Our History


First Efforts

In 1912, Pastor Julius Huchthausen from Zion Lutheran Church of Tacoma, WA first began efforts to establish a new Lutheran mission in the Auburn area. His efforts were met with partial success and the services were infrequent.


During the summer of 1920 several members made a concerted effort to continue the mission on a regular basis. Pastor OScar Korsmeyer of Hope Lutheran Church in West Seattle began serving the Auburn mission. For the next two years, services were held twice a month on Sunday afternoons. A Sunday school also began and met regularly. All of these services and classes were held in the Episcopal church.


Among the members active at this time were: Mrs. Pauline Rockway, Mrs. R. M. Ware, Mrs. Frank Breasaw, Mrs. Fred Buechner, Mrs. Hans Hansen, Miss Hildegard Bresaw and Mr. Leon Bresaw. Leon and Hildegard made up the Sunday School staff. The students enrolled were: Marvin, Niola, and Dorwin Ware; Agnes and William Hansen; Ione Beuchner; Arzella and Melvin Breasaw.


A Name is Chosen

In 1922 Pastor H. H. Englebrecht of Zion Lutheran Church in Tacoma began to serve the Auburn mission. This was the year of the first Confirmation of Auburn Lutheran Mission. There was one confirmand – Marvin Ware. During the fall of 1922 the Presbyterian Church (which was then located on the present site of the Price Funeral Home) was rented and services were held there until the property was sold in 1923. After this, the mission rented the Methodist Church.


While meeting in a member's home, Pastor Englebrecht suggested that the name "Zion" be addopted for the Auburn mission.


First Pastor and Building

The Reverend O. W. Winterstein became the first resident Pastor of Zion Lutheran Mission in 1931. During his term of ministry at Zion the mission took two important steps. The first was the building of a church building, which was dedicated to the glory of God in 1937. Two years later, in 1939, the congregation officially organized and joined the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Pastor Winterstein served the congregation until October 1953 when he accepted a call to New Plymouth, Idaho.


In 1937 the first building, seating 108 in the nave, was built for the total cost of $2,400. Pastor Winterstein and Mr. Walter Benz both spent many hours in the actual construction of the building. In addition, Mr. Benz made the pews and Mr. Buechner installed the furnace.


Among the members of the congregation at this time were: Mrs. Walter Benz, Mrs. Leon Breasaw, Mrs. Elizabeth Cummings and family, Mrs. Helma Huseby, Mrs. Jean Huseby, Mrs. Agnes Hyden, Mr. and Mrs. James O’Grady and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Olson and family, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Reese and family, Mrs. Elsie Sorsdahl, Mrs. Hazel Vogel and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Ware and family.


Continued Growth in Grace

Pastor Werth served Zion Lutheran Church from 1954 until his retirement in 1979. Pastor Werth was called to his Home in Heaven a year later. During his time of ministry at Zion the congregation completed two more major building projects. The first of these was the first of a proposed larger plant and was to become the Education Building. This was built on property on the corner of M and 17th Street Southeast on Auburn Way South. The building was completed in 1957 and was used for worship services until the next unit was completed in 1967.


A new sanctuary was completed in 1967, and was dedicated on June 4, 1967. Many members and friends of Zion worked together in the construction and finishing of the new building. In the summer of 1969 the Education Building was remodeled giving the interior several good size classrooms. In addition, a parsonage had been built in 1962.


The Zion campus currently stands as it was that day - the sanctuary, the education building, and the parsonage which is now used as a rental space. Throughout the week you will find many groups using the campus for various meetings, from other churches holding worship services, to comunity groups having meetings. At Zion we are thankful that the Lord has continually provided for our needs, past, present and future.


Significant Dates

1912    -           First worship held in Auburn

1922    -           First confirmation, Marvin Ware

1931    -           First resident pastor, Rev. Winterstein

1392    -           Ladies Aid plans purchase of property

1937    -           Dedication of first church

1939    -           Congregation joins LCMS

1954    -           Second resident pastor, Rev. Werth

1957    -           Dedication of second building

1962    -           Parsonage built

1967    -           Present sanctuary dedicated

1979    -           Third resident pastor, Rev. Lober

1982    -           Fourth resident pastor, Rev. Schutte

1982    -           Mortgage burning

1983    -           Fifth resident pastor, Rev. Mason

1984    -           Rev. Robert Merz serves on contract at Zion

1989    -           Interim pastor, Rev. Howard Peterson, serves at Zion for three years

1992    -           Sixth resident pastor, Rev. Robert Bendick

1995    -           Preschool begins at Zion with Mrs. Sonya Little as Director and Teacher

1997    -           Rev. Howard Peterson once again serves Zion as Vacancy Pastor

1998    -           Seventh resident pastor, Rev. Terry Dill

2008    -           Mrs. Debbie Fink is called as Preschool Director and Teacher

2009    -           Pastor Dill Retires

2009    -           Deacon Larry Cournoyer serves in pastoral vacancy

2010    -           Preschool closes

2010    -           Eighth resident pastor, Rev. Michael Edwards

2014    -           Rev. Terry Dill served as pastor

2015    -           Rev. Dan Lochner serves as pastor