Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
Zion is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). We believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Holy Triune God, and confess the Nicene Creed. We are not shy about our faith, but rather take to heart the words of God “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to every creature”. We invite you to learn and live your faith!
We invite you to worship with us and learn more about our congregation: its pastors, leaders and staff; its opportunities for worship and growth; and its beliefs, programs of Christian education, and opportunities for fellowship.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church exists to glorify the Triune God by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to our families, our community, and the world.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Winthrop, Minnesota was organized in 1899, meeting in a little chapel under the leadership of Pastor Justus Naumann from Immanuel Lutheran, Gibbon, Minnesota. Our first called minister was Pastor Herman C. Ritz who was ordained and installed on July 29, 1900. A parsonage was built in 1901. In 1904 a church was purchased from the First Lutheran (Swedish) Church in Winthrop and moved to Fourth Street and Renville, south of Winthrop Public School. The parsonage was then moved next to it.
The first church was converted to a parochial school. The present church was dedicated to the call of service to the Triune God on June 4, 1967.
Called pastors having served through 120 years of grace were:
- Pastor Herman C. Ritz 1900-1909
- Pastor Peter Schlemiel 1909-1911
- Pastor August C. Bartz 1911-1920
- Pastor C. William. A. Kuehner 1920-1963
- Pastor W. J. Oelhafen 1964-1974
- Pastor Lee Strackbein 1975-1979
- Pastor John Stellick 1980-1997
- Pastor Paul Tessmer 1998-2020
- Pastor Paul Meitner July 2020-present