The Beginning

In the 1920’ies both the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America considered mission among the Danes in Vancouver. In May of 1923 Pastor Rasmussen from Dalum, Alberta, leads a service in Danish at the Norwegian Church in Vancouver. This first service develops into a monthly event lead by Pastor Alfred Sørensen from Seattle, Washington. In the summer of 1923 a group of 21 people forms the Ansgar Congregation.

The congregation establishes a Building Fund. Dansk Kirke i Udlandet, an organisation in Denmark supporting Danish churches abroad, is contacted for funds, but the Building Fund grows very slowly; the Depression in the 1930’ies doesn’t help.

The monthly services continue with Pastor Alfred Sørensen from Seattle, Washington, and other visitors until the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1928 sends Pastor E.M. Favrholdt to the Ansgar Congregation. However, Pastor Favrholdt leaves already in 1930 due to differences with the congregation, so Pastor Alfred Sørensen continues his journeys between Seattle and Vancouver.

In need of a pastor, the Ansgar Congregation contacts both the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but no substantial help materialises. Then in 1932 the Ansgar Congregation calls Pastor Jørgen Nielsen from Enumclaw, Washington, who is willing to serve on the most meagre of salaries.

The regularity provided by a resident pastor allows the congregation’s finances to improve. The building of a church is again considered seriously, and in April of 1933 the Ansgar Congregation purchases a property at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Burns Street (now Prince Albert Street) in Vancouver.

In July of 1933 Pastor Jørgen Nielsen suddenly resigns.

The congregation decides to discontinue its activities for the time being to allow the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Dansk Kirke i Udlandet to reconsider their mission among the Danes in Vancouver. The Ansgar Congregation lies dormant until 1935.

In 1935 the Ansgar Congregation asks Dansk Kirke i Udlandet if they can provide a resident pastor for the Danes in Vancouver This inquiry was suggested by Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; maybe this blessing from the church that had previously provided a pastor for the Ansgar Congregation is the key that allows Dansk Kirke i Udlandet to send our first DKU pastor, Clemens Sørensen.