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Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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DR. and MRS. BOSTROM and Children, CARL and JOAN

[Page 7] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church


(Note :—The names are given here exactly as they appear in the old records. The names of those who are still living are shown first in the list and appear as they are now written today.)

Mrs. Catherine Ekstrom.

Mrs. John Nelson.

Mrs. Carolina Johnson


Mr. John Nelson.

Petrus Bystrom.

Charles Upperstrom.

Wife: Augusta Ellstrom.

Alfred Ekstrom (wife is No. 1, above).

John Bergh.

Wife: Sara Stina Back. Fredrick Ekstrom.

Wife: Stina Mallberg.

Peter Stake (same as the name of Stack).

Maja Stina Ingman—Wife. Johannes Nilsson.

Wife: Anna Andersdotter.

Nils Jansson (same as the name of Johnson).

Wife: Christina Jonsdotter.

Johannes Stake (Stack).

Wife: Gustafva Willbas.

Anders Gustaf Sanberg.

Wife: Maria Ulrika Dahlbom.

Nils Ekstrom.

Wife: Wilhelmina Willbas.

Charles Johnson.

Wife: Emma Christina Jonsdotter.

Paul Johnson.

Wife: Signe Thorsdotter.

Martin Swenson ( ?) (No record except that in the first minutes.)

Christine Andersdotter.

C. F. Anderson.

Olivia Olin.

Anders Olsson.

Anders Gustaf Carlson.

Wife: Maria Olsdotter.

William Simon.


[Page 9] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church



Fifty years ago, on May 17, 1881, a group of Swedish immigrants met in the old Episcopal Church, located on the lot where Trinity Lutheran Church now stands, for the purpose of organizing a Swedish Lutheran congregation. The pastor in charge of the meeting was Rev. J. F. Borg, at that time pastor of our church in Ishpeming, which had been organized nine years earlier. There are conflicting statements regarding how many actually were present at that meeting and signed the document of organization. Some records mention only 32, others include as many as 35; and if certain names, which are written with different ink into the record at the close of the original list are to be considered authentic, the number increases to 45.

Be this as it may, however, the chief thing of interest is that those present resolved to unite into a congregation on the basis of the Bible and the Augsburg Confession, choosing the long, specific and exclusive name: The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Messiah Church. Styles change in names as well as in apparel, and in those days of strong group consciousness it was thought necessary to have a name, not only clear enough to identify, but also exclusive enough to fortify against group disintegration. Today, after fifty years of life and service, side by side with other Christian groups in the community, the congregation is reflecting a less clannish spirit in the shorter name, "Messiah Lutheran Church."

Immediately after the decision to organize, provision was made for the material side of the work, in that dues were fixed at 75 cents per month for every man, and 50 cents for unmarried women. This amount seems to have prevailed as the regular membership dues of the congregation until Nov. 13, 1914, when the Envelope System came in with the effect of refreshing ram on the thirsty ground.

In due course of time, the routine of organization was completed with adoption of constitution and election of officers for the first year. And, while nothing is found in the records definitely referring to the services of a pastor during this first year, it is safe to suppose that Rev. Borg from Ishpeming fathered the new congregation and held services

Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church [Page 10]

here, presumably in the Episcopal church, for the spiritual nourishment and guidance of the members. Doubtless, many of the meetings were of a less formal kind and held in the homes of those most interested.

The first annual business meeting was held January 9, 1882, with Rev. Olander as chairman, and Mr. John Bergh, secretary. Some of the important decisions made were: to fix the number of deacons to three, elected for a term of one year; to limit the number of trustees to not less than three and not more than nine. From this it becomes quite plain that the pioneers in our church considered the trustees' job by far the more difficult, if not also the more important. For while the deacon's term of office expired after one year, it was thought necessary to hold a trustee in his office for three years, that he might gain some experience for his difficult task. A study of the records also soon reveal that most of the deacons' work was done at meetings where the pastor presided and submitted questions and problems to them for advice and solution, while the trustees, with grim and seemingly cold-blooded determination, carried out their always disagreeable duty of making monthly calls at the homes of the members for collection of the church dues. The most far-reaching decision of this meeting, however, was made when Rev. M. Frykman of Menekaune and Peshtigo, Wis., was called as pastor to serve Marquette, Michigamme and Republic, jointly. In an issue of "Augustana och Missionären", published in Moline, by Hasselquist, Olsson and Cervin, dated Wednesday, April 19, 1882, a news item is found to the effect that Rev. Frykman had resigned the southern pastorate to go north to Lake Superior.

Thus Rev. Frykman became the first regular pastor of the Messiah Lutheran Church, and under his able leadership, strong foundations were laid both for the spiritual and the material growth of the church here.

One of the first concerns of the new pastor was to secure a suitable place to build a church. At a meeting called for June 30, 1882, too few were present to make a decision, but on July 23 a motion was passed to buy the location "east of the old Episcopal Church" from the Cleveland Cliffs Co. for a sum of $400.00. A subscription was begun immediately at the meeting and $170 were gathered. There is no record of the completion of the subscription, but we may safely suppose that the quota was soon reached, for already on November 11 it was decided to proceed with the building of the church. The Committee selected to superintend this work consisted of the following: Alfred Ekstrom, Nils Johnson, Carl Johnson, Peter Bystrom, Carl Upperstrom and J. P. By-


Untitled 1

Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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