Augustana Lutheran Church traces its roots to a small group of Swedes who met September 20, 1878 to adopt a constitution for their church, Swedish Evangelical Augustana Church in Denver. Worship services were in Swedish. In 1880, the first church building was erected at the intersection of 18th and Welton and the congregation grew quickly along with Denver. The original building was sold, and 23rd and Court Place (the intersection no longer exists) became the site of a new building.
Changes in Worship
In 1919, Augustana decided to hold Swedish and English services on alternate Sundays. Augustana’s membership was more than 900, including 650 adults. In 1924, both Swedish and English services were held every Sunday. Holy Communion was only offered ten times a year. By the time the 60th anniversary came around in 1938, Augustana had about 1,400 members.
Growth in Membership and Facilities
World War II brought a huge influx of new residents to Denver, and many younger Lutherans found their way to Augustana. Swedish language services were phased out. In 1954, Augustana began plans to move to its current location on Alameda Avenue. The building, which then included the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, and office wing, was dedicated on September 20, 1959.
Additions to Augustana’s campus were added over the years. Christ Chapel and the education wing were dedicated in 1965; Augustana’s Early Learning Center began operating in 1971; and the Augustana Memorial Garden broke ground on Sunday, May 28, 1989.
Augustana Sprouts Mission Churches
Augustana started two mission churches: Bethany Lutheran Church in 1908 and Highlands Lutheran Church in 1923. Both congregations are thriving, continuing to spread the Gospel.
Commitment to Excellence in Senior Care and Music
Praising God through music and caring for the sick and elderly have been consistent mission priorities at Augustana throughout the years. Augustana’s Great Chancel Pipe Organ has led worship at two of Augustana’s sites and continues to do so today. Augustana’s Music Ministry program continues to draw music lovers and singers. In 1918, the congregation established the Augustana Lutheran Home, a home for the aged and a place for women and travelers. Augustana’s current Senior Ministry program provides opportunities to promote the well-being of its senior members. Faith Community Nursing affirms Augustana’s commitment to body, soul, and spirit wholeness.
Now a congregation of over 1,000 baptized members, Augustana thanks God for those saints whose ministry and vision laid the foundation for our current ministry in Christ. We welcome all to come see what God is up to at Augustana as our 130-year legacy continues.