In the beginning. . . .
In the late sixties, the township of Lebanon, now known as Apple Valley, grew rapidly. A new parish, officially named Church of the Risen Savior, was begun with 350 households from Burnsville & Lakeville as well as Apple Valley. It was founded in September, 1970 with Fr. Frederick Cussler serving as the first Pastor. A house at 1001 Baldwin Drive in Apple Valley was purchased as a rectory. This became the focal point of the new community. It served as a residence, an office and meeting place. The garage became the chapel for Mass, confessions and baptisms. As we outgrew the garage a committee was formed to plan and implement the construction of a church and parish center on land in Burnsville, donated by a parishioner. In the interim, weekend Masses were celebrated at various locations: Westview School, Grace Lutheran Church and Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, and Grace United Methadist Church in Burnsville. This phase lasted seven years.
The parish grew in numbers so that by 1976 membership had reached over 1000 households. By February 1977, the new church and parish center were ready for use. Professional staff were hired to coordinate the fast-developing ministries of religious education, music, liturgy, pastoral care and administration. Parishioners offered their time and talent as catechists, planners, guitarists and singers.
A Parish Council was established in 1981. The Council now works with four commissions: Finance and Administration, Sacramental Life, Outreach, Lifelong Faith Formation. When a second pastor, Fr Patrick Griffin, arrived in June, 1983, the parish had grown to 1250 households. This meant additional construction and expansion.
Therefore, the current office wing was added and the parking lot was extended. In 1986, offices were moved from the rectory to the parish center. Plans for the enlargement of the worship area and landscaping were underway when our third pastor, Fr. Thomas Sieg, arrived in August, 1988. At that time the parish had grown to 1850 households.
The next ten years saw more growth and the addition of an associate pastor in 1991 of Fr. Tim Rudolphi. When Fr. Tim went to another parish, Fr. Jim Gorman came in 1995. Renovation of the administrative offices, completion of the lower level, and the addition of a youth room and music room took place in 1996. By 1998 we numbered 2800 households. Our fourth pastor, Fr. Tim Wozniak, served Risen Savior parish from July of 1999 to June of 2011. Fr. Thomas Krenik came to Risen Savior in July of 2011.
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