Founded in 1945
Our Saviour’s was founded in 1945. As the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church in Tucson, we embrace our heritage, while at the same time looking forward to the future with creative new ministries and opportunities. Here’s a brief history of our congregation.
1945 – Rev. Albert Alsop arrives in Tucson to assess the viability of new Lutheran congregation. Within a few weeks of riding bicycle door-to-door he gathers 13 people and 8 children for the first worship service on May 13, 1945 at the YWCA. They then purchase the lot at Campbell and Helen streets for $3,500.
1946 – Our Saviour’s outgrows the meeting space at the YWCA and moves to the Roskruge Junior High auditorium.
1948 – The first chapel (now called Koch Chapel) is built at Helen and Campbell, and worship is held.
1949 – The Sunday school outgrows the chapel space, and a second branch Sunday school is held at Ft. Lowell and Country Club roads.
1956 – Membership grows to 1100 people, with 500 in Sunday School. The main sanctuary is built.
1965 – The Activity Building, which now houses Sunday school, is built. The congregation grows and the balcony is expanded to accommodate the increase in worship attendance. A Sunday school is arranged with the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, and 12 classrooms of kids are bused in weekly.
1973 – Our Saviour’s continues expansion in central Tucson, adds several adult Bible studies and grows music ministries.
1979 – Rev. Ron Lavin becomes senior pastor and starts several new initiatives including small group ministry, evangelism conferences, a center for the homeless on campus, partnerships with University of Arizona students, and remodeling of the main sanctuary.
1994 – Rev. Jim Lundeen becomes senior pastor. Our Saviour’s continues to expand its ministries and facility, and adds a contemporary worship at 11:15am on Sundays.
2004 – Rev. Marilyn Ascarza, the associate pastor since 1997, takes over as senior pastor.
2014 – Rev. Jeff Kallevig becomes the senior pastor, working to revitalize the music and outreach ministries. The congregation also began the process of developing the south property in partnership with the neighborhood, the city and community.
TODAY – Our Saviour’s continues its mission in central Tucson. Welcome.