In the early 1980's, a group of about 48 people who belonged to Salem Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), in Springville, New York, began to question some of the teachings that were being presented by the LCMS at the time. They felt that the pure Word of God was no longer preached or taught at Salem Lutheran Church.
One of the parishioners contacted the pastor of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) church in Rochester, New York. His name was Rev. Mark Gieschen, and he agreed to come to Springville and hold an open forum at the Town Hall for anyone interested in hearing about the WELS teachings.
The forum was so well attended that their interest sparked the WELS to propose an exploratory mission here in Springville. As a result, those dissatisfied with Salem began attending Bible Information Classes in the basement of one of our parishioner's homes. We learned about the teachings and found that they were what many of us had grown up with. They were what the LCMS had been. The pure, unaltered Word of God. We had found our new home, and we became Our Savior Ev. Lutheran Church.
It was then that we agreed to rent the VFW Hall on Mechanic St. to serve as our place of worship for the time being. As we grew, we decided to call our first pastor, Rev. Bruce Becker who began his ministry in July of 1982. We were blessed with a big enough membership that it became possible to purchase a small piece of land on Waverly St., in the vacinity of a lot of commerial businesses and very close to where the new Rt. 219 was going to run. A very visible location.
The church and parsonage began construction and by February 2nd of 1986 we had our own place of worship.
Over the course of 39 years, we have continued to serve our congregation with opportunities to worship together, attend Sunday School and Bible classes, and take part in many fellowship activities. We also held VBS and several outreach events for the children of the community.
Our congregation continued to be blessed with growth which called for the services of several good men over the years. We started out with Pastor Geischen, who graciously traveled through all sorts of weather to get us started. In a Western New York winter, that was real dedication. When we decided to become a permanent fixture, we called our first pastor, Rev. Bruce Becker. He guided us through the building of the church and getting our footing there. When he was called to a Wisconsin church, we called our second pastor, Rev. Brett Voigt, who served us for the next 8 years and contributed 5 children to our Sunday School. He was called to Ontario, Canada, so we called our third man, Rev. Steven Neumann. He oversaw the forming of a mommy-and-me program, called Hidden Treasures, which resulted in further growth to our membership. As a result, we outgrew the social and Sunday school area of the church, so an addition was built. He stayed a total of 10 years and in August of 2006, accepted a call to Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was replaced by Rev. Daniel Walters, who served us until October 2011. Usually , during the interim between pastors, we were served by the pastor from Rochester, who for many years, was Rev. Horneber, and of late is Rev. Mark Westra. However, during the gap between the fourth and fifth pastor, we were blessed to be served by a retired minister from Florida. Rev. Tom Hilliard left his home in order to serve us for the next several months. In July of 2012, Rev. Dave Backus took over the pulpit. He introduced us to the experience called "Trunk of Treat and was in the process of setting up a ministry to the handicaped, when he recieved his call to Appleton, WI. We then called Rev. Paul Jenkins, who tried to carry on the outreach that Pastor Backus had begun. Unfortunately, he was also the pastor that guided us through a very rough time, the sale of the church and the COVID pandemic.
Our membership had been getting smaller and smaller, and the simple truth was that we could no longer afford the mortgage on the addition. We had to downsize, which meant selling the church building and the parsonage. After 2 years and the start of the COVID pandemic, we sold it. It was truly a blessing.
Now we had to find a new place to worship. The new owner was kind enough to let us continue to worship in the old sanctuary for a few months, while we found something. God was looking out for us again, and the Springville Center for-Arts had a space that would work. Pastor Jenkins had had to take a call in 2020. He was part of the downsize, so we made arrangements to Livestream in his services from Woodbridge, VA. With the COVID, many churches had turned to virtual means to reach their people. Again, God takes care of us.
That brings us to where we are now, 2021. Our new location is the Center for-Arts, at 37 N. Buffalo St., in Springville, NY. The pandemic is still causing some restrictions, so it may be a bit yet before we know what our "new normal" is going to be, but in the meantime we intend to meet on the 3rd Sunday of every month at 10:30am.