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First Lutheran Church to Celebrate 125 Years of Working Together

August 20, 2010

First Lutheran Church, Dundee will celebrate its 125th Anniversary on August 22nd. 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
First Lutheran Church, Dundee will celebrate its 125th Anniversary on August 22nd.
Front row, (L to R): Marilyn Jans, Dorothy Balfanz, Pastor Margaret Yackel-Juleen, Mary Schipper, and Julie Legler. Back row: Jay Clausen, Duane Jans, Tony VandenBosch, and Wayne Paplow. Not pictured: Diane Legler, and Doug Lohse. 
 Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Fulda Free Press Norma Dittman
Front row, (L to R): Marilyn Jans, Dorothy Balfanz, Pastor Margaret Yackel-Juleen, Mary Schipper, and Julie Legler. Back row: Jay Clausen, Duane Jans, Tony VandenBosch, and Wayne Paplow. Not pictured: Diane Legler, and Doug Lohse.
bFirst Lutheran Church to Celebrate 125 Years of Working Together
On Sunday, August 22nd, the congregation of First Lutheran church, Dundee, MN will celebrate 125 years of working together. The celebration begins with a special worship service planned for 10 a.m. with Bishop Jon Anderson presiding. A catered dinner will be served at noon, and a program that will commemorate the church’s longevity is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

First Lutheran Church, Dundee, had its beginnings as Swedish pioneers arrived in