The Finnish Lutheran Church


8504 - 13th Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98117
Phone. 206-789-0864

Today's Thought
Today's Reverend Fun Cartoon

Would you like to receive Daily Wisdom Devotionals via email? Click here to subscribe ("subscribe dw" in the body of your message)

Short History

In 1920 a group of Finns organized the Bethel Lutheran Church which was first domiciled in the Ballard community of Seattle. In 1950 the congregation built a new larger church a few miles to the north at its present location.

The congregation has only had four pastors since its inception:

Otto Kaarto 1920 - 1978

Richard Rintala 1983 - 1986

Jarmo Tarkki 1986 - 1994

Auvo Naukkarinen 1994 -

In order to better represent its ties to the Finnish community, the congregation changed its name to the Finnish Lutheran Church. There are many non Finnish members of the congregation, who are often connected to the Finnish community through their spouses. Services are bilingual, with the sermon given either Finnish or English in alternating weeks.

The church has provided vital services to its community including baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, and support to other Finnish organizations and functions. Because it is the only remaining facility in the greater Seattle area owned by Finns, use of the building has increasingly been sought also by other Finnish organizations.


While the church congregation has 136 members (January 1998), there are many other who have not sought membership, but who still support the church through their service and stewardship. Each year also sees a number of individuals or families from Finland supporting the church. These people are often here studying, doing research, or on assignment with universities and companies such as University of Washington, Microsoft and Boeing Company.

Activities of the church are governed by Church Council which consists of nine elected individuals plus the Pastor who is a non-voting member. The officers of the church are elected each year by the Church Council which is responsible for operating within the limits of the Church Constitution.