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Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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[Page 91] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church


Reading Left to Right

First Row: Evelyn Pearson, Clara Barkow, Margaret Larson, Elaine Aho, Dr. O. H. Bystrom, Gladys Anderson, Esther Backels, Helen Swanson, Dorothy Anderson.

Second Row: Anna Nelson, Elizabeth Carlson, Thelma Johnson, Vera Senob, Rhoda Smith, Ruth W. Larson, Nina Mattson, Ruth Johnson, Virginia Johnson, Robert Larson.

Third Row: Maxwell Swanson, Robert Dolf, Harold C. Anderson, Folke Bystrom, Howard Dolf, Harold Anderson, Alton Johnson, Robert Johnson.

Fourth Row: Herbert Oberg, Oscar Johnson, President; Alfred Sweder, Robert Anderson, Earl Holmberg, Thure Johnson, Robert Pearson.

Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church [Page 92]


The Luther League, which takes in the young people of the Church, has been in existence for many years. During the time that F. A. Johnsson was pastor it was organized. That was about 1893 and it was then called the "Young People's Society". It was more or less of a family gathering into which both young and old joined. In 1902 its name was changed to "Luther League". It was very active and had a large membership. It provided wholesome entertainment for the younger generation.

In 1913 a large convention was held. Oscar Sandahl, who is now located in Minneapolis, was our pastor at that time. Two fairly large conferences were held in Marquette in 1929 and 1930.

During the year of 1918 it was divided into two sections, the Junior and Senior leagues. This did not prove very successful and the two combined again in 1920.

The officers this year are: Oscar E. Johnson, president; Robert Dolf, vice-president; Gladys E. Anderson, secretary, and Howard Dolf, treasurer.

This society is functioning all the year around and during all its years of existence it has been a valuable agency for keeping the confirmands in the Church.

Miss Esther Backels.

[Page 93] Golden Jubilee—Messiah Lutheran Church


At the annual meeting of the Messiah Lutheran congregation, Jan. 8, 1883, plans were made to organize a Sunday School.

The next annual meeting was held Jan. 30, 1884, at which time the following officers and teachers were elected: John Bergh, superintendent; Carl Upperstrom, treasurer; John Nelson, Christine Gutke, Anna Olin and Anna Ekstrom, teachers. The treasurer's report given at this meeting shows that the income for the year was $22.61, the expenditures $8.84, and the balance $13.77.

The first record of the number of children enrolled, given in the annual report for 1885, informs us that the Sunday School at that time consisted of 48 children. The next year the enrollment increased to 51, but the following year, 1887, the record shows only 33.

Jacob E. Larson was elected superintendent for the year 1888. From this time there was a gradual increase until in 1892 there were 74 children attending Sunday School. The next superintendent, elected in 1894, was Johannes Nelson. From that time the following ministers, during their pastorates, served as superintendents: F. A. Johnsson, K. M. Holmberg, Anders Andre, Oscar Sandahl and J. E. Swanbom. J. F. Anderson, John Carlson and Axel Peterson served as vice-superintendents during this time.

In 1913 an English class consisting of 6 boys was taught by Bernhard Paulson. The number of children desiring instruction in English made it necessary in 1915 to organize an English department. Hjalmar Beckman was the first superintendent of this department, which has had a rapid growth. Edwin Nelson, Rev. C. H. Nelson, and Edna A. Gustafson have since then served as superintendents. The Sunday School for a while continued bi-lingual but for several years now the English language has been used exclusively.

The Sunday School at present is divided into several departments with a total enrollment of 250. There are 21 classes in the Primary and Intermediate departments and two Bible classes.

A comparatively new and interesting class in the Sunday School is the Nursery class, the children varying in ages from 3 to 5. There are 21 children in this class.

The Sunday School orchestra which was organized about a year ago by Martin M. Johnston is an important addition. Much credit is due Mr. Johnston for his splendid cooperation. Howard Carlson was the first director. Virginia Johnson is at present directing.

Miss Edna Gustafson, Supt.


[Page 95] Golden Jubilee-Messiah Lutheran Church


One of the important organizations in our church, and one which always stands out prominently in our childhood memories, is the Daily Vacation Bible School. The Vacation School has had a varied and interesting history. It has been held either in July or August, sometimes in both, for over forty years with very few omissions. The School has been held in different places—the old Fourth Street School, the old Third Street School, the church parlors, and for the last two years in the Graveraet School. While the primary purpose is to augment the religious instruction the children receive in Sunday School, an added purpose in the past was also to give the pupils an opportunity to learn the Swedish language. The past few years the School has been conducted entirely in English and the subjects include Catechism, Bible History, Bible Geography for the older children and religious kindergarten work for the younger ones. The majority of the teachers have conducted the School singlehanded, while a staff of three teachers in 1894, and four in 1929 and 1930, have conducted the sessions.

The following list gives the names in chronological order of all who have taught in the Vacation School since it was begun. Most of the teachers will be recognized as having been students from our Theological Seminary at Rock Island, others as students from the Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter, while still others are of our own young people, and some the pastors themselves.

Rev. C. P. Edlund Albert Linder Petrus Larson
C. O. Johnson P. O. Bersell C. O. Samuelson
C. A. Wendell A. Johnsen Frank Peterson
P. S. Miller Mr. Bradison Gottfrid Larson
C. J. Sodergren Carl D. Bostrom Rev. Carl H. Nelson
Anna Westman Leonard Alexander Albert Hemming
Prof. C. R. Chindblom David Knock Arthur Holmberg
E. G. Chinlund Carl E. Anderson Earl Holmberg
C. A. Henry Bernhard J. Paulson Robert Dolf
Albert S. Johnson F. G. Granquist Harriet Carlson
A. P. G. Anderson Elmer Swanbom Ruth W. Larson
J. N. Brandelle Rev. Carl E. Lundgren Helen Erickson
Ella Linder Henning J. Anderson

 —Robert Dolf.

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Messiah Lutheran Church 1881-1931

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