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The Old North Star Church


Keith Webster

The year 1882 was the building of a small Presbyterianchurch in the town of St. Vincent. It was not a very large church but itserved it's purpose.

It was attended mostly by people of Scotch descent sincethere were quite a few Scotsmen in the area. But there were problems oftransportation. Anyone wishing to go to church would have to start out abouttwo hours before church started in order to arrive at church on time. Sincethe service only lasted for one or two hours, many of the people in thesurrounding area would not go because of the great distance of travel. Thisproblem brought about the building of a church one and one-half miles northwestof the town of Humboldt.

The new location of the church served the needs of thepeople for several years. The town of Humboldt grew more during this time.The people of the church voted and decided to move the church into Humboldtwhere it still stands today. But, because of transportation, the peoplewere still kept from coming to church.

In 1901, the people in the Joe River area selected a plotof ground two miles north of the original site of the last church. Thiswas to be the stationary site of the North Star Church. The location provedto be good because a large number of farmers lived around that area.

The congregation was organized by the Reverend Acheson,the pastor of the church in Pembina. The church was built in the followingyear under his guidance. Pastor Acheson was the first pastor and servedthe church about three months. The church had small kerosene lights hungfrom the walls and ceiling. It had a wood burning stove for heat. The interiorof the church was covered with tin which had fancy designs on it. The floorwas made with fine, three inch fir flooring. The aisles between the rowsof wooden pews had a hand fiber rug on them. Most of the time, the peoplesat around the stove while the pastor preached. A shed about thirty feetsquare was built for the horses when the church was in session.

The church was the center of social life in the communityfor many years. Everyone enjoyed the suppers that the Ladies Aid had. Theybrought the food in large pans, boxes, and dishes which were wrapped inpaper to keep them warm. Then they placed their dishes on board that wereused as tables. After the meals, there were fancy work sales, selling thefancy work done by the Ladies Aid members. The money received was used tohelp pay some of the church expenses. The church never had to borrow moneybecause they were in debt. During hard times, the women would again sponsorsales and give money regularly.

After the resignation of Reverend Acheson, Paster Carmichaelserved the church for six months. He was succeeded by Reverend Cambell in1905. He preached for eight years. At this time, a student from the CanadianPresbyterian Church, Mr. S.M. Kelly, supplied the church. James Diamondwas the Elder of the church then.

William L. Robertson, a student from Canada who was supplyingthe church in Pembina, became the North Star pastor in 1915. Every Sunday,he rode his bicycle fourteen miles to church and back. While he was thepastor, a young people's group was started. They took trips to camps inthe summer which was their highlight for the year. Reverend E. E. Test wasthe pastor when he resigned in 1921. Reverend Test was the church's ministeruntil 1923.

The next year, the North Star Church had a new supply ofpastors nearly every Sunday which was the result of the Orleans and HallockChurch joining together. By then, automobiles were in use and the distancebecame not so much of a problem. There wasn't any use for the horse stableany more so in 1941, it was sold to W.R. Turner for thirty five dollars.The following year. L. A. Anderson started preaching in the North Star Church.He continued being the pastor until June 1947.

In 1947, the church had a problem come up before them.The Presbytery notified the church that they could not supply a full timepastor for the church. The members of the church voted and made a decisionto be withdrawn from the Presbytery. In 1949, it was approved, and the churchbecame independent. Since then, the church has been supplying their ownpastors.

More people were moving into the community all the time.They needed a larger church for their needs. So, in 1950, a basement andentry were built under the supervision of Reverend Swanson. Then electricitywas installed for lights, running water, and a furnace for heating. Oakplywood with mahogany trim replaced the tin covering the walls. More pewswere put in the church. One of the worst floods in the Joe River area stoppedthe remodeling of the church. Some of the people had to come to church inboats because the water was too high to drive a car on the roads. ReverendSwanson resigned at the end of spring and was succeeded by Reverend LoydJohnson who was also the pastor in Hallock. The next year, Albert Unraufrom Winnipeg became pastor of the North Star Church. He was the only pastorto be ordained in the church.

This little church has gone through the depression andthe flood of 1950 and many other difficulties. But today, the church isstill having church every Sunday and will keep on.


Interviewed L.C. Ward


Interviewed L.C. Ward