Mount Olivet at a Glance

Come in and look around - we’ve got a place for you!

We’re glad you’re here!

Known for worship services that are both dynamic and traditional, excellent music, exceptional youth ministry, and commitment to the community, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church has served the Twin Cities for nearly a century through its two campuses – in Minneapolis and Victoria – and six affiliated ministries. At Mount Olivet, there is a place for everyone…and everyone can find a special place. Whether volunteering with one of our many outreach ministries, serving as a youth mentor, taking advantage of a fellowship or educational opportunity, or singing in the choir, there is a place ready and waiting for you to get to know others, grow in your faith, and serve your neighbors. As you get involved, you’ll discover Mount Olivet to be “the biggest little church you’ll ever find.”

Welcome to Mount Olivet!

While the best way to get to know Mount Olivet is to jump in and get involved, you can get a pretty good sense of what Mount Olivet offers and where you might get involved in this brief overview.

Mount Olivet Messenger

The Mount Olivet Messenger is a monthly publication that includes worship information, devotions from a Mount Olivet Pastor, information about upcoming events and more. It is a great overview of what is coming up at Mount Olivet and how to jump in and get involved.

Click to view the Mount Olivet Messenger

Our Mission and Yours

Mission (‘miSHen): a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.

We believe God has given all of us a mission. At the center of Mount Olivet’s mission are three verbs. Why verbs? Because life in a Christian community should not be passive or static, but rather active and dynamic, as we believe God is at work forming us into the people and community the world needs us to be. Here are the verbs that shape our mission:

Believing in Jesus Christ through the gift of the Holy Spirit
Notice, not belief – as in a set of doctrines – or believe – as a once-and-done imperative, but believing, an ongoing endeavor and journey that continues to take shape as we gather together. Sometimes believing is easy, sometimes not so much. Either way, we’re here for each other, consistently sharing the good news of God’s grace and love in Jesus, so that we can help each other believe that message, live out its implications, and share it with others.

Belonging to the community of Jesus Christ.
Following God’s call can’t be done alone. We are joined together as a community so that we can celebrate with each other when things go well, support each other when life is difficult, listen to each other regularly, and pray for each other at all times. When you come to Mount Olivet, we want you to feel like you belong, that you are accepted as you are and invited to participate in all that we share together. We’re here for you. On Sundays. On all days.

Becoming like Jesus Christ through servanthood.
Martin Luther once said that the Christian life isn’t about “being” – mere existence – but “becoming” – always growing into the person God needs us to be for the sake of the world. Whether you’re here once in a while or regularly, whether you’re brand new or a long-time member, we’re eager to help you hear God’s call and follow it, and so we invite you to worship, Bible study, fellowship, and service as together we grow into the people and community God’s world needs us to be.

Well, that’s our mission – our “aim, ambition, and calling.” We hope you’ll consider joining us, helping us follow God’s lead and discovering your own mission along the way.

Our Story and Yours

Everyone’s got a story. Yours involves some of the significant people who have shaped you, places you’ve been, and things you’ve accomplished. Mount Olivet’s isn’t all that different. It began in 1920, when Mount Olivet was founded by a handful of families and grew into a thriving church in less than twenty years under the care of several faithful pastors and numerous dedicated congregational leaders. Under the visionary leadership of the Rev. Reuben Youngdahl, who came to Mount Olivet in 1938, the congregation expanded its reach and influence through the creation of a variety of affiliated ministries designed to reach more deeply into the community and offer its members greater opportunity for Christian growth and nurture. A 300-member congregation when Pastor Youngdahl arrived, Mount Olivet had grown to include 10,000 people when he died in 1968.

Pastor Paul Youngdahl, another exceptional leader, came to Mount Olivet the year his father died, first as an associate pastor and then as the senior pastor from 1974 until 2011. Adding a Retreat and Conference Center, expanding Cathedral of the Pines Camp, and starting the West campus were among Pastor Youngdahl’s many accomplishments as the congregation grew to include more than 14,000 members.

Since Pastor Youngdahl’s death in 2011, the congregation has remained strong and continued to grow, served by two interim pastors and Senior Pastor John Hogenson, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor less than a year after beginning his ministry. Through these years of transition and turbulence, the congregation’s focus on sharing the good news of Christ and serving our neighbor has never wavered. Now under the leadership of our 9th senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose, Mount Olivet is poised to grow again as we build on our historic strengths, develop and share new resources to nurture our Christian faith, and expand our outreach and service to our communities.

This is our story so far. It’s not over yet, and we invite you to join us in shaping what will come next. So come and visit us, share your story, and help us listen for God’s voice leading us into the future.

Facts, Figures & Fun

  • Founding Date: January 11, 1920
  • Affiliation: The Minneapolis Area Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Number of Members: 14,319
  • Number of High School students participating in the Cathedral Choir: 250
  • Number of participating at Cathedral of the Pines Camp: 2,267
  • Number of Meals Serviced by our kitchen from September through December, 2018: 20,417
  • Average attendees on Christmas Eve for our 15 services: 13,856
  • Pounds of Lutefisk served at our Annual Lutefisk Dinner: 1,200

Key Contact Information

Mpls Campus Main Line: 612.926.7651

West Campus Main Line: 952.767.1500

Director of Worship & Music, Beverly Claflin: 612.767.2263

Director of Youth Ministry, Geoff Arenson: 612.767.2212

Director of Children & Family Ministry, Katy Michaletz: 612.767.2245

Coordinator of Finance, Tricia Lerohl-Morgan: 612.767.2255