Friendship Congregation


First Lutheran’s “Friendship Congregation” Relationship with the
Ingrian Lutheran Church in Petrozavodsk, Russia

Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit

Petrozavodsk Lutheran Church in 1979

A “Friendship Congregation” relationship was established with the Ingrian Lutheran Church in Petrozavodsk in 1992 as a result of contact made with the church by FLC members Paul and Carol Anderson in 1991.  Members Pastor Antti Lepisto and his wife Nancy and Paul and Carol represented First Lutheran in the dedication of a lot for a new building for the Petrozavodsk church in 1996.  Pledges of support for First Lutheran’s “Time to Build” new addition included $50,000 to help build this $1,300,000 church building; with additional support from many Scandinavian churches, construction began in the fall of 2004.  The building was completed in September, 2011, just in time to host a 400th Anniversary celebration of the founding of the Ingrian Lutheran church.  The new building will also be an Education Center for church leadership development in Karelia and Murmansk Republics for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR).   The Northeastern Minnesota Synod has a Companion Synod relationship with the ELCIR and was responsible for the project to help support building of the church in Petrozavodsk.  Member Paul Anderson and Pastor Richard Stadler from Saint James Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, MN, attended the 400th Anniversary celebration and the opening of the new church building October 1 and 2, 2011:

For more information go to the following websites:

ELCA Northeast Minnesota Synod web site  – Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia

East European Missions Network- Vision Petrozavodsk



Faith ~ Love ~ Community