Lord of Life Lutheran Church began as a blessed dream by pastors in the Brainerd area in the 1980's. Though supported strongly by the synod, the national mission board felt that the need was stronger, however, in other areas. Determination prevailed and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis agreed to become a mission partner for the founding church. Fourteen acres of wooded land was purchased in Baxter for the future site of the church.
Pastor Darrell Pedersen answered the call to be the pastor at Lord of Life in 1989. He began knocking on doors and meeting local residents as a way to spread the word of the Lord and announce the arrival of the new Lutheran church.
Lord of Life began as a small charter congregation worshiping in the cafeteria of the local elementary school. One hundred and twenty-five people were in attendance at the first service April 22, 1990. Later that fall the congregation outgrew the cafeteria, moved their services to the gymnasium, and began a Sunday school program. The church was greatly blessed to formally receive 126 charter members and three associate members to its congregation on Feb. 24, 1991.
The Holy Spirit was at work in the generosity of Frank and Faye Barrett and younger brother, LeRoy, who were all baptized in the early years of Lord of Life. A generous gift in their will of 100 acres of land was left to the church. When it was sold a portion of the proceeds were used to build a much needed new sanctuary and an education wing addition.
Today the congregation at Lord of Life is 1600 members strong and worship, during three weekly services, is held in a new 410 seat sanctuary, completed in 2008.