Cedar Valley Church EST. 1953
(Formerly Bloomington Assemblies of God)
Throughout the years, countless members of the congregation, staff, guest speakers, evangelists, and musical groups have contributed to the health and growth of Cedar Valley Church. There are too many individuals to list, but we honor those who have been a part of our church, and we give God the glory for the many blessings He has poured out on us.
In the words of founding Pastor Arvid Kingsriter, “Fanny Crosby wrote the lyrics to a song that could become the theme of our congregation entitled, 'To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done.' As we reminisce on the blessings of the past 50 years and look forward to the future and Jesus’ return, Cedar Valley Church is living the words of the last verse of this precious hymn: 'Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done! And great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son, but purer and higher and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.'"
Click below to see what was happening at Cedar Valley Church in . . .
1953 • 1954 • 1959 • 1960 • 1961 • 1968 • 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 & 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 •
Cedar Valley Church has had the privilege of planting five churches and providing financial assistance to many other churches.
1975—Eden Prairie Assemblies of God Church, Eden Prairie, MN
1977—Prior Lake Assemblies of God Church, Prior Lake, MN
1991—Oak Hills Church, Eagan, MN
2004—South Bridge Community Church, Savage, MN
Cedar Valley Church has also played a major part in starting River Valley Assemblies of God Church in Apple Valley and Valley Creek Assemblies of God Church in Woodbury. The church has provided financial assistance to over twenty other churches. As our church has made an effort to reach out to others and to grow the
Winter—Rev. I. O. Miller, Executive Vice President of North Central Bible Institute, asked Arvid Kingsriter, Director of Public Relations and Music at the College, if he would pray about starting an Assemblies of God Church in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, an exploratory meeting, attended by five interested families, was held at the Bloomington City Hall, and a decision was made to look for a place for the new church to meet. The small abandoned Kimball Schoolhouse, located at the corner of Cedar Avenue and 86th Street, was purchased from the Bloomington School District for $15,313. As refurbishing began, the two classrooms on the main floor were made into one long auditorium for the church gatherings, and the basement was curtained off into makeshift Sunday school classrooms.
March 3—Opening services were held. Rev. I. O. Miller spoke in the morning service, and there was a performance by the NCBI Choir, under the direction of Arvid Kingsriter, during the evening service. Twenty-seven (27) persons identified with the new church.
June 3—During the first of what would later become the church’s Annual Business Meetings, the group was organized and incorporated as an Assemblies of God congregation, with Minnesota District Superintendent G. Raymond Carlson presiding. Twenty-one (21) persons signed the roster on that day, becoming charter members, the first of which were Bob and Betty Miller. The original Church Board Members, also elected during that meeting, were Earl Burke, Arnold Severson, Bob Miller, Elmer Fossen and Curt Carlson. Arvid Kingsriter was appointed pastor with a unanimous vote by the twenty-one (21) charter members.
July 5—Bloomington Assembly of God organized its Sunday School Department, with Curt Carlson serving as Superintendent.
August 21—In its first few months of organization, Bloomington Assembly of God surpassed all expectations. Twenty-three (23) new people were brought into membership.
November—The missions giving alone was $70, and monthly support for the Assemblies of God radio program, Revivaltime, was $5.
December 29—The final Sunday of the church’s first year, Pastor Kingsriter announced that the first two (2) weeks of January would be set aside for Family Altar Prayer. Additionally, a 1/8th page ad was purchased in the NCBI yearbook for $10.
November—The first missionary to visit Bloomington Assemblies of God Church was the pastor’s brother, Delmar Kingsriter. $25 per month was pledged to Delmar, and the monthly Revivaltime support was raised to $10/month. Other missionaries visiting the new church during the early years were: Andy Hargrave, Wesley Hurst, Monroe Grams, Paul Schoonmaker, Morris Williams, Lawrence Larson, and Harold Carlblom.
February—God continued to bless the new church with a steady increase in attendance and offerings. Less than six (6) years after its opening service, the congregation held its first mortgage burning ceremony. Among the pulpit guests that year were Miss Lillian Trasher, Rev. T. J. Jones, Rev. I. O. Miller, Rev. Orin Kingsriter, and Dr. David Du Plessis.
June 22—The church formed a New Site Committee to search out a new location for the church. As the 1950’s drew to a close, the small Kimball Schoolhouse was bursting at the seams, and there was no more room for expansion on that property.
March 21—The church voted unanimously to acquire two acres of land and a small house at the corner of 94th Street and Portland Avenue South at a cost of $20,200, to serve as the site for its new church home. One day later, a Building Committee was appointed, consisting of Bill Erickson, Chair; Orville Jonnes, Building Superintendent; Bob Miller; Steve Jones; and John Arne.
December 31—At a Special Meeting, the entire 41 members present approved plans for the new building.
