History

Admitted to the National Register of Historic Places in June of 2022, St. Olaf Lutheran Church has been a center of religious life in north Minneapolis since 1874 and has been on the corner of 29th and Emerson since horse and buggy days (1911). Starting in 1964, the church built a nursing home, the St. Olaf Residence, and operated it for 50 years before losing it to mortgage foreclosure in 2018. The facility was purchased by Freedom Works, a non-profit Christian agency which does post-incarceration residential ministry. In 2020, Partners in Recovery was added to the campus for outpatient and inpatient chemical abuse treatment. The former nursing home rooms are being put to good use.  As is St. Olaf, FreedomWorks is a ministry partner of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Maple Grove.

St. Olaf Lutheran Church was formed by Norwegian immigrants in 1874. An outgrowth of Augsburg Seminary (now University), it was a mission of Trinity Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis. In 1964, the church formed the St. Olaf Residence nursing home to provide housing and medical services to elderly residents of the community. North Minneapolis Meals on Wheels was formed in 1981. North Oaks assisted living facility was added in 1993. New Directions Youth Ministry joined the campus in 1998 to develop the youth ministry of the church. The St. Olaf Community Campus (SOCC) was formed in 2008 to support the church and its community and to administer and manage the activities of the Residence and the church.  With the foreclosure of the Residence, the Meals on Wheels operation was transferred to Community Emergency Services and the SOCC was dissolved in 2017.  New Directions remains as a vital partner in St. Olaf’s ministry.

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  1. LeRoy Walquist

    Do you have historical records: baptism, marriage, death, etc. My husband’s family were members for several generations and I am looking for some information that you might have.
    Family names: Holm, Walquist, Anderson

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