A bible study of college students and adults formed The Wayside Chapel in Richfield, Minnesota.
The Wayside Chapel joined the Minnesota Baptist Conference and changed its name to Wooddale Baptist Church.
Relocation and Growth
Leith Anderson begins the first of his 35 years as Senior Pastor.
Planning for growth focused on a clear philosophy and direction of the church, building lay and professional staff for an equipping ministry, a major shift toward outreach, and relocation to provide adequate facilities for the future.
32 acres of land were purchased in Eden Prairie anticipating a 9-mile church move. The church name was shortened to Wooddale Church, welcoming people from any denominational background.
To further accommodate growth and the number of new families reached, construction began in fall of 1983 and the first phase of the new campus (a multi-purpose worship room, administrative offices and classrooms) was occupied in July of 1984. The second phase, which included a gymnasium and additional classroom and office space, was occupied in November of 1985.
Wooddale Church opened a new 2,000-seat Worship Center to accommodate the growing congregation. A Visser-Rowland Pipe Organ was incorporated into the Worship Center. The steeple was designed as a beacon of hope for those driving by.
Consistent with its focus on outreach and kingdom building, Wooddale planted its first of 9 daughter churches, Woodridge Church, in Medina, Minnesota with a group of Wooddalers providing the founding core.
Multiple worship styles began, celebrating the diversity of worship styles and reaching out to our community.
Wooddale has DNA of being innovative in reaching out to people. A service was started in a local restaurant and a radio ministry began. Faith Matters, the radio ministry of Wooddale Church, was first broadcast as a 30-minute program on local radio stations and eventually syndicated nationally with shorter ‘minute’ broadcasts on TV, internet and during major sporting events.
Wooddale Church voted to affiliate with an additional denomination – The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, reflecting the diversity of Wooddalers’ denominational connections and seeking to enhance outreach to people of various backgrounds.
An additional worship service called The Gathering began on Sunday nights. Teaching remained consistent among all worship services.
Wooddale opened its second campus, located in Edina, offering a multi-site approach for service, bible study, children’s programs and a venue for weddings, funerals and other events. The building and property were gifted from Colony Park Baptist Church.
An outreach ministry to Eden Prairie’s growing Somali population began as volunteers reach out through tutoring and friendships.
Dale Hummel is called to become the new Senior Pastor.
Wooddale Academy receives accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.
The church launches Vision ’22, to impart the hope of the gospel to 700,000 people here, near and far and to provide a clear pathway toward spiritual maturity.
Consistent with the goals of Vision ’22, a third campus is introduced in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Located at historic Music Box Theatre, this site offers a unique Sunday worship experience and is host to many other outreach events as we seek to reach the city for Jesus Christ.
Lydia’s Coffeehouse opens its doors at the Eden Prairie campus providing a comfortable gathering place to reach and serve our neighbors in the surrounding community.
The 75th Anniversary Celebration provides an opportunity to thank God for all He’s done through Wooddale Church, recognize those whose service has impacted countless lives throughout our history and a time to look forward to what God has planned for the years ahead.
Our Senior Pastors
John D. Lundberg (1949-55)
Paul Thompson (1956-57)
Peter Unruh (1957-76)
Leith Anderson (1977-2011)
Dale Hummel (2013-present)