In the 1970’s First English Lutheran Church was outgrowing its facilities and voted to establish a second LC-MS congregation in Spencer, Iowa. The goal was to build a church and eventually add a Lutheran school. To that end Christ the King Lutheran Church was organized in 1982. In 1998, a feasibility study called, “The Genesis Project” was conducted to determine if the time was right to establish a Lutheran parochial school in Spencer. This research included surveys and demographic studies. The result was a resounding “yes”. Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School opened its doors on the campus of Christ the King in 1999 with a kindergarten class of five students. The goal was to reach out to families in Spencer and communities within a 40-mile radius with the Gospel of salvation through quality Christian education.
By the following year, interest in the school had grown to the point that instead of adding one additional class, several classes were added and new staff was hired. By 2007 the school had grown to a point of reaching a peak enrollment of nearly 45 students. With increasing enrollment, the school was outgrowing the facilities at Christ the King.
In 2008, a survey was conducted of IGLLS families, members of First English Lutheran Church, and members of Christ the King Lutheran Church, and a majority favored a new school building for IGLLS. Furthermore, the respondents indicated the best location for the school would be an addition onto the newly-constructed FELC church. The greatest desire for new school amenities included a gymnasium, larger classrooms, computer lab, and media center.
Another survey was conducted in 2011 and with renewed optimism, an FELC School Building Committee was formed in early 2012. In the fall of 2012, a fundraising committee was formed to seek funds to construct the proposed project. Groundbreaking occurred on April 6, 2014.In August of 2015, IGLLS moved to its current location on the campus of FELC. A playground was added the following year through a grant and donations of money and time from generous supporters. The ultimate goal for the move was to be able to allow more space and expansion as the school continues to grow and offer more opportunities for families to send their children to IGLLS through the use of our bus program. IGLLS has a dedicated bus driver who picks up and drops off students each day in Milford and Spirit Lake. Future plans are being made to have individual grade level classrooms through 6th grade and then in the more distant future add additional grades through high school. We continue to pray that the Lord is with us in all that we do and that He will continue to bless our ministry as we share Good News about Jesus Christ to our students and families.