Today, there are more than 50 places of worship in Payson. Following is a chronology (up to 1987) of Mount Cross Lutheran Church, located at 601 E. Highway 260.
Sept. 21, 1959: Five Lutherans living in Payson -- Mrs. Pat Lester, Mr. Ralph Fisher Sr., Mrs. Don Rhode, Mrs. Ray Bell and Mrs. Joe Quade -- met with Pastor Carl Olson of First Lutheran Church, Mesa, to plan a Lutheran Mission for Payson.
Jan. 21, 1961: Plans were formulated to become an organized church.
July 9, 1961: Pastor A.G. Fjellman installed Pastor Donald Aronson (1961-1962). At a later date, Pastor Aronson suggested the mission change its name to Mount Cross Lutheran Church.
Feb. 1, 1962: The steering committee decided to build a large cross for the new church property, which was installed March 10, 1962.
March 18, 1962: Service of Organization was held with Pastor A. G. Fjellman and Dr. Carl W. Segerhammer, President of the California Conference, Augustana Evangelical Church of North America, who conducted the service. Organize membership included 40 baptized and 25 confirmed members.
Dec. 2, 1962: First sermon by Rev. Johannes Hoifjeld (1962-1966).
Feb. 26, 1967: The Rev. Carl Schneider (1967-1978) was installed as pastor of Mount Cross.
Feb. 13, 1970: A new pipe organ was proposed.
Sept. 15, 1971: A building fund was discussed.
April 15, 1972: The Board of American Missions of the L.C.A. purchased 4.087 acres of land in the area of Granite Dells Road and Bentley Street on Highway 260 for $60,000 for future expansion of Mount Cross.
March 1975: A planning committee was organized. The portion of the above named property for $27,900 was considered.
Nov. 4, 1975: By Warranty Deed, the Board of American Missions of the L.C.A. conveyed to Mount Cross 2.047 acres of the aforementioned property.
March 14, 1976: Groundbreaking Service was held on the property.
June 20, 1976: Cornerstone Laying Service took place.
Sept. 3, 1976: The building is complete. Carpet and pews are installed, organ is being moved, and chancel furniture is in place.
Sept. 12, 1976: Dedication Service for Mount Cross Lutheran Church.
January 1978: Pastor Carl Schneider transferred to Hanford, Calif.
February-May 1978: Rev. John Peterson served as interim Pastor.
Aug. 20, 1978: Pastor Michael Purcell was ordained at Mount Cross and served as Pastor from 1978 to 1991.
April 1979: "New Lutheran Book of Worship" was purchased.
May 1979: The parking lot was enlarged.
September 1979: The storeroom/classroom was added.
April 1980: Additional landscaping was done.
August 1980: Central air conditioning was installed.
September 1980: The organ was reconditioned.
July 12, 1981: Rev. Daniel Nostrum's 70th Ordination Anniversary and Emeritus celebration.
1981: 50 new members were received.
February 1982: Confirmands received the right to vote.
March 21, 1982: Pine-Strawberry Worship Service begins.
Dec. 12, 1982: Congregation approved building a new Fellowship Center Building.
1982: There were 47 new members received for a total membership of 232 at year's end. The Mount Cross family had doubled in size in four years.
May 1983: Enlarged narthex and added stained glass windows made by members of Mount Cross.
June 1983: Broke ground for Mount Cross Fellowship Center.
August 1983: Dedicated Fellowship Center (LAMONA). Built in just 11 weeks with tender, loving care by Mount Cross members.
August 1985: Purchased 2.040 additional acres of land.
Sept. 3, 1985: Mount Cross School started.
Sept. 8, 1985: Church and Office wing rededicated.
Nov. 29, 1985: Schoolhouse moved to Church property.
Feb. 16, 1986: Schoolhouse dedicated by Bishop Olson. Additional pipe organ rank dedicated.
Dec. 21, 1986: Dedication of stained glass windows on west side of Church.
March 15, 1987: Mount Cross Lutheran Church members celebrated their 25th Anniversary.
July 1, 1988: Cindy Lou Donnell Foster, Parish Deaconess to Nov. 30, 1991.