In 1990, Pastor Robert Rusert was called as a mission developer to plant a church through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in Monticello, MN. At the time there was only one ELCA church in Monticello and much growth was projected for the area in coming years. Pastor Bob had never started a church before, but felt strongly called to the challenge. After moving his young family to the Monticello area, Pastor Bob began to meet the community leaders, compile notes and set up his office at the local public library.
Soon he was knocking on doors and inviting residents to join him in worship. The small, but growing, group met in rented school space that is now Eastview Elementary, located directly across the street from our current church location. In 1993, Resurrection was offically organized as a church of the ELCA and 208 members proudly signed the charter. A very excited community of believers embraced their new identity with an enthusiasm that was felt by all who came to see what this new church was about.
When Pastor Bob initially arrived in Monticello he stopped just off the interstate at the base of a slopped farmer’s field on the edge of town. He felt a strong sense of the Spirit that prompted him to believe this is where the church he was called to start should be built. As he gazed at the hillside in front of him, a verse from Matthew 5 came to mind. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.” In the months that followed Pastor Bob negotiated with the landowner and the ELCA to purchase the land.
Shortly thereafter, church volunteers constructed a small building on the property that served as an office for Pastor Bob. In 1998, the first phase of the current church building was erected. It consisted of the sanctuary, a narthex, office space and a small kitchen and fellowship area. As the community of faith continued to grow, so did their need for additional space. And in 2001, a renovation project took place adding additional office space for new staff.
In 2002, Pastor Lee Evenson joined the ministry team as an Associate Pastor overseeing Congregational Care and visitations. His gifts in the areas of counseling, preaching and teaching have been a blessing to the community over and again. In 2003, two classrooms were added to the building; the first phase of our second major building project. And in 2004, the Spiritual Growth Center was added, which greatly increased the fellowship area and added much needed classroom space.
In 2008, founding Pastor Bob Rusert left Resurrection and took a call at a new church. After an extensive 18-month call process the Resurrection community extended a call to Pastor Jedidiah Scharmer. On June 6, 2010 Pastor Jedidiah Scharmer was installed as the Lead Pastor of Resurrection. With a new leader at the helm, we will continue our mission of meeting people where they are in their faith walk with life-transforming experiences that help mature them as Disciples of Christ.
Shortly after the first phase of the church was built a member donated the resources to position three concrete crosses at the top of the hill on the church property. He and others from the community constructed the crosses. Later the site was landscaped and eventually lit, so the site could be seen from many miles on the interstate.
The crosses are detailed on our logo and as Resurrection people we honor the redemptive work Jesus did for us there. We understand our salvation is sure because of that sacrifice. We are also reminded that our own pathway should attempt to reflect Christ’s path to the cross.
The crosses are open to anyone drawn to spend some quiet time at the foot of the cross. Many people have found this a tranquil, healing place. We pray that God continues to use it to draw people close to His love and limitless power.