The roots of First Shell Rock Evangelical Lutheran Church are traced back to 1859, when a group of Norwegian immigrants, who settled in Worth County, established Shell Rock Lutheran Church and joined the newly formed Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The first pastor to serve the congregation was Rev. C.L. Clausen. He was called in 1859 to conduct services just four times a year. The first resident pastor was T.A. Torgerson who came in 1865.
Shell Rock Lutheran Church was later to be known as North Shell Rock Lutheran Church. In 1917, it and many of the churches of the Norwegian American Lutheran Synod merged with other Lutheran church bodies into what was called the American Lutheran Church (ALC).
The organization of First Shell Rock Lutheran Church was needed when, in 1920, a legal action awarded the North Shell Rock Lutheran Church property to members who chose to be part of the merger with the American Lutheran Church. Those who objected to the merger were forced, as a matter of conscience, to establish a new church.
The new congregation initially met at the parsonage west of Northwood or the Worth County Court House. It was legally organized later in 1920 and joined the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod. A new church was built in 1924 at its current location.