March 19—Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church and education plant, with a sanctuary seating capacity of nearly three hundred (300), were held at the new location, with Evangelist Willard Cantelon as speaker.
June 18—The cornerstone was laid and, on Thanksgiving Day, the congregation moved into its new location.
November 23—The new Fellowship Hall/Christian Education Unit was dedicated, with Rev. C. M. Ward, Revivaltime Evangelist, as speaker.
March—Many exciting things happened. Not only did the old Kimball Schoolhouse property sell, but the congrega-tion outgrew the facility at 94th & Portland. That month saw the start of two Sunday morning services and by May, it became apparent that the only means of accommodating the growth in numbers would be to build a new sanctuary. A Building Planning Committee was selected, which included Arvid Kingsriter, Ivar Peterson, Harley Goodsen, Jerry Anderson, Al Elie, Lyle May, Ken Thompson, Claus Johnson, Bob Doebler, Orville Jonnes, and Arthur Erickson. Architectural plans were prepared for an auditorium seating five hundred (500) people, plus choir loft and a full basement for additional classrooms. A home, built on four (4) lots adjacent to the church, was purchased for $28,500 to provide the additional parking that was needed.
January—Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the new sanctuary, with Henry O. Mikkelson serving as General Contractor and Orville Jonnes serving as Building Superintendent.
March 8—The cornerstone was laid.
May 23—The dedication was held with Dr. Claude Kendrick as speaker.
August—The first Bloomington Assembly of God Missions Council was appointed, the members of whom were Carolyn Ransom, Jake Stroh, Glen Gilbertson, and Bob Doebler. As stated in the minutes of the meeting, the intent was "to advise the board on overall problems relating to Assemblies mission efforts and specifically recommend financial support to individual missionaries." The Lord spoke to Pastor Kingsriter about Bloomington Assembly of God mothering a church in Eden Prairie. Pastor Kingsriter shared this vision with the Church Board, and they began looking for a suitable site for the new church.
December—A supper meeting was held with residents of Eden Prairie who attended Bloomington Assembly of God, to enlist participation in this daughter church. Jim Robertson, who later became Business Administrator of the Eden Prairie church, and his wife Sandi were asked to serve as lay leaders on the new work. Rev. and Mrs. Wesley Brooks of Brookings, South Dakota, were asked to become the pastors. The Conference Baptist Church property, which included a small church building and a parsonage on seventeen (17) acres in Eden Prairie, was purchased for $150,000.
November—The new daughter church held its first meeting at the new facility. A gift of $10,000 from Inez Olson of Little Falls, MN, furnished the new church with chairs, a piano, an organ, and classroom furniture The Eden Prairie Assemblies of God Church has since moved about a half mile to its present location on Duck Lake Trail. A great Bloomington Assembly tradition was conceived. It was then that the membership approved the building of the first Singing Christmas Tree at a cost of $2,000. The tradition of the Singing Christmas Tree continued annually through Christmas of 2001, with many thousands of people hearing the Gospel presented through music and drama.
January—At the Annual Business Meeting, Pastor Kingsriter suggested that it might be time to consider mothering another church. The School of the Bible average attendance at the time was 467, and total income for the year had risen to $321,000. A resolution was passed for the Church Board to “initiate steps, as the Lord leads, to begin a work in the suburban area of Prior Lake.” The resolution passed unanimously and, later that year, the congregation met and voted to start a new church in Prior Lake. The first services began that fall in the Five Hawks Elementary School, with Rev. Norman Whitney serving as pastor.
June 11—Bloomington Assembly of God held a Special Meeting to authorize the purchase of a five acre site on Highway 13, east of Prior Lake, for $35,000 using the Arthur Erickson Memorial Fund, a fund to help start new Assemblies of God churches. The fund had been established in memory of Arthur Erickson, a church member and building chairman, who had gone to be with the Lord earlier that year. Inez Olson, who had provided the monetary gift to furnish the Eden Prairie Church, contributed an additional $35,000 towards the new Prior Lake Church. This money was loaned with the understanding that the new church would pay it back as it was able.
February—Bloomington Assembly of God continued to grow and, at the Annual Business Meeting a Building Committee was appointed to consider the options for building expansion or relocation. April 30 – At a Special Business Meeting of the membership, the Building Committee presented their findings and the decision was made to put the church property at 94th and Portland up for sale and to take steps to relocate.
1980 & 1981
Throughout 1980 and 1981, there were ten special meetings of the congregation, several properties were purchased and sold, and various steps were made toward relocation. The most significant of these steps was the purchase of the Cedarcrest Elementary School (8600 Bloomington Property) from the Bloomington School District for $960,000.
February—At the Annual Business Meeting, authorization was given to build a 2,000-seat sanctuary on the former school site.
