Relive Our History


In the mid-1960’s, the American Lutheran Church mission committee determined there was a need to begin a new mission church in south Lincoln. At the time, Pastor Roland Hanselmann (and his family) were tapped to establish a church in the Southwood subdivision of Lincoln. This small, upstart church had a big dream of welcoming many to become God’s people. Over the last 50 years, we’ve grown from a congregation of 100 to over 4,000 members. And our church home has continued to grow to accommodate our growing numbers. But one thing hasn’t changed and that is our focus on growing in our love for God and others. Join us as we continue to watch the story unfold.


Late 1960s:
  • Four acres were purchased at 5511 S 27th Street and the name for the new mission church is to be called Southwood Lutheran Church.


1970s Gallery

September 1970:
  • First worship service held with 102 worshipers in the Southwood Neighborhood Clubhouse.
  • Sister congregations provided a portable altar, communion trays, Sunday School materials and a piano.
February 1971:
  • Southwood Lutheran Church was organized as a congregation with 87 charter members.
June 1972:
  • Original Southwood Lutheran Church dedicated at 5511 S 27th Street.
  • Addition made to west side of original Southwood Lutheran Church to provide much needed space for education, fellowship and worship.


1980s Gallery

  • Music ministry has always been a way Southwood has celebrated and shared God's message. The Mixed Choir, Men's Chorus and Handbell Choir help deliver this music ministry.
  • Southwood began partnering with Meals on Wheels to deliver meals.
  • Pastor John Bunge becomes the new Senior Pastor.
  • God continues to bless Southwood’s mission and ministries in Lincoln as church reaches a milestone of 1,000 members.


1990s Gallery

  • Sunday School and Vacation Bible School have been staples of Southwood's programming since its inception. As our church has grown, these programs have also grown exponentially.
  • In 1991, ground was broken to add a sanctuary to the church. After a slight construction delay, the Southwood Lutheran sanctuary was dedicated on June 14, 1992.
  • Pastor Greg Olson becomes the new Senior Pastor.


2000's Gallery

  • New pipe organ dedicated. This pipe organ continues to enhance our church services today.
  • First mission trip to Honduras is held. Check out this timeline to see how this partnership has grown.
  • A third pastor is added to meet the growing needs of the congregation, which reaches another milestone of 2,000 members.
  • A commitment to reach out and serve more prompts Southwood to purchase land on South 40th Street. November 21, 2001 land dedication.
  • Southwood Lutheran establishes a sister church relationship in Tanzania. Check out this timeline to see how this partnership has grown.
  • Southwood began serving at Matt Talbot in November 2003.
  • Southwood hosts its first Small Group study focused on the 40 Days of Purpose book.
  • Southwood hosted their first solo medical clinic at Clinic with a Heart on May 17.
  • Southwood Lutheran Church's new facility located at 4301 Wilderness Hills Boulevard is dedicated.
  • Southwood began partnering with the Food Bank to prepare weekly backpacks for students at Saratoga Elementary. Southwood volunteers currently prepare 100 backpacks.
  • Southwood Lutheran continues to grow with 3,000 members.
  • Southwood Serves is introduced as an annual event. Hundreds of congregational members and guests serve throughout the community on the same date.


2010's Gallery

  • Southwood sets up a garden on the church property to provide fresh food for distribution through the Food Bank.
  • Southwood introduced quarterly Healing Prayer Services to provide comfort, support and healing for many difficult life situations.
  • Southwood Lutheran membership tops the 4,000 person mark.
  • Ten years after its inception, Small Group studies continue to be a vibrant part of Southwood's adult ministry program.
  • Southwood achieved the goal to have 25% of all giving go toward Missions.
  • Southwood partners with Food Bank to begin monthly food distribution in Palmyra (NE). Southwood volunteers serve between 25-55 families each month.
  • Southwood began partnering with the Food Bank to offer monthly food distributions for students at Northeast High School.
  • After massive flooding in the Midwest, Southwood partnered with Omaha Rapid Response to host a Serve Strong Day. Over 100 adults and youth helped with flood clean-up around King Lake, NE.