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It all began with a prayer. Pearl Finke and her husband, Leroy, devoted followers of Jesus, prayed for many years (since the 1940's) for the city of Waseca and those who live here. Their heart was that God would plant an Assemblies of God church in Waseca - a church that exhibited the vibrant, faith-filled life of those in the New Testament, engaging in ardent prayer and personal sacrifice, embracing Pentecost and the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In 1979 that prayer was answered when Rev. Ronald Scheimo of the Evangelistic Missionary Fellowship (EMF), along with students from Calvary Bible College in Minneapolis, began meeting on Sunday nights in a rented room on the University of Minnesota, Waseca Campus. Steve O'Brien, a graduate of Calvary Bible College, accepted the position of Christian Assembly's first pastor in 1980, serving until his resignation in 1986. The church purchased its first building, located at 203 SW 2nd Street, in 1984. In 1988. under the leadership of Pastor Jim Risner, the congregation voted to become a part of the Assemblies of God, establishing membership with the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God.
Early one morning in 1987, a fire began to burn in a neighboring structure. Many from the congregation were roused from their beds and watched as firefighters fought the fire... and saw God's miraculous protection: though the structure next door was completely destroyed, the only damage to Christian Assembly's building was a scorched wall and the smell of smoke.
From the very beginning, Missions has been a vital part of Christian Assembly. In 1985, members of Waseca Christian Assembly participated in a missions team to Haiti. Later that same year, Christian Assembly established "missions giving" as part of its annual budget. During the next few years, the congregation of Christian Assembly began to feel God leading them to support missions on a greater level: Today we support more than 30 missionaries/missions organizations on a monthly basis. As we continue to be faithful in giving to missions, God is faithful to provide for our needs.
The church continued to grow over the next decade, and as the space seemed to get smaller, the congregation began to pray for God's direction in purchasing property on which to build a new facility. When a local realtor was approached in 1998 to assist in finding property, the realtor asked if the current facility was for sale - someone had already expressed an interest in buying it. Though that buyer never made a formal offer on the facility, later that year, Christian Assembly's first building was sold and became the home of the Waseca Neighborhood Service Center.
For the next two years, the congregation met at Central Intermediate School, renting office space in downtown Waseca. In June 2000, Rev. Risner resigned and a search was made for a new pastor. In July of 2000, Rev. Brad Wickersheim was elected Senior Pastor of Waseca Christian Assembly; In September, he and his wife, Gayle, and their three children made the move to Waseca from Wood River Illinois, where Pastor Wickersheim had served as youth pastor.
In May 2001, the contract with the Waseca Public School District came to an end, and once again, the congregation diligently sought the Lord's direction for not only a property to build on, but for a place to meet. It was at the end of an extended time of fasting that Pastor Wickersheim was approached by the leadership of Grace Lutheran Church, who graciously offered Christian Assembly the opportunity to rent Ramseth Chapel until a permanent home was found.
It was a summer of great anticipation, prayer and meetings as the Church Council began searching for property in the Waseca area, praying over the land that was available, and preparing the congregation for the upcoming building by conducting a summer-long building campaign. "Building Today...Impacting Generations" was the theme for that campaign, generating excitement as the congregation looked ahead to what God had in store not only in the immediate future, but in many years to come.
It was to be a project that involved everyone in the congregation, along with friends and neighbors. Land was found and purchased on the southeast side of Waseca. Groundbreaking took place in the late fall, and for the next ten months, the dream of a building became a reality. Under the leadership of Project Manager, Dave Lent, much of the work was completed by teams of workers from churches throughout Minnesota, MAPS workers and members of Christian Assembly. The first services in the new building were held in September 2003 and on a chilly November afternoon, Rev. Clarence St. John, MN District Superintendent, led the dedication service.
The church has continued to grow, building on its foundation of prayer. Countless members, staff, guest speakers, missionaries, and evangelists have contributed to the health and growth of Christian Assembly.
We have found that as we as a church body continue to follow God's leading, as we continue to seek His face and will in our lives as individuals and as a congregation, and as we are obedient to do as He bids, God continues to pour out upon us blessing upon blessing.
This is where God has brought us so far. As we watch for and work toward His return, we eagerly anticipate all He has in store for us.
Like any family, there is always room for more. We invite you to come be a part of what God is doing at Christian Assembly, in our community and around the world.