Al Church Scholarship


Al Church was the founder and first Director of Council 65.  He began his career in the labor movement in 1947 as a member of the United Public Utilities Workers (UPW) of the CIO. He later was Employed by Range/Duluth Joint Board to service unions.  He was the first individual hired by the newly formed Government & Civic Employees Organizing Committee (GCEOC) of the CIO and worked in Minnesota for GCEOC as an International Representative until the organization merged with AFSCME in 1956.

He then worked as an International AFSCME Representative & served from 1958-1964 on the AFSCME International Executive Board.  The State highway & welfare units within AFSCME Council 6 and some city & county locals on the Iron Range formed the Minnesota Organizing Committee, an informal organization that existed until 1963.  In 1963 AFSCME International chartered Minnesota Arrowhead District Council 65 with
Al Church as its Director. 

In 1963 the Council was primarily made up of city & county local unions on the Iron Range and a half dozen locals in NW Minnesota that had no servicing arrangements, prompting AFSCME International to ask Al Church to provide service to them.  In the mid-60's a group of locals in southern Minnesota, known as Council 71 needed representation and  a merger was negotiated, making Council 65 a statewide organization of local government employees outside the Duluth/Metro area.  Director Church now had four (4) employees who traveled around the state servicing these local unions.

Before PELRA was passed in 1971, Al Church was appointed to chair a committee of public employee representatives under the auspices of the Minnesota State Federation of Labor.  In 1973, Al Church was appointed by AFSCME International President Jerry Wurf to serve on the International Judicial Panel. He remained on the Panel, at the request of President McEntee, after retirement until his term expired in 1987.

Director Church was also a leader in the political environment fighting for workers rights.  Governor Rudy Perpich claimed that he would not have been elected if not for Al Church.  Al Church retired in 1985 after 38 years of service to the labor movement.  Al Church was then hired as a consultant to Council 65 for one dollar per year.

Al Church passed away in 1992 at the age of 71.

The AFSCME COUNCIL 65 EXECUTIVE BOARD established the Scholarship for Al's retirement in 1985.


A huge thank you to all that contributed to our raffle sales this year. With your help, we have been able to award six $500 winners this year. The winners are:

DISTRICT 1: Adam Lucek- Local 510                   

DISTRICT 2:  Kyle Kline- Local 2889          

DISTRICT 3: Autumn Grussing- Local 578

DISTRICT 4: Brandin Dahl- Local 559

AT LARGE- Kelli Terhaar- Local 748

 AT LARGE- Ariel Dunbar- Local 1647

        Congratulations to all of our 2020 Al Church Scholarship winners!  

2020- $250 Raffle Ticket Winners:

James Masloski

Karen Mandich

Local 453