Our Mission & Vision


Deborah Gelerter
and Tim Bernard

Our Mission Statement here at PLC is simple yet profound:

To Know Christ,

To Grow in Christ and to

Show the love of Christ!


The mission of Petersburg Lutheran Church is to love God, to love others, and to magnify the name of Jesus Christ. The vision of our church is to glorify our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to make true disciples throughout all the nations one child at a time.  We believe what St. Paul proclaimed that we are all ‘saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Leadership Team:

Our Leadership team consist of our church council. Our church council meets the third Wednesday of the month.  There is a nice picture of our church council in the back of church. If you have any questions or concerns simply talk with a council member, we are here to serve you.


Located on the Corner of ‘Hope and Love’:

Petersburg Lutheran Church is a member of the Alaska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Participation in Holy Communion is open to all baptized members of the body of Christ and to other Christians who believe that Christ is present in this meal, granting us His forgiveness and life. Children younger than 5th grade are welcome to receive the bread and wine/grape juice, according to their own desire and/or parental approval. We offer Holy Communion on the first and third Sundays of each month during the 10:00am worship service.

A Brief History

Founded in 1898 by Norwegian fishermen, the city of Petersburg was incorporated as a town in 1910. In the fall of 1913, the Mission Board of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America sent Pastor T. K. Torvilsen to serve as resident pastor of a newly organized church. Pastor Torvilsen’s held his first service on November 23rd of that year and thus began the Lutheran backbone of Petersburg’s spiritual life.

The fledgling Lutheran congregation purchased the original church building from the Presbyterian Church. They continued to worship at that site, just down the hill from our current facility, until 1938 when builders laid the cornerstone for the present church. The new structure, now a Petersburg landmark, was built entirely by volunteer labor under the supervision of Louis J. Israelson. Worship services as well as all other activities took place in the basement until completion of the sanctuary in 1948.

The stained glass window above the altar was purchased by the PLC Sunday School children in the early 1940s for $500, a gift that has magnified itself in proportion to God’s blessings on our congregation. Around that time, the Ladies Aid purchased a second stained glass window for $300. That window (the Good Shepherd) can be seen at the back of the church balcony.

Our pipe organ was given in memory of Berta Lero, our first church organist. All of our solid oak pews were purchased and shipped from Minnesota at a total cost of $1500.   In 1957, Mrs. Chris Wick, in memory of her late husband, established a building fund for Sunday school facilities . Wilmer H. Oines rose to the call and designed what was to become the education building. Construction, using volunteer labor under the supervision of Wilmer, began in March 1959. Two years later the new parish education building became a reality as the home of our administrative offices as well as some of our Sunday school classes.

In 1997 the still-growing congregation initiated yet another major project. The education building was cut in half. Ray Olsen moved the half furthest from the sanctuary to a lot next door to the parsonage, across Excel Street from the main church entrance.

After extensive renovation using volunteer labor under the supervision of Dave Berg and Larry Dunham, the revitalized building was dedicated and named “Rebbi Hus.” It currently houses our Good Beginnings preschool and “Eagle’s Nest,” a weekday latchkey program operated by the Petersburg Children’s Center.

The bulk of the renovation project consisted of the addition of a new education/fellowship facility to the remainder of the original education building. The “Holy Cross House,” was officially dedicated on November 12, 1998. The ground floor consists of classrooms and a youth room (complete with a pool table). The upper floor includes a large open hall with full kitchen facilities. Petersburg Lutheran Church uses the Holy Cross House to host fellowship events for the congregation as well as other community activities.

As Petersburg Lutheran moves into the 21st Century, we remember the many volunteers that have stepped forward as witnesses to God’s power, grace and Love. We invite you to join our fellowship in Jesus Christ our Lord. We are placed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to share His love and forgiveness in our daily lives. Forgiven, we are “called to share his love with all.”