In 1958, a small group of Lutherans led by their pastor, James Opsal, purchased 5-acre apple orchard on the corner of Pascack and Dam Roads. A 200-year old Dutch farmhouse stood on the property said to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad for enslaved people seeking freedom. After purchase, Dam road was changed to Church Road in 1959.
The congregation held their first services in the Woodcliff Lake school. Supported by Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, CLC broke ground in October 1958. The building complex was expanded until the main sanctuary was completed and dedicated on October 11, 1970.
CLC’s ministry in Woodcliff Lake continues to grow. For over 30 years, a garden on the property grows hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries. Our annual Trash and Treasure Rummage sale in May raises thousands of dollars every year for local and worldwide non-profits. In 2009, the church created a “special gifts fund” that has distributed over $70,000 to fight food insecurity and over $85,000 to support those making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. CLC is a supporter of Meals on Wheels in North Jersey, Lutheran Social Ministries of NJ, Camp Koinonia in Highland Lake NY, the Tri-Boro Food Pantry, the Center for Food Action, and the Upper Pacack Valley Interfaith Clergy Council.
We are a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States. Pastor Marc A. Stutzel was installed as our 6th pastor in 2014.