Saint Barnabas Lutheran Church has been serving the Eastern Upper Peninsula in Christ since 1994.
In 1988 the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was not even pictured on the official LCMS Michigan District Logo. The three Michigan District Congregations in the Eastern Upper Peninsula were Trinity Lutheran Church in Newberry, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Engadine and Grace Lutheran Church in Germfask. In 1988 the Michigan District called and sent Pastor Burhop to the Eastern Upper Peninsula. There was already a small mission congregation on Drummond Island (a mile off the eastern tip of the peninsula) where he began the mission work.
The next congregation started was Redeemer Lutheran Church in DeTour (at the eastern tip of the peninsula). Then Saint Paul Lutheran Church was started in Kincheloe; about 15 miles south of Sault Ste. Marie on I-75.
In 1994, Saint Barnabas Lutheran Church began worship services at the Catholic Newman Center just across the avenue (Easterday Ave.) from Lake Superior State University.
An LSSU student, Carolyn Brade, was at the very first service and LSSU Students have been a part of the mission and ministry of Saint Barnabas ever since. To any former LSSU student who worshipped at Saint Barnabas: Please send us your name, e-mail and year(s) attended so we can complete our list!
In time, the congregation was able to purchase a former 2 ½ car garage that had been refurbished into a 1 unit apartment; which was subsequently refurbished as a church building:
A generous and anonymous donation allowed Saint Barnabas to purchase her current building, formerly a Wesleyan church, at 701 E. Easterday Ave; just a mile east and down the hill from her original meeting place.
In 2015, Rev. Arthur Bode of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Engadine started two new mission congregations in the Eastern U.P., in St. Ignace (just across the Mackinac bridge from lower Michigan) and Munising (2 hours west of Sault Ste. Marie on M-28), bringing the total of LCMS congregations in the area to 9. The Upper Peninsula is now officially included in the Michigan District Logo.