Mission United Lutheran Church
St. Henry Lutheran Church, Nisula
Faith Lutheran Church, Pelkie
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Elo
Mission United Lutheran Church (MULC) is a rural congregation situated in Baraga County of Michigan's Upper Peninsula near the shores of Lake Superior. The current church building and property are located just off Highway M38 on Pelkie Road, about 8 miles South of Baraga, MI. This congregation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Northern Great Lakes Synod (NGLS).
MULC was established in 1989 after a merger of three predecessor congregations which comprised the Pelkie Evangelical Lutheran Parish: St. Henry Lutheran Church in Nisula, Faith Lutheran Church (founded as Kyro Evangelical Lutheran Church) in Pelkie, and Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Elo. The current church building was completed and dedicated in 1992.
A Brief History
1894 – St. Henry Lutheran Church, Nisula, founded. First church completed and dedicated to service in 1895. The new building project was begun and completed in 1904, with remodeling of vestibule and steeple in 1925.
1905 – Faith Lutheran Church, Pelkie, founded as Kyro Ev. Lutheran Church. Members met in homes until completion of church building in 1917.
1913 – Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Elo, founded. Construction of first church dedicated to service in 1919. The new Elo church was built a short distance from the original and dedicated to service in 1949.
1925 – Representatives of the three churches formed the Kyro Parish, pooled their resources and called the first resident pastor. Faith, Our Saviour’s and St. Henry were a part of the Suomi Synod before joining with the Lutheran Church in America in 1962.
1989 – Members of the Kyro Parish, now known as Pelkie Evangelical Lutheran Parish, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted to unite as one congregation. A new name, Mission United Lutheran Church, was later voted on.
1992 – Completion and dedication of the new church building was celebrated. The Faith Church building was sold and now serves as the Pelkie Mennonite Church. Our Saviour’s Church was sold to a private individual, and the ownership and care of St. Henry’s Church was assumed by the Laird Twp. Historical Society. The Headstart Program was also welcomed in 1992 to share in the use of our new facilities.
1993 – The Mission Wellness Nurses were installed, and take blood pressures regularly during the fellowship time between Sunday services.
1999 – The Aunus Congregation, in Karelia, Russia, was adopted as our sister congregation.
2000 – The church parking lot was enlarged, and the circular Memorial Driveway was added around the back of the building. Also added were the awe-inspiring rustic crosses on the hillside overlooking the parking lot.
2001 – We joyfully supported and celebrated our first missionary, Lisa Makela, to Namibia, Africa
The following have faithfully served as pastors of our church family since 1925:
1925-1927 Rev. David Samanen
1927-1933 Rev. Emil Tervo
1934-1939 Rev. Aarne Juntunen
1939-1945 Rev. Arvo J. Korhonen
1945-1947 Rev. Vilho J. Hanninen
1947-1953 Rev. Frans J. Koski
1954-1957 Rev. John M. Junttila
1958-1964 Rev. Lauri T. Pikkusaari
1964-1969 Rev. Edward M. Groop
1970-1972 Rev. Keith T. Nelson
1974-1981 Rev. James F. Peters
1981-1986 Rev. Terry L. Williamson
1986-2004 Rev. Michael V. Laakko
2005-2017 Rev. John R. Autio
2019-2019 Rev. Kellan Weyer
2020-present Rev. Kelly J. Ylitalo