A Church Was Founded
Over 130 years ago, there were few settlers in Meeker and
Kandiyohi Counties without a church or leader. Some of them didn't have the privilege of
taking the Lord's Supper for two years, some of the children a year and a half old were
Men and Women came from Sweden to seek settlement in the
New World. Most of their belongings were on their backs or in old chests. Many of them
were unable to speak English, but they could read their Swedish Bibles and Psalm books.
Pastor Norelius was sent a letter on March 2, 1859 asking
for someone to be sent to preach the Gospel. Rev. Peter Carlson had organized three small
congregations that year of 1859. He was the first Lutheran Pastor to come to this
Group meetings were held in sod huts and log cabins before
a church was actually founded. Records show we, Immanuel Lutheran, were organized in 1868.
The original congregation was known as Swede Grove Lutheran and consisted of people from
Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties. The first recorded meeting was held October 2, 1868.
The first pastor called to the newly founded congregation
was Rev. Peter Beckman.
SOME IMPORTANT DATES OF
IMMANUEL's HISTORY through 1915
On October 2nd, the Congregation was organized under the name of Swede
Grove Lutheran Congregation (people from both Meeker and Kandiyohi counties).
They adopted the constitution of the Chicago and Mississippi Conference.
First recorded minutes of the newly formed congregation.
On February 14th, Elizabeth and Atwater churches called a common vote in
Atwater to call Pastor Beckman as their first pastor. They also renamed the church to: Swedish
Evangelical Lutheran Gennessee Congregation in Township Gennessee, County of Kandiyohi,
State of Minnesota.
Built first church building. Dimension were 30 feet
long by 20 feet wide and 18 feet high. This building was built on Block 3.
In June they joined the Augustana Synod.
Atwater, Grove City and Beckville went together to pay for the pastor's
salary. Each paying one third of the salary.
On December 7th, the congregation decided to build the present church . The
total cost was $2,200. $1,200 for the interior and $1,000 for the exterior. This
church was to be 94 feet long and 36 feet wide. The center of the interior was 28 feet
high while the sides were 18 feet high. Olaf Anderson was the building contractor on both
the church and the parsonage.
The old church, which was located on the south side
of the public school, was sold to the Norwegian Congregation of Atwater
for $225. This building was later used as a garage for the Bethlehem pastor. Bethlehem
built a parsonage on the southeast corner lot adjacent to the school and the church.
The congregation purchased three more lots so that a parsonage could be built.
Peter Peterson Altman loaned an organ to the church.
Sunday School was held for the first time. Magnus Broberg and Anders Olson
were the first Superintendents.
The church parsonage was finished.
First trustees were P.M. Peterson, Gust Hedner and P.D. Ringstrom. They
served 1, 2 and 3 year terms respectively.
Laid a new 56 feet by 36 feet foundation at a cost of $121.52, which was
paid to Olaf Anderson, contractor, for lime and sand.
The marriage of Oscar Lins and Amanda C. Lindstrom was the recorded marriage.
Dug a 36 feet by 36 feet basement underneath the
church building, except under tower and sacristy.
The church was resided. Originally, the church was
sided with eight inch boards that were grooved to give the appearance of stone
On November 4th, the Young Peoples Society
In January, it was decided to ring the church bell at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday
Installed a free standing Altar.
It was decided that the members of Rosendale be permitted to separate form
Atwater to organize their own congregation.
The congregation purchase one lot on the south side of the church.
It was decided to give bibles to the confirmands.
A parsonage was built south of the present church building. It was 28 feet
wide by 37 feet long by 18 feet high. It was build of frame construction with a brick
The Church had 300 communicants.
The congregation purchased Thorwaldsens Kristusbild's statue (The Image of
On September 11th, a Hilgreen, Lane and Company 12 octave pipe organ was
installed in the balcony of the church. The Young Peoples Society purchased this at a cost
The Baptismal Font was Given in Memory of Gustaf Glader's wife by him.
Last Minutes of the Young People's Society
Gas lights were installed. New steps were constructed on the front of the
Present oaken pews were purchased at a cost of $700.
The Church elected Ushers for the first time.
On January 26, Pastor Schoberg organized the "Youth Mission
Six years later the name was changed to "Luther League."
The interior of the church was redecorated. Tin was installed on the walls
and the ceiling. The interior and exterior were painted.
A new heating system was purchased at a cost of $630.
A New Piano was purchased, which added to the beauty of the service.
More to be added
The Pastors of Immanuel
Reverend Peter Beckman ~ 1869-1874
Reverend Peter Dilner ~ 1874-1882
Reverend L. J. Lundquist ~ 1883-1885
Reverend J. A. Frost ~ 1886-1893
Reverend Erik Hedeen ~ 1893-1899
Reverend G. O. Schoberg ~ 1900-1915
Reverend M. Le Vander ~ 1916-1925
Reverend Arnold G. Nelson ~ 1925-1947
Reverend William A. Conrad ~ 1948-1954
Reverend L. E. Bomgren ~ 1954-1971
Reverend Carmen Peterson ~ 1971-1976
Reverend Aaron Lofgren ~ 1975-1977
Reverend Kenneth Johnson ~ 1977-1982
Reverend Martha Nelson ~ 1980-1981
Reverend Zenith James Worthington ~ 1982-1986
Reverend Dwaine L. Bruns
1986 - August 1995
Reverend Paulette Creswell - Interim
Pastor - 1995
Reverend Daniel B. Carlson
May 1996-October 2002
Reverend Gerald D. Geise
2002 - November 2003
Reverend Daniel J. Belgum-Blad
November 2003 - August 2011
Pastor J. Pablo Obregon
October 2011 - November 2011
Pastor Erick Thompson
December 2011 - October 2012
Pastor Kathy Hartley
November 2012 - July 2013
Reverend Christa Forsythe
August 2013 -