Who We Are

VIDEO: We belong to a fellowship of independent congregations formed for the purpose of accomplishing service in the Kingdom of God.

We’re in Mankato to build a home for the Word to come to life.

We believe God’s Word changes lives. True life, freedom, and joy is found in Christ alone and His Word gives us new life even today. We are a body of Free Lutherans who both cherish the historic faith and reject dead orthodoxy. We proclaim the life-giving doctrines of Scripture that we may live them out in our own lives. Visit the “Our Beliefs” page to learn more.

We believe that:

  • Because of the finished work of Christ on the cross, God grants eternal life to any and all who place their faith in Him as a good and gracious gift.

  • We need forgiveness for sin, and salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone.

  • The Bible is God's Word, inspired and without error.

The Mankato Mission (1986-1993)


On Sunday, August 17, 1986, the “Mankato Free Lutheran Mission” held its first worship service at the YWCA Cray Mansion with Pastor Eugene Enderlein sharing from the Word of God. It was the culmination of Bible study and prayer groups, a request to the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations to begin a Free Lutheran Congregation in Mankato, and informational meetings at the library. A constitution was approved for “Word of Life” (John 1:1) on December 15, 1986, being chartered on May 30, 1987 and calling Pastor peter Franz on September 27, 1987. 

Following the YWCA, the new church met at West High School's Little Theater, then the Mankato Mortuary, and finally purchased a small facility located at 105 Homestead Drive. This building served the congregation's purposes well and anchored it in the community. God had opened doors to provide a "house of worship.” All that was needed He provided: a church plant catalyst in Bud and Sandy Davis, several families to form the core, added numbers to provide ministry, and pastoral leadership in Pastor Fran Monseth, Pastor Peter Franz, Pastor Dave Keippela, and finally Pastor Marlyn Kruse.

In time, expansion was necessary. A search of the area resulted in the purchase of 12.7 acres and the 6,400 square foot building was erected on the present church site on Stoltzman Road and the first worship service in the new sanctuary was held November 21, 1993. Vibrant years of fruitful family ministry followed.

Word of Life (1993-2019)


Always important to the new congregation was the authority of the inerrant Scriptures and freedom of the congregation. God's sovereign power and abundance were experienced in fullest measure. After Pastor Marlyn Kruse, the church was served by Pastor Paul Wigtil, Pastor Tim Hinrichs, and numerous interim pastors.

Even through tumultuous times, the underlying hand of God was evident. Today the congregation praises God for His faithfulness in seeing the congregation through difficult years.

On December 6th, 2018, Pastor Chris Kumpula accepted a call to Word of Life with a radical plan for relaunching the church. The congregation decided to renew the mission of sharing the joy, peace, and freedom found in Jesus Christ by formally voting to discontinue services on May 26th, 2019. The congregation agreed to intentional death, laying everything on the altar to let the ministry die apart from God’s provision of vision and resources. The Lord provided yet again.

Living Word Mankato (2019)


After months of prayer, exploration, and a building renovation, the faithful remnant gathered a new core to launch “Living Word Mankato” on September 8th, 2019. Living Word recommitted itself to the vision of planting and growing free and living Lutheran congregations who proclaim the life-giving and life-changing Word of God.

This is Living Word, thy will be done O Lord!