Staff & Council

In November of 1960 Grace Lutheran Church gave birth to Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer.  Fifty-two families, equaling over 200 members of Grace, were graciously released to form a new congregation on the north side of Watertown, South Dakota.

The first worship service was held on All Saints Sunday, November 6, 1960, at a temporary home of this developing congregation, the Farmers Market on North Highway 81 near Ninth Avenue.  On November 13, 1960, this congregation held its first Sunday School session with 99 children enrolled.

Under the Leadership of Pastor Virgil O. Johnson (1960-1966) LCOOR was officially organized December 30, 1960 with 237 baptized members.  In one year’s time Sunday School enrollment was up 30% and the congregation was awaiting the completion of the first unit at its new site of 15 12th Avenue Northeast.  This was completed in March of 1962.

In October of 1972, baptized membership had grown to about 500 members and ground was broken for the addition of a new sanctuary.

Soon to follow in May of 1979, as membership continued to climb to 984 baptized members, work began on a new Parish Education addition and remodeling of the fellowship hall, kitchen and administrative wing.

Membership continued to grow at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer and in 1997 a third worship service was added which met at Jefferson Elementary School gymnasium.  The music for this worship service was let by a team of musicians and singers with a contemporary feel to it.

The membership of the congregation continued its expansion and plans were made to purchase the land at 2001 2nd St. NW.  Groundbreaking for our new facility was held in June of 2003.

Construction of the new 40,000 square foot facility continued through the summer of 2004.  Dedication services for the new facility were held on August 29, 2004.

Through the dedication of members and friends of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer has a wonderful facility to house our many expanding ministries.  We have been blessed by God and called to “Make Jesus Christ known through word and Deed”.


I was born in Forest City, Iowa,  and graduated from Mason City High School after our family moved there. I attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls where I met my future wife, Linda Heidenreich, who is from Watertown. Upon graduation, I worked at Peace Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls as Youth Director and Church Staff …

2022 Church Council