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About First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, CO

Three Senior Citizen having a meeting — Adult Discipleship in Colorado Springs, CO

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It is the mission of First Lutheran Church to equip members to be fully committed followers of Jesus Christ, who seek to glorify Almighty God in their lives and share with others the joy and salvation of the Christian faith.

Our History

First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colorado Springs has ministered to its members and the greater Pikes Peak Region since 1892. It was founded by Rev. Abraham W. Howbert, a Civil War veteran who had served parishes in Ohio and Kentucky. First Lutheran is somewhat unique among Lutheran churches in that two of its pastors preached and taught for lengthy periods - Rev. Robert B. Wolf from 1910 to 1948 and Rev. Paul R. Peel for an inspiring 48 years, from 1968 to 2016.
Until 1896, the congregation worshipped in various rented quarters. It then built a small chapel at the corner of Platte and Weber Avenues in downtown Colorado Springs. A large worship center was added at this location in 1928. In 1959 the congregation moved to its present location on North Cascade Avenue, having outgrown its old building. The present sanctuary was dedicated in 1966. In the intervening years from 1959 to 1966, a large turn-of-the century mansion on the church property was used for worship. It eventually became the church's parish house, known since 2016 as the Rev. Paul R. Peel House. Also over the years, the church campus expanded with the addition of a Ministry Center and an Education Center.
Social Ministry has been especially at the heart of First Lutheran's mission since its founding. Concern and care for refugees dates from Belgian Relief efforts during the First World War to support for the Lutheran Family Services Refugee Program today. As early as 1926, First Lutheran's Women's Missionary Society partially funded a member of the congregation as a missionary to Liberia. As of 2017, First Lutheran led all ELCA churches in financial provision for missionaries out of its annual member giving. Over the decades, the people of First Lutheran also have become deeply involved in a number of local ministries, including food banks, daily meals for those in need, housing for the homeless, a women's shelter, a medical clinic, programs for teenagers, help with medical prescriptions, and Habitat for Humanity.
The vision of the 48 charter members of First Lutheran has been carried forward for more than a century and inspires its 2,043 members today.


Our Staff

Pastor Brian R. Mortenson
Pastor Brian R. Mortenson is the Intentional Interim Senior Pastor. He was called to First Lutheran in January 2017.

Pastor Mortenson attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies; Luther Theological Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity; and the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP), Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

Pastor Mortenson has served as Senior Pastor and Interim Senior Pastor at churches in Arizona, Minnesota and South Dakota for 14 years, he was the Founder and Senior Chaplain for the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department and Sioux Falls Police Department and for the past 17 years has worked in Philanthropy and Development.

Pastor Mortenson was called to First Lutheran to serve as the Intentional Interim Senior Pastor, following the retirement of Pastor Paul Peel, Senior Pastor who served for the past 48 years. His role is to provide leadership to the congregation throughout this "in between" time and help them with everything involved in the process of calling the new permanent senior pastor.

Pastor Mortenson's personal calling and conviction right now is to be serving as a Transition Interim pastor. He has confidence that this is what he is supposed to be doing and he is experiencing immense satisfaction in the opportunity to be doing precisely that here at First Lutheran.

Pastor Mortenson is married to Sheri and they have three grown children and almost three grandchildren!
Pastor Mark S. Patzke
Pastor Carrie A. Baylis
Pastor Hank Maertens
Deacon Joan Kuehn
Eric Wicks
Marcia Hanscom
Shelly Schmidt
Drew Lindsey
Linda Branesky