Jarle Rosseland
Thursday, February 4, 1999




.........McKenzie, North Dakota, USA

History of Rosseland Lutheran Church

...... - in homes, school houses, community hall and then in a church.

 When the early settlers began coming into this area in early 1900's, many of them were of Lutheran faith and not before long wanted Christian worship. About 1908 the Rev. A. Johansen of Alexander saw the need and began holding services in the community. Following him, the Rev. M.L. Holy, also from Alexande, came to hold services occasionally. As a result of these gatherings, Rosseland Lutheran Congregation was finally organiced by Pastor Holey on Sunday, June 5 1911, at A. H. Nelson home. At this service Nora Helene, daughter of Anton and Johanna Nelson, was baptized. On August 6 of the same year Helmer and Mable Helgerson were baptized.


Pastor Holey soon found he was unable to care for all the new congregations in McKenzie County, so Rosseland was invited to join with Trinity, Highland and Vang congregations of Alexander to form a new parish and call a new pastor.

On Saturday, February 12 1914, a call committee met at Alexander with Otto Wold as chairman and A. H. Nelson as secretary. A call was sent to the Rev. A. J. Berge. It was also decided to pay the pastor $ 700 a year, plus free housing and three offering a year.


The Rosseland Ladies' Aid was organized in 1914.

Since Rosseland congregation has always been linked with Rosseland Ladies' Aid, it is hard to write the history of one without mentioning the other.

PASTORS 1914 - 1948 .

The Rev. T. Haakenstad next served the congregation, coming to the Aleksander parish on August 3 1914, and remaining until May 1918. He was followed by Rev. O. R. Svore, who served Rosseland congregation faithfully for twenty-two years. After he resigned in 1939, Rev. Karsten Baalson served for about a year until Pastor A. L. Edmunds accepted the call in 1941. In 1944 he resigned and another newly ordinated pastor came to serve the parish, the Rev. Owen Doely. During this time a church building fund was started by the congregation for the first time, and hopes were high. After he resigned in 1947, Rev R. Williams accepted a call to be the pastor of the Alexander Parish.


With money still being scarce, and some families moving out, Rosseland congregation decided in 1948 to disband. But the report of disbandment was never sent, so the congregation was never officially disbanded. However, the ladies' aid asked permission to continue…

By 1951 there were so many children in the community with no Sunday School that the ladies' aid decided to sponsor a Vacation Bible School … to be held in the Indian Hill School. The response was very god.

A meeting to reactivate the Rosseland congregation was held on November 19, 1951. One of the direct results of the congregation becoming active once more, was the baptisms on Sunday, June 6 1954, of fifteen children, ranging from two months in age up to 17 years.


The need of a church building became more and more evident, so members began looking for some vacant building which could be purchased, moved and made into a worshipful sanctuary. After many meetings and discussions, the congregation decided to purchase the Methodist Church at Rawson. A plot of land in the corner of the northwest quarter of section twenty two of Wilbur Township was donated to the congregation by Mr. G. M. Fossum. The ground-breaking service for the new church was held on Sunday afternoon April 22, 1956. The church was moved and placed on the basement foundation on May 31 of that same year. Here it was enlarged and remodelled by members of the congregation, with Ronald Hagen of Williston directing the work of the volunteer labor.The service of dedication was held Sunday, October 19, 1958.

" This past year, with the selling of the Lewis and Clark Irrigation Project to the United States Government, many families have to move out of this area. Yet it is with grateful hearts that we gather on this day of dedication to give thanks to our Almighty God for the realization of a dream come true. However, let us never forget there is still much work to be done: To the building as such, but most important of all - the souls that need to be saved and sanctified through the Word. May God continue to shower His blessing upon Rosseland congregation !"

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