History of the Church - TLC Today

Sunday Worship 8:30 & 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday Oasis 6:15 p.m.
11000 France Ave. S. - Bloomington, MN 55431
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Transfiguration Lutheran Church

1957 - 2017


●  Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration was born.

●  Elvis Presley made his first television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

●  Bubble wrap was originally invented to be used as wallpaper.

●  The director of the Detroit Public Library banned "The Wizard of Oz" for having "no value for children of today."

●  Pluto Platters were the flying disc rage.  They were later renamed Frisbees.

On November 4, 1956 the first worship service was held at Westwood Elementary School after (then) Pastor Franklin A. Swanson completed visits in over 700 neighborhood homes.

In March of 1957, even before the church became fully chartered, it purchased 12 lots of land at the corner of 110th & France for a sum of $10,000.  Mission funds from the national church helped to secure the loan.  Little known to many today, is that a portion of those 12 lots included the property across the street (north of the church) where there are now a pair of duplex homes.  Originally that part of TLC was the parking lot.

On April 4, 1957 Transfiguration was officially formed.  The name on the charter read: “Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration.“  Seven “charter” members are still active at TLC today.

Charter members were young families of first and second generation immigrants from a variety of Lutheran synods.  Eventually all of those synods merged to become the Minneapolis Synod of the ELCA in 1988. The congregation worshiped on Sundays at Westwood School, but adult education, small groups, other classes and meetings took place in people's homes.  

TLC has a rich tradition of using music to enhance worship and to create a place for people to offer their talents.  In the beginning years, choirs rehearsed in members' home and the "organ" was a portable pump organ carried into the makeshift sanctuary at Westwood School. The Senior Choir was joined by the Junior Choir (22 girls, grades 4-6) in 1958.

The current church structure on 110th & France Avenue South was built in four phases beginning in 1960.  Groundbreaking took place on September 18, 1960.  The first phase of construction included a worship area for 250 people and education area for 125 connected by a central corridor.   Five years later the second phase of construction started.   During the second phase additions doubled the total area for worship and education.  

On May 28, 1961 (Pentecost), TLC held its first worship in its new building on 110th & France.  In 1964, a third worship service was added.

Two sessions of kindergarten served the community until kindergarten was available in the public schools. The choir program grew to accommodate the large number of the children in the church.

In August 1965 the church name was changed to Transfiguration Lutheran Church.

In 1966, our signature stained glass cross was erected in the courtyard between the two new buildings.  Members late for worship were in full view of the seated congregation because of windows onto the courtyard!

During the 1970’s the ministries of the church expanded.  An example of one social ministry was the co-sponsoring of a family from Vietnam.

In 1981, cassette tapes of the worship services became available.  

In 1982 the third phase of construction enclosed the center court yard and created our present sanctuary with seating for five hundred.  In 1983 the Holtkamp pipe organ was installed.

In 1985, TLC’s Early Learning Center was established. Over 30 young adults who attended the ELC as children have returned to serve on staff!

In 1990 a non-alcoholic alternative was offered at communion for the first time.

The fourth phase of construction in 2004 added the fellowship hall and choir room, constructed lower level, and enlarged the kitchen. The narthex was expanded, the library was relocated and the stained glass cross was added to the sanctuary.

Click to view a 12-page booklet on the history of TLC
Reminiscing with Members
A photo journal of our past
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