The land for Glendale was purchased in September of 1981 by the New Church Development group. Pastor Wayne Walther was assigned July 1, 1984, as the first pastor. The first worship service was held on 9/9/1984 at Marion W. Savage Elementary school in downtown Savage. The Chartering of the church was on 1/27/1984, when 70 adults became charter members.
In November of 1985, a Capital campaign began for what is now the church building on Glendale Rd. Ground was broken on the site in June 1986. Consecration of the new church building was on April 26th, 1987.
In 2000, there was another groundbreaking for the new sanctuary space and expanded education space in the lower level; the first worship service in the new sanctuary was in 2001. We have worshiped, congregated and grown as a community in this same sanctuary to this day.
David Taylor (2005 – 2013)
Dave is a graduate of Hamline University and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago. He served Northern Illinois while attending seminary, then was appointed to Red Wing UMC from 1978-1980. He served St. Charles-Dover from 1980-1986; Le Crescent-Dakota from 1986-1990; Christ Church in Rochester from 1990-1991; New Ulm First UMC from 1991-2000; and Fairmont UMC from 2000-2005. Pastor Dave came to Glendale during a time of great change and administrative challenges. He has developed strong lay leadership and has offered classes in Christianity for the wider community. He led us through the closing of Glendale Child Care Center, and helped us redirect our community outreach into other valuable programs, such as Glendale Community Gardens, the Tent of Hope, and Fare for All. Pastor Dave took on a two-point charge in 2009, and shepherded a merging of Calvary UMC-Shakopee with Glendale UMC in June 2010. His wife, Barb, has been actively engaged in our Missions programming, providing leadership for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and Women’s Studies, starting our Fair Trade Coffee program, and coordinating our 10,000 Villages Market. Their daughter is Jennie.
Bruce Kronen (2002 – 2005)
Bruce received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and received his Master of Divinity degree from Bethel University. Pastor Bruce was appointed to serve St. Francis UMC from 1992-1999; Austin from 1999-2002; and came to Glendale after the completion of our sanctuary. He attracted dynamic youth leaders to our church, Anibel and Becky Velarde, and started a Saturday evening Praise Service. Bruce’s ministry to families in crisis brought great comfort, and he was instrumental in the salvation of people both inside and outside of our faith community. He and his wife, Susan, participated in the first Dinner for Eight groups. Their daughters are Hope and Anna.
Lynda Ellis (1992 – 2002)
Lynda is a graduate of Iowa State and taught Spanish for several years before entering United Theological Seminary in New Brighton. Lynda served at Minnetonka UMC while attending school from 1987-1988, followed by an associate pastorate at Golden Valley UMC from 1989-1992. She was appointed to Glendale UMC in 1992. Lynda’s task was nurturing our leaders, building community, and further developing our programming. She introduced Unidos en Cristo (formerly Cursillo) to our community and led mission trips to Puerto Rico. The sanctuary of our church, plus additional education rooms, were added under her leadership and brought in under budget and on-time by Jodi Kavinsky, a parishioner. Lynda’s husband, Rick, cooked many wonderful meals for our congregation and timed her sermons J. Jennifer and Lindsey are their daughters.
Jim Beard, Seminary Intern (1998-2000)
Jim was recruited as a Seminary student to help Pastor Lynda during a period of congregational growth. He provided creative worship, led Soul Journeys along with Glenn Pickering, started our Walking By Faith program for older elementary youth, and provided leadership for our Jr. and Sr. High Youth programs. His wife, Janet provided liturgical dance for worship. Their sons are Scott and Adam.
Wayne Walther (1984 – 1992)
Wayne received his undergraduate degree from North Central College in Naperville, IL and his Master in Theology from Boston University. Wayne was our founding pastor, assigned to start a new church in Savage in 1984. Previously, he had served Hill City-Swatera from 1972-1974, and St. Francis-Cedar from 1974-1984. Wayne and his wife, Susan, were active in welcoming new people into the community, hosting many get-togethers in their home. The first phase of our building was completed during Wayne’s tenure. He had a strong commitment to serving children, providing leadership in opening Glendale Child Care Center and in building a strong camping ministry. Their children are Kathryn, Luke, and Joel.