Cross of Glory Church History

On the 12th of August, 1943, a group of people from Bethlehem Baptist Church met to consider and discuss the establishment of a Baptist General Conference church in the western Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. A decision was made to start the Park Baptist Church and to find a temporary location to house the new work. An old empty tavern was located, and with great effort was cleaned up and made presentable for worship. Later this property was purchased for $62,000.00 plus $500.00 for an adjoining lot. Four families were responsible for the humble beginning. Elsie Dahlstrom, and her late husband, were one of the four families.

Thirty-two (32) people attended the first meeting of this new church on Sunday, October 10, 1943. Dedication was held on October 31st of the same year. This church was officially organized as a sister church by a Council of Twin City Conference Churches on April 3, 1944. The charter membership was twenty-two (22).

During September of 1946, several lots were purchased on Vernon Avenue and 41st Street. In November of that same year, two more lots were added. A basement church was built on these lots, which was dedicated on June 6th, 1948. In the fall of 1952, work began on the super structure of the church. Much of the finishing work was done by members who joined in work and fellowship. The new church was dedicated on November 22, 1953. Membership was 120.

Cross of Glory received its genesis from a merger of the Park Baptist Church of St. Louis Park and the First Baptist Church of Hopkins. This was consummated in October, 1969. No history of First Baptist of Hopkins is available.

Cross of Glory met at the Park Baptist location until September of 1970 when that site was sold and the church moved to the First Baptist Church of Hopkins site. The church met there until July, 1972, at which time a move was made to Katherine Curren Elementary School in Hopkins. In August of that year the Bush Lake Church indicated a desire to join with Cross of Glory. The Bush Lake members were welcomed to membership at Cross of Glory on October 8, 1972, and the properties of the Bush Lake Church were deeded to Cross of Glory.

On Sunday, October 29th, 1972, the church met for the first time at its current location in a new facility at the intersection of Excelsior Boulevard and Shady Oak Road in Hopkins.

The church, in its new location, grew and more room was needed. An addition of several Sunday School rooms and a gymnasium was added in the 70's to relieve the need for space.

The Rev. Leonard Karlberg was the first pastor of the new church called Cross of Glory Baptist. He served during the building of the main building and also the first addition.

The interim position was filled by Dr. Millard Erickson (then of Bethel Seminary) who completed an excellent term of service for our church.

A call was issued to Rev. William Malam of the First Baptist Church of Willmar, Minnesota. Rev. Malam accepted the call and came to serve us in December 1983.

In January 1992, Pastor Malam left Cross of Glory to enter retirement from full time ministry. Following Pastor Malam's resignation, we once again turned to Dr. Millard Erickson to fill our interim position.

Pastor Jon Herring, our current senior pastor, who was serving a church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, accepted the call to fill our pulpit in January, 1993. His preaching, teaching and leadership have fostered excitement and growth.

Under Pastor Jon's leadership in 2001 we took on the exciting venture we called the "Lighthouse Project." It was and is our desire to "raise the intensity and intentionality" of being a lighthouse in our community. An extensive building project including a new two story wing and a new updated roof was undertaken. We also turned our attention to more intentional outreach efforts.

Praise God for who he is, all he has done and will continue to do in our midst.