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Yellow Medicine County MN 
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Yellow Medicine County Churches


Church News

From an 1882 History

Churches.-The first permanent church organization was the Congregational, November 3, 1872, the meeting for organization was held in a building erected of logs, with a sod covering, which stood on the prairie about a mile from town. Meetings were held there during the summer, and on December 4, of the same year, the church society was fully organized and the meetings held in the hall over the store of H. J. Simpson in the village. At that time there were thirteen members; the only remaining members of this first organization are A. J. Luce and his wife, the remainder having removed or died. The following summer it was intended to have erected a church edifice, but the society united with the village and erected a schoolhouse instead, which they used for the purpose of meetings and divine services. They erected their present church edifice, which was finished in the fall and winter of 1874,-'5. The first pastor was Rev. J. D. Todd. G. W. Sargent is the present incumbent. The building of the church cost over $2,800.

Methodist Episcopal. - A class had been organized in 1871 of this denomination, but for some reason it was soon afterwards discontinued. Another organization was effected under better auspices which has continued until the present. This like the Congregational society, first met in the log house on the prairie. Meetings have since been held at different places until the erection of their present edifice, at an expense of over 82,000. It was finished and ready for occupancy in the early days of 1881.

Baptist. - This denomination has an organization in existence and possesses a very handsome little frame church.

Episcopal. - This organization is known as Trinity church society, and consists of about twenty members. Rev. J. Karcher, the pastor, arrived at Granite Falls in the June of 1880, and at once proceeded to gather together such as professed the doctrines of that church, with the view of forming a congregation. The edifice belonging to the Baptists is used for purposes of worship.

Besides the above churches, the Norwegian Lutherans are engaged in the erection of a house of worship, where they will be able to celebrate services in their native tongue.

SOURCE: History of the Minnesota Valley by Rev. Edward D. Neill. North Star Publishing Company, Minneapolis. 1882. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

The Churches Of Clarkfield

Four churches have “firm foundations” within the city's boundaries, namely the Clarkfield Lutheran, First English Lutheran, Clarkfield Gospel Tabernacle and The Methodist Episcopal Church.

First English Lutheran

The First English Lutheran was organized January31, 1899, under the leadership of B.F. Bengtson, who visited Clarkfield frequently, and preached the gospel to the people of Swedish decent. The congregation at that time was known as the Evangelical Lutheran Ebenezer church and formed a pastorate with the two country churches, namely Swede Home and Fridhem.

The young congregation called Rev. Caleb E. Ashaleen as their pastor who accepted the call and began his work in July, 1900, and remained until 1906. During his stay the church bought the parsonage (1902) and built the church building, which was dedicated on November 18, 1904. In 1936 the name was changed to the First English Lutheran Church of Clarkfield.

The following pastors have served this congregation- C.J. Karl following Shaleen; 1908, C.A. Larson; 1912, C.E. Sholander; 1916, E.O. Valborg; 1921, Theodore Steinert; 1927, C.E. Anderson; 1939, Carl O. Bomgren and in August, 1954, Vernal A. Lundeen, the present pastor.

In 1940, during the leadership of Pastor Bomgren, the church was raised from its foundation and a full basement dug. The new electric organ was also installed under the musical leadership of Mrs. Bomgren.

On September 23, 1954, the Rev. V.A. Lundeen was installed, and the same evening the new brick parsonage was dedicated. The old parsonage had been sold and the new residence purchased.

Today the congregation has amembership of some 337 baptized members, of which 263 are confirmed, with an average Sunday attendance last year of 170.

Clarkfield Lutheran Church

The Clarkfield Lutheran Church was organized May 26, 1885 under the name, “The Norwegian Lutheran Church” with an initial membership of sixteen. Rev. R.K. Fjelstad was the first pastor and served two years. The building was erected in the early 1890's but not dedicated until May 9, 1897. The building at the time of dedication included the main north and south part, 56 x 34, choir, 20 x 18, sacristy at the side of the choir, 12 x 12 feet, and the tower base, 12 x 12. The building has been struck three times by lightning bolts, but fire has never broken out. In 1910 the building was remodeled and again in 1949 a program was held to re-dedicate the remodeled and enlarged church. A wing was added to the northeast corner and the entire church beautified and improved.

Today the membership totals 980 souls with 674 confirmed and an average Sunday attendance of 314. Pastors who have served the congregation are as follows: Rev. Fjelstad, the first mentioned above, Rev. O.C. Farseth, Rev. J.B. Reinertson, Rev. O.T. Storaasli, Rev. O.M.O. Wee, Rev. J.E.H. Akre, and Rev. P.L. Mork, the present pastor.

Clarkfield Gospel Tabernacle

The Clarkfield Gospel Tabernacle was built under the ministry of Evangelist Helen Jepsen and incorporated under the laws of Minnesota in 1934.

Rev. Alfred Johnson was pastor from January, 1950, to November, 1951. It was during this time that the new addition to the front of the church was built.

From November 1951 to April 1953 Rev. A.F. Johnson was interim pastor. The present pastor is Rev. E.C. Nicholson, who served the past three years.

Clarkfield Methodist Church

The Clarkfield Methodist Church was organized in the year 1894, under the leadership of Rev. Frederickson, who was at that time pastor of Wood Lake Methodist Church.

The first two years afterorganization the services were held in the old city hall until the present church was built.

Pastors who have served the church are as follows:

Rev. Frederickson, Rev. E.E. Lindsley, Rev. A.C. Claspell, Rev. J.E. Wilkinson, Rev. W.A. Follensbee, Rev. J.W. Farr, Rev. H.W. Cannon, Rev. F.O. Krause, Rev. Kenderline, Rev. Fred Smith, Rev. J.A. Troke, Rev. C.J.Anderson.

Rev. B.R. Campbell, Rev. H. W. Hanson, Rev. I. R. Stephens, Rev. R.A. Palmer, Rev. Athur McCausland, Rev. Roy W. Held, Rev. Charles Adee, Rev. Lyle Foreman, Rev. E.E. Anderson, Rev. J.A. Sweeney, Rev. Robert Fegan, Rev. John A. Nymark.

Source: The Clarkfield Advocate, Thursday, May 31, 1956 (Clarkfield's Town History In This Edition) Transcribed by J. Alberti


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