It all started with…

Thor Sorenson, who grew up in Duluth’s Central Hillside District. So when U.S. News & World Report (October 17, 1994) named that district the "fifth worst white slum in America," Thor was already painfully aware of the violence and suicide attempts that riddle his community. In fact, in his home in the ’60s and ’70s, those were "just typical weekend events," as he writes in his book, The Hillside Story. The turning point for Thor, the angry, troubled junior-high student, was meeting a college student, Lynn Kern.

Lynn had been challenged to see the teenagers in Central Hillside as his mission field. He prayed that God would give him five junior-high students he could mentor and lead to salvation. Thor says, "In July 1968, I was almost 13 and going into the eighth grade. I was playing basketball with a friend and this college guy, Lynn Kern, asks if he could play. Then he invited us to a Bible study that evening." "We’ll play basketball first," Lynn said. Thor went because it was an opportunity to improve his basketball skills. Several nights later, after a Bible study, Thor accepted Christ. As Lynn poured his life into Thor and other teens, soon almost 100 kids were playing basketball and studying the Bible. Thor went to college and also studied correspondence courses and became an Assemblies of God minister, but he never forgot those turbulent growing-up years on the steep hillside, overlooking the city of Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior.

Twelve families set out with a vision…

to start a new church in Hermantown, Minnesota. We found the right property to build a church at the corner of Maple Grove and Stebner roads. We didn't have a dime in a bank account, but we stepped out in faith. A few days later the entire amount was donated to purchase the property. Our first service was the third weekend of October 1991.  Remember the Mega Storm? It started to snow and didn't stop for days! That's the year we started building our legacy and we are still building the legacy with the same vision. We out-grew our first little white church on the corner and consequently had to move across the road to our present location. Thank you for helping us continue to build the legacy. A special thank you to our amazing staff and all the faithful parishioners that have helped us and are helping us to fulfill our vision of reconciling our community back to God.