New Start: Kalispell, Montana, is considered the fastest growing micropolitan city (10,000-50,000 population) in the United States and is 100 miles away from the nearest WELS church. The dedicated core group has been gathering for worship on a regular basis for years, first in private homes and currently in a motel conference room. The pastor at Living Savior in Missoula, the closest WELS church over 100 miles away, leads onsite worship twice a month while lay leaders organize other weekly Bible studies and outreach events.
- Kalispell is the county seat of Flathead County, which includes the communities of Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls.
- Flathead County, the real target area of the mission, has a population of 104,357.
- The core group has been worshipping for over 10 years and participating in regular Bible studies for over eight years.
- The group has started calling themselves “North Valley Lutheran Church”.
- The core group hosted a Backpacks and Burgers event in July 2022 to help get their name out into the Kalispell community. Read more in this Missions Blog from August 2022: wels.net/backpacks-and-burgers-in-kalispell-montana.
Mr. Lloyd Fager, Core Group member