Church History

Presbyterian Church of the Master began when a few Presbyterian families without a church home in Coon Rapids area began collecting names of others until they had enough to send to Presbytery requesting a survey.  In July l960, a community survey was conducted under the direction of Rev. Willard Reeves, Director of New Church Development.  As a result, a comity allocation was granted by the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches and the Presbytery purchased a 6 acre site from Peter Sorteberg, November 1, 1960.  Rev. Jerome V. Lofgren was assigned as organizing minister.  Get-acquainted meetings were held, a steering committee formed, and the first worship service was held at Coon Rapids Junior High (now Middle School) attended by 29 adults, 55 children, and 30 infants.  Worship services continued there through March 1961.

Presbyterian Church of the Master was officially organized on March 26, 1961, with 154 charter members.  On April 2, 1961, the first Easter service was held at Northdale Elementary School (now Sorteberg Elementary School) and services continued there until the church building was completed.  Rev. Jerome V. Lofgren was installed as our first pastor on May 21, 1961.  In June 1961, the designs from Architect McEnary & Krafft were approved by the congregation; by early September the C. W. Borreson Construction Company was contracted.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held September 17, 1961, and the cornerstone laying ceremony took place on March 4, 1962.  The first service in our new building was held on March 4, l962, and it was formally dedicated on September 23, l962.  Mortgage burning ceremony was held January 1980.

Rev. Lofgren resigned in 1965.  Rev. Ronald L. McDuffie was installed by the Presbytery as our second pastor January 23, 1966, and served our congregation for over 15 years.  Rev. Frank Goodlake served as interim pastor from March 1981 to June 1982.  Rev. David R. Bruneau was our third pastor beginning July 1, 1982, and was installed as our pastor on September 19, 1982, and served until July 29, 1999.  Interim pastors who served were Rev.Okokun Udo, Rev. Robert Cuthill, Rev. Ernest Cuttings, and Rev. LeRoy Haynes.

Rev. David R. Bierschwale, became our fourth pastor starting February 16, 2001 and was installed on April 22, 2001. Rev. Bierschwale was our pastor until November 1, 2009.  Pastor Richard Townsend-Anderson started March 16, 2010 serving as our interim Pastor. Pastor Richard Townsend-Anderson was our interim pastor until September 16, 2012. Pastor John, our fifth pastor, officially started his ministry at PCOM October 9, 2012.

Through these years we've had many Student Assistant Ministers, an Education Director, and youth directors.  Lorinda Clausen was Minister of Youth and Families starting in 1994 and Associate Minister as of June 2001.  Lorinda left August 15, 2009 to pursue her doctorate in Church Development at St. Thomas University. Greg Magdsick served as our Interim Youth Director from August 16, 2009 to July, 2010 and left to pursue other avenues of youth work. Greg grew up in PCOM and under the direction of Lorinda Clausen, and was an excellent Youth Director. On August 1, 2010, Erik Johnson became our Director of Student Ministries; he left PCOM on August 1, 2016, to pursue a career in counseling.

Over the past several years there have been many improvements in the church.  Folding chairs were replaced by pews that had been loaned by Bethlehem Presbyterian.  Pews were received from Andrew-Riverside Presbyterian Church in 1971.  Our church acquired the first organ in the spring of 1972 from Long Lake Presbyterian Church.  A newer organ was purchased in the fall of 1994 from the Congregational Church in Three Lakes, WI.  The first church sign was a gift from Calvary Presbyterian in 1965.  Kitchen cupboards were purchased with Women's Association Bazaar profits in 1981; and the kitchen was renovated in 2002.    Evergreen Circle has been making many banners to add to our worship atmosphere.  Re-roofing of the sanctuary to replace the badly deteriorating flat roof and the gable roof remodeling took place in 1983.

Our new education and fellowship hall addition was completed and dedicated in September 1990.  These new rooms were needed for our growing Sunday School.  We are thankful for the many hours of planning and construction work volunteered by our congregation. Air conditioning was installed at this time also.   We are grateful to several members who planned and built a new sound booth in 1997.

The Education wing was remodeled in the late 90’s --- with a new nursery and offices for the Secretary, Senior Pastor and Associate Minister.  The Fireside Room was remodeled. New doors were donated.  A new piano was purchased after generous donations from members and friends in 2001.  A memorial park bench and stained glass plaque were also given.

There have been other building and grounds improvements as well.  A gable roof replaced the flat roof on the education wing in 1983.  An outdoor Worship site was constructed in 1999 by one of our members as an Eagle Scout project.  The outdoor worship site then was remodeled in 2012 by another member as his Eagle Scout project.   A Garden Club was organized in 2001 which greatly beautified the addition of flowerbeds.  A generous member lovingly gave a new, lighted message sign on the Northdale Blvd side of the church as a memorial in 2002. Another Eagle Scout project by one of our members was the construction of a volleyball court on the park side of the church, which was taken away when our next construction project began.

Another expansion started taking place in the spring of 2006 and was dedicated in September of 2008.  This new expansion gave us a new lobby area, new and larger office space, enlarged our Fellowship Halls, a new Youth Room, 2 Adult Sunday School rooms, enlarged our sanctuary, adding a handicap ramp, replacing wooden pews with soft, comfortable inter-locking chairs, enlarged the Sound booth area, created 3 new handicap restrooms, brought us up to city and state codes, enlarged and resurfaced our parking lot, a new roof was installed, additional areas to landscape, and a large brick planter at our new main entrance. This is a beautiful new facility being enjoyed by many throughout the congregation and the community.  We have more room to offer to outside groups for building usage.

God has touched many lives with forgiveness, love, truth and the transforming power of Jesus Christ over the years. Today PCOM has over 243 members, with many friends who worship with us as well.  PCOM is known for its great heart for missions and for youth. In recent years the Session approved affiliation with the Confessing Church Movement.  This evangelical movement lifts up the important teachings of the Church which we (and some 1300 PCUSA congregations nationwide) feel are being neglected in the larger church.

We have incorporated more contemporary elements into worship—with praise bands at the 10:30 service, Powerpoint, additional music, as well as a Children’s Carol Choir.

We strive with the Lord’s gracious help to be a loving and caring congregation that reaches out to others through education, mission and evangelism.