August 2—The congregation moved to this new location at 86th & Bloomington. Two Sunday morning services were held in the former school lunchroom and later in the Fellowship Hall for eighteen (18) months during the planning and construction of the sanctuary.
April 3—Groundbreaking ceremonies were held at the Cedarcrest School property (8600 Bloomington Property).
May—Construction on the new sanctuary began.
July—Membership approved the opening of a church bookstore.
October 9—Bookstore, later to be known as “The Source” Christian Bookstore, was dedicated.
February 19—First Services were held in the New Sanctuary. The church staff at the time of moving into the new sanctuary at 8600 Bloomington Avenue S. consisted of: Pastor Kingsriter; Scott Nauman, Music Minister; Dale O’Quist, Youth Pastor; Chuck Pruett, Junior High Pastor; James Menzies, Seniors Pastor; Joel Stocker, Associate Pastor; Dan Rector, Children’s Pastor; and Scott Bernstein, Singles’ Pastor. In its beautiful new sanctuary, Sunday morning attendance soared: The averages went from 791 in 1983 to 1,039 in 1984; 1,253 in 1985; 1,368 in 1986; and 1,555 in 1987.
April 8—New facilities were officially dedicated.
September—Bloomington Assembly of God added a Christian Daycare, Play & Praise Daycare, to provide a wholesome setting for children of working parents, whether part of the Bloomington Congregation or not. They began with seventeen (17) children eighteen (18) years ago and had a daily enrollment of approximately fifty (50).
Late—Pastor Kingsriter communicated to the church that they should begin to look for a new senior pastor because he was nearing retirement.
December—A search committee was formed to assist the Church Board in locating a new pastor.
October—At a Special Business Meeting, Rev. Jerry Strandquist was elected as the second Senior Pastor of Bloomington Assemblies of God Church.
December—Pastor Strandquist began his ministry at Bloomington Assembly.
November—Due to the fact that many of the church members lived south of the river, an Eagan Church Planning Committee was formed.
Summer—In preparation for an upcoming move, Eagan residents started holding their own services at the Bloomington facility.
September—The Oak Hills Assemblies of God Church was established at the Eagan Northview School. There were approximately forty (40) members from Bloomington Assembly who moved to the new location, with Rod Carlson serving as pastor.
August—Due to the fact that the General Council of the Assemblies of God was being held in Minneapolis in August of 1993, the Church scheduled its 40th anniversary during that same month to allow for those who would be coming to General Council to attend the anniversary celebrations. Founding Pastor and Marian Kingsriter were honored, and G. Raymond Carlson, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, served as speaker.
August—At the Annual Business Meeting, enclosing of the “courtyard” was considered as a means to provide more space.
June—The Church Board established a Courtyard Upgrade Committee who, in October, provided sketches and a scaled model of a proposed courtyard enclosure. The estimated cost was $2,643,000, which increased to $3,000,000 by November because of the desire for a glass roof.
August—The “Yes, Lord” building campaign slogan was chosen.
November & December—Fundraising dinners were held at Bracket’s Crossing in Lakeville. Commitment Sundays were also held throughout the month of November and, by the end of December, $2,330,000 had been pledged, and $185,000 had been received.
April—Phase I of the development, which would become known as the Atrium, began.
July—The Atrium was completed and ready to be dedicated. On the weekend of the dedication, a storm in the area knocked out the electricity to the church, causing the sanctuary to be unusable. Because of the glass roof that had been built into the Atrium, services could be held in the brand new addition.
August—The Atrium debt was paid in full.
World Missions has always been at the heart of the Bloomington Assemblies of God Church.
1976—Missions giving exceeded $100,000 for the first time. By the Church’s 35th year, missions giving had grown to approximately $300,000.
1999—Missions giving exceeded $500,000 for the first time.
2001—Missions giving exceeded $750,000.
2000—In keeping with the priority that the church has always given to missions, at the Annual Business Meeting in August of 2000, the membership approved the purchase of a “missions house” in Apple Valley, at a cost of $170,000. Most of the purchase price was pledged by the membership to be given over a three year period. This fully-furnished home would be offered for the use of missionaries on furlough.
October—This month was great cause for celebration for Bloomington Assembly as it was in that month that the original mortgage on the church was paid in full. Debt-free, the church was ready to move on to new opportunities in growing the Kingdom of God. Over the course of several years, merger discussions had been taking place between Bloomington Assembly of God and Cedar Ridge Assembly of God in Eagan.
February—The membership voted to merge the two churches to form a dual campus operation, with Bloomington Assembly providing staff to support both locations. At the same time, there were discussions about a potential name change, as Bloomington Assemblies of God Church was now located not only in Bloomington, but also in Eagan. After much research and outside consultation, it was decided to bring the name “Cedar Valley Church” to the congregation for approval.
June—Membership voted to accept the name at a Special Meeting.