Church and School History

Historical Highlights

July 11, 1943 – First service was conducted by Rev. Arthur Haake at the Empire Theatre on West Portal Avenue with 127 people in attendance.

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January, 1944 – Congregation numbered 125 souls with 30 communicant members.

April 10, 1944 –  Congregation was formally organized with 11 charter members.

June, 1944 – West Portal Lutheran Church was received into membership of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

September, 1944 – Fund drive was begun to purchase a building site.

December, 1944 –  First annual budget was adopted.  Total budget for 1944 was $6,768.08.

April, 1945 –  Church site was purchased.

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May 27, 1947 – Ground-breaking service

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October 19, 1947 – Laying of the cornerstone

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January 1, 1948 –  West Portal Lutheran Church became a self-sustaining congregation.

March 14, 1948 – Dedication of West Portal Lutheran Church and parsonage at 200 Sloat Boulevard

September, 1951 – Elementary school dedicated.  First part of school opened with 59 children and 4 classrooms.

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1951 (to 1957) – School Principal – Mr. Wayne Zahnow

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August 25, 1957 –  Dedication of $250,000 school building with approximately 300 children enrolled (Haake Hall)

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1957 (to 1961) – School Principal – Mr. Willis Bredehoft

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November 28, 1958 – Pastor Haake’s death

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May 10, 1959 – Rev. Ihno Janssen’s installation

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1961 (to 1963) – School Principal – Mr. Paul Schwarting

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1963 (to 1964) – School Principal – Mr. Adolph Leitz

1964 (to 1971) – School Principal – Mr. Theodore Geheb

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April, 1965 –  Purchase of property at 72 Avon Way (Upper Yard) for $50,000

1971 (to 2001) – School Principal – Mrs. Shirley Merrill

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August, 1974 –  Purchase of property at 1701 – 37th Avenue for school expansion (site of current Sunset Campus).

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October, 1974 – 30th anniversary of West Portal Lutheran Church

August, 1975 –   Addition of new room at Moraga Campus

1981 – (to 2003) Mr. Arthur Frese, Deacon, is appointed as Assistant to the Pastor

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October, 1981 –  30th anniversary of West Portal Lutheran School – Enrollment-560

1982 – Purchase of parsonage (now teacherage) in South San Francisco

June, 1982 –  Dedication of Janssen Hall and addition of Fireside Room to the church

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1983 –  Installation of Rev. Michael Keyne

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1986 –  Dedication of the Bungalow classroom and Upper Yard playground

1987 –  Addition of computer classroom – Sloat Campus

May, 1991 – Installation of Rev. David Stechholz

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May, 1991 –  Renovation of Moraga Campus

February, 1993 –  Purchase of Luther House

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July 11, 1993 – 50th anniversary of West Portal Lutheran Church

Faculty & Staff - 1993

Faculty & Staff – 1993

1993 Confirmation Class

1993 Confirmation Class

2001 (to 2008) – School Principal – Mrs. Margaret Finley

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July 22, 2001 – Groundbreaking for Sunset Campus after tearing down the old Moraga Street school building

January 12, 2003 – Dedication of Sunset Campus at 3101 Moraga Street for Kindergarten through 3rd Grade students

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June 1, 2004 (to present) – Minister of Music, Wayne Kerr, is installed as Kantor

2006 – Bequest of new parsonage on Lakeshore Drive

September, 2006 – Installation of Rev. David Stechholz as Bishop/President of the English District – Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

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2006-2008 – Rev. Dr. Lee Settgast served as Interim Pastor

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July 6, 2008 – December 31, 2016 – Rev. Todd W. Arnold

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August, 2008 – June, 2014 – School Principal – Mr. Gary Beyer

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October, 2009 – Dedication of the Shirley Merrill Administrative Offices in Haake Hall on the Sloat Campus

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2010 – West Portal Lutheran School voted KRON4’s “Best of the Bay”:  http://bestofthebaytv.com/view/1125

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August 1, 2010 (to present)- Kantor Wayne Kerr is additionally commissioned as Pastoral Deacon

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2011 – Exemplary status was issued  by National Lutheran School Accreditation, Department of School Ministry.

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October 16, 2011 – Reunion Sunday along with the celebration of West Portal Lutheran School’s 60th anniversary.

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September, 2012 – Black granite sign in front of church on Sloat Blvd. completed

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August, 2014 to May, 2015 – Mrs. Eva Fronk – Interim Principal

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August, 2015 to May, 2017 – School Principal – Miss Anna Hu

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January, 2017 (to present) – Vacancy Pastor – Rev. Curtis Binz

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March 5, 2017 Dedication of the Sloat Campus Gym – Finley’s Court In Honor of Margaret and Jim Finley

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June, 2017 – (to present) – Mr. Les Morris – Interim Principal