaconess 2003 -2006
We are blessed with good leadership, fine facilities and a strong core of volunteers.