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History of Milnor Lutheran Church

This congregation was organized on June 6, 1885, under the name of Milnor Skandinavian Lutheran Free Church Society of Milnor. The records do not tell us who served this congregation during the organization phase. But once official, they called Rev. C. G. Seltveit who served from 1885 to 1892.

In 1886, the first church was built at a cost of $4,000. The gallery was added in 1896 and in 1921 the basement was completed at a cost of $3,500. The Ladies Aid and the young people helped to finish the church proper. The Sunday School was organized in 1890.

During the history of this congregation, four parsonages have been owned, with the latest one being built in 1959. In September of 1961, groudbreaking ceremonies were held at the present site and construction began the following week.

Milnor Lutheran Congregation has enjoyed a partnership in the Gospel with sister congregations in the area over the years. Concordia, Immanuel, and Milnor enjoyed serving our Lord together for many years. When Concordia closed, many members came to town with other realigning with Immanuel or Rutland. With the organization of the DeLamere Congregation, Immanueal realigned with them forming the DeLamere Parish, and Milnor continued its service to our Lord as a single point of service. The DeLamere congregation concluded its service in October of 1998 and since that time Immanuel has been sharing pastoral service with Milnor Lutheran.

In September 1961, a ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of the present building. The original church was torn down and the site is now part of the parking lot. In 1999 a ground level fellowship hall was added to the church. It has an area for dining, a kitchen, bathrooms, and a storage room. The loan for this addition was met in 2006.

This congregation has been privileged to participate in the early education of 10 men and one woman who have entered the Pastoral Ministry. They include John Lavik, I. A. Lavik, Bernard Gravdal, Milton J. Grimsrud, Marcus Gravdal, Gerald Carlson, Richard Spiedel, Roger Johnson, Charles Spiedel, Cory Fuhrman, and Sarah Isaacson Puppe.

Pastors and Interim pastors who have served this congregation include the following: C. G. Seltviet 1885-1892, Rasmus A Lavik 1892-1913, Jacob Tanner 1913-1916, Thorsten T. Roen 1916-1919, Almer N. Eggen 1919-1923, John M. Eggen 1923-1925, A. J. Graqvdal 1925-1947, E. O. Urness 1947-1958, Lloyd A. Nelson 1958-1962, Kenneth Sielele 1963-1969, James Shiell 1969-1979, Harold Vold 1980-1989, David Isaacson 1990-1996, Arthur C. Larson 1997-2003, Julie Johnson (Interim) 2003-2004, Priscilla Hukki 2004-2006, Kari Foss (Interim) 2006-Aug. 2007, Curt Larson 2007 - , Sarah Dille  (Interim), Peder Hinderlie 2014 - 2018, and Mytch Pierre-Noel Dorvilier (Interim) 2019 - Present.

The congregation has faithfully carried on the tasks of Christian education through Sunday School, Bible School, and Adult Bible Study courses. In addition to these avenues of service to our Lord, we also are thankful for the Ladies Aid (now known as WELCA), the Youth Groups, Altar Guild, Choir, ML-50 Club, and the Library. Also the custodians and the people who watch over the maintenance of church properties and preside over the serving fellowship are important to the life of this congregation. Each member is placed into one of our Shepherding groups. These groups provide leadership at worship through ushering, greeting, lectors, and communion assistants.

We are also grateful for the many who have so faithfully served on the church council through the years and also on the building committees and other committees who have helped this congregation be a beacon of light to this community. It has helped challenge us to move forward in our service to Christ.

Additional organizations that have kept our eyes focused on Christ's Mission are the LCR (Lutheran Children of the Reformation) 1947-1961; LDR (Lutheran Daughters of the Reformation); Boy Scouts; Parish Brotherhood 1947-1967; and the Milnor Lutheran Cemetery Board. All of these and the other activities of this congregation have taken, do take countless volunteer hours to complete any task. Your help and willingness to lend a hand, volunteer and provide leadership, will keep this congregation moving forward and responding to the challenges that God puts before us.

The Cradle Roll, the Circle Leaders, host and study leaders are a great help as are the many who help cut, pin, sew, and tie quilts for the Lutheran World Relief and our graduating class within our congregation.

While much of the work in the congregation is accomplished through the regular and faithful giving of our worship offerings, the memorials given to honor loved ones have helped bring some special additions to our church.

The air conditioning, bell tower, stained glass and colored windows, as well as many other sanctuary and worship appointments are all examples of memorials given. Fundraisers have provided much needed means to complete a given project, but has also given much to fellowship among the members.

With the addition of our new fellowship/serving hall in 1998, we have had many wonderful and enjoyable times. With this most recent addition, it is now possible for a better fellowship whereas before, some were finding it a real physical challenge to get down to our basement. The added room makes it possible for the Sunday School and other activities to more fully utilize the space needed previously for fellowship.

We are truly grateful to God for the opportunities that He has given us for service and fellowship in this congregation. May He help us to see the new opportunities that present themselves in the coming days and may we be ready to respond faithfully in the tradition and following the examples of the past.