ABOUT: A BRIEF HISTORY
In 1995, as part of the 70th anniversary of Elim Lutheran Church, a history book was produced. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of this book or of the second volume that was produced for our 75th anniversary, please send us an email or give us a call: 707-762-4081.
Petaluma was growing in 1920 with a population of 6,266 persons. The town had doubled in size in the following 20 years due to Petaluma becoming the undisputed world leader in the chicken and egg industry. Included in its population was a large group of persons of Danish descent. There were no less than four different well-established Danish organizations in Petaluma—the first one organized in 1893. All of these Danish immigrants had been thoroughly schooled in the Lutheran faith; this having been almost the only religion in Denmark, where Lutheranism was taught in the classrooms by grammar school teachers or the local church deacon. While local Danes had successfully bonded together on the social and fraternal levels, which had been important to help them find security in a new country, many sorely missed their religious upbringing.
The Danish Lutherans in Petaluma utilized The United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pacific Circle's circuit preachers to baptize, marry, and bury faithful people until May, 1920, when 17 individuals joined together to organize a Lutheran congregation in Petaluma. They applied to the Pacific Circle for admittance into the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church. They promised to pledge $40 per month to support a mission pastor, P.C. Jensen, and the church activities.
Over the next 90 something years, faithful people in Petaluma have continuously built and reformed what is now known as Elim Lutheran Church. We have pledged funds for properties, activities, and ministries.
Just a sprinkling of our recorded history: