Welcome to First Lutheran

First Evangelical Lutheran Church is an ELS (Evangelical Lutheran Synod) church in fellowship with the WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) located in Suttons Bay, Michigan.  First Lutheran Church emphasizes Word and Sacraments as the means which our Lord Jesus chooses to come to us for the strengthening of faith and the nourishment of our souls. Pastor Colin Anderson serves this congregation.

Service Times

9:00 a.m. Bible Study (September – May)
10:00 a.m. Divine Service (Holy Communion 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month)
11:00 a.m. Sunday School (September – May)

Sermons & Bulletins

Read weekly bulletins
Read weekly sermons
Watch weekly sermon videos

About First Lutheran


A long local history

First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Suttons Bay was organized in 1874. It was the original Norwegian Synod congregation in this area of Michigan with the pastor serving, at one time or another, seventeen different communities. The present church building was constructed in 1886 with lumber made from logs donated by members of the congregation. The new entrance was added in 1972. Extensive remodeling was done to the church basement in 1982. The congregation entered into the Merger of 1917 but rejoined the ELS in 1922.

Interested in more information? Download a more in-depth history of First Lutheran Church in PDF format.


What We Believe

Click here for a full doctrinal statement of our beliefs.

Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).

Get Involved

For Adults

Bible Study

Adult Bible Study meets on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. EST September – May.

Bible Instruction Class

An adult Bible instruction class, taking about 12 sessions, provides basic Bible teachings and doctrinal belief held by the congregation and provides plenty of opportunity to ask questions. These classes are held as interest is expressed. If you’re interested in more information, please contact Pastor Anderson.

Adult Confirmation

Faith is of greater use to us when it is a well-informed faith. For this reason, we offer an adult Bible class designed to help new members understand our teachings, whether they are coming from a background of no Christian faith, or from a previous experience in another denomination. Those who have never been baptized are usually baptized following Bible instruction.


In addition to the option of Adult Instruction, those coming from a background in another Lutheran denomination might wish instead to discuss their beliefs with the Pastor. Those coming from another ELS or WELS congregation may simply transfer their membership.

For Kids

Sunday School

Sunday School at First Lutheran can begin as early as age three. We want our children to have every opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of God, which for most of them began already as infants when they were baptized. Sunday School is more important than ever for our children. Weekly attendance at Sunday School gives children the Bible history knowledge and teachings which point them to their Savior Jesus. It also helps them later on in catechism class where they learn the in-depth teachings of the Lutheran faith.

Confirmation Class

We provide instruction in the teachings of the Bible before someone takes the responsibility of membership and communion participation. This is done especially for two reasons.

God’s Word tells us that “anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:29) This tells us that those taking communion could actually bring judgment from God against themselves if they don’t recognize that Jesus’ true body and blood are present with the Lord’s Supper. In the same portion of the Bible, we are told that “we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthians 10:17) People who choose to take communion in a congregation ought to know what that congregation and denomination believes and teaches so that “being one” is not just something on the surface but is an actual unity in beliefs.

For those reasons, we provide youth Bible instruction (confirmation classes) at or about the ages of 12-­14, with a detailed study of Luther’s Small Catechism through 7th and 8th grade. These classes meet during the school year and are scheduled —as far as possible— for the convenience of the families involved.

Vacation Bible School

Check back later for Vacation Bible School details!

World Missions

Join us in supporting world missions through the ELS. Check back as we add additional missions throughout the year.

ELS World Outreach
Thoughts of Faith

Get In Touch

Send a Message

About the Pastor

Pastor Colin Anderson and his wife Hannah moved to Suttons Bay in June of 2022 from New Hampton IA, where Pastor Anderson had been Vicaring and concluding his final year of Seminary. Hannah is working on a master’s degree in creative writing and hopes to be finished in May 2023. Pastor Anderson grew up in South-central Minnesota and Hannah grew up outside of Tucson Arizona. They met while working at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. They are blessed with a one-year-old daughter named Charlotte Grace. They are excited and blessed to be here in Suttons Bay. Pastor and Hannah look forward to meeting you and pray you will come worship with us!

Pastor Anderson Contact Information:

Email: pastor@firstlutheranels.org

Email: canderson@blc.edu

Office: (231) 271-3271

Cell Phone: (507) 210-4509