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East Emmaus Gets New Coat of Paint


Cindy Stewart
Kittson County Enterprise

October 7, 1998

"Time cannot tell the untold blessings that have cometo inividuals and the community through the activities of the church. Asa river increases in width and depth in its course to the sea and as a blessingand aid to men, may the church through the means of grace and the preachingof the gospel, prove to be a stream of life for human souls."

Written by Florence Anderson, Kittson CountyHistorical book.


The East Emmaus Lutheran Church continues to bless itsmany former members.

And, former members want to give something back, by preservingthe church to its original state.

This summer they did just that.

Jean Christiansen, a former member, said she and her family,along with Martha Lindholm and her family, decided to get some donationstogether to paint the outside of the church.

She said the money came in and they hired Sidney Nelsonto help paint.

"We did everything but the steeple," Christiansensaid.

They are hoping to also get the bell down and repair thesteeple and also do some cleaning and repairs inside the 96 year old church.

"There are just a number of people who used to goto church here who are interested in preserving the church for another 100years," Christiansen said.

According to information taken from the Kittson CountyHistorical book, the East Emmaus Church building was constructed in 1901and completed in 1902 at an approximate total cost of $1,095.

The founders of the congregation and community that centeredaround it were a company of Swedish immigrants. They met in their homesfor Bible study and prayer. As the time went on, more and more came to thiscommunity, thus making it possible to organize a congregation.

The organizational meeting was held at the home of A. O.Johnson on March 5, 1884. The newly organized congregation was to be knownas the Evangelical Lutheran Emmaus congregation.

The St. Paul-Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad Companydonated 10 acres of land to be used for the location of the church and cemetery.

At the annual meeting on Jan. 6, 1885, it was decided tosolicit funds for the erection of a church building and a building committeewas elected.

Rev. S. G. Swenson, then serving several congregationsin the district, was called to serve the parish. He became the first ordainedpastor to serve this field. He was pastor from 1887 to 1889.

During a long vacancy, pastors from neighboring congregationsand students served as pastor until Pastor Chilgren accepted the call in1897. Chilgren served until 1900. That was also the year that it was decidedto build a new church building because the old church had become too smallfor the growing membership.

In 1901, the East, West Emmaus and Maria churches weremade into one parish to be served by the same pastor. The new church wasbuilt that year.

Fred Nordquist, Pastor A. Noren, Pastor K. Rosenthal, PastorP. G. Carlstedt, Pastor S. A. Erling, Pastor B. N. Glim, Pastor John E.Sutherland served in succeeding years.

Pastor John Simonson arrived on the field in 1937 and servedthe church. Pastor David Edward was the next pastor who served during thetime when the country entered the World War.

Rev. E. Malm of Hallock served as vice pastor followingthe resignation of Pastor Edward. Rev. Russell Vikstrom came in 1949 andwhen he left in 1953, Rev. Leslie Wassberg from the Lake Bronson parishserved as lay pastor until Re. erbert Peterson arrived.

In 1959, the congregation celebrated its 75th anniversary.Rev. Avis Benson arrived that year and following his resignation, Rev. CarrollAnderson, from the Lancaster parish, served as vice pastor until the congregationvoted to close on June 8, 1964.

Christiansen said members of the former church either wentto Zion in Lake Bronson, Maria Lutheran in Kennedy, or Eidsvold in Halma.

She said the church and its memories still live on in thepeople who were blessed by the activites of the East Emmaus Church.

Christiansen said the cemetery association is still activeat the church, headed by Garfield Erlandson and Jim Rickenberg. With theirhelp and more donations, they hope to continue restoring the old church.

She said they are still taking donations for the restorationproject. For more information about helping to preserve the church, contactChristiansen or Lindholm.

Source: Kittson County Enterprise, October 7, 1998.







ise, October 7, 1998.