Ascension Lutheran Church is located in Mitchell, South Dakota on the north side of the city. In the spring of 1974, a spark was struck which began the idea of a new Lutheran church in Mitchell. Pastor Robert Beckmann wrote a letter to the Home Mission Board of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and asked that a study be made of the Mitchell area. After some consideration, Pastor John Engel was authorized to make that study of the Mitchell area and he began to explore the mission possibilities. An initial group of just fifteen people began to gather for worship on Sundays in the Milliken Funeral Home courtesy room. After accepting a call to another congregation in Canada, Pastor Beckmann was succeeded by Pastor Larry Nast, who continued the mission study. Once the study was finished and information about the mission prospects in Mitchell was recieved by the General Board for Home Missions of the Synod, the little group of believers was granted "mission status" and formed a new congregation.
During meetings that followed, the name 'Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church' was chosen by the members of the new congregation. Their stated purpose was to to spread the Gospel good news of Jesus Christ as Savior of all nations as a part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The first resident pastor to be called to Ascension was Rev. Robert Gurgel. He was officially installed as the pastor of the new congregation on July 20, 1975.
The new congregation of Ascension determined that it was now time to build. On a three-acre site located at the corner of W. 23rd Avenue and N. Wisconsin Street, on the north side of Mitchell, a new church building was constructed, along with a parsonage for the pastor, located adjacent to the church building. Future plans included an eventual Lutheran elementary school on the same site.
The last worship service in the Milliken building was held on February 8, 1978 and on June 25 of that year, the new church building on W. 23rd Avenue in Mitchell, SD. was dedicated.
THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED at Ascension:
Pastor John Engel - 1974
Pastor Larry Nast - 1974-1975
Pastor Robert Gurgel - 1975-1980
Pastor Daniel Hrobsky - 1980
Pastor Reginald Pope - 1981-1997
Pastor Martin Luchterhand -
Pastor Timothy Johnson - 1997-2002
Pastor David Reichel - 2002 - present