Jim & Verda Erb live in Detroit Lakes. Jim is the founding pastor of Christian Fellowship Church. He retired as C.F.'s senior pastor in 1997, but he and Verda have continued to remain active in the church.
Beginning History of Christian Fellowship Church
"The one purpose that God intended for this church was that all Christians were equal; a common unity in Christ," says Jim. "That is what Communion is about: we are saved by the blood; forgiven by the blood-- one Mediator for all. This is founded on John 17:20-21, where Jesus said "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
"This church had its beginning in our house on the west side of Height of Land Lake. Starting in 1965, it was God's gracious touch on my life when He visited me there in my bedroom and told me I was to be a pastor, which I could not have believed was possible in 1964, until it just happened."
"In 1967, as a group of us began to pray about what we should do, the Lord began to speak to us that we needed to start a fellowship, so we started meeting in a little building in Snellman, which was impossible to heat. Then the Egland Lutheran Church, a beautiful building; all equipped, opened its doors to us. Here God also opened the windows of heaven to us. At this time, in 1968, having been licensed with Gospel Crusade for three years, we went to Strawberry Lake Christian Camp where I was installed as Pastor Jim Erb and Dean Shipman, Bill McGiboney and Durell Derstine as elders, and the church was set in order."
"1969, 1970, and 1971 found us there with a real visitation from the Lord, and we were able to touch many of the youth for Christ at Eglund. Fred Soyring joined us , and was instrumental in starting the youth meetings. God sovereignly moved in our midst for several years, which brought most of our people from Detroit Lakes, so we decided we needed to move there. We went into the old V.F.W. building, when it was under where the D.L. Printing office is now."
"We were there only a few months and the old Seventh Day Adventist Church (that the Baptists had used for a few years) came up for sale, so our next big venture was to buy that. It was while we were here (in a building that used to stand in place of the office building next to Midwest Printing's current location) we started our Christian day school. After a few more years, that was too small, so in 1979 we bought property from Herb Flat at half-price and the church joined hands to build the building we are now in."
"God has been so good to us-- may we be able to yield ourselves to Him in return, so His will can be revealed in us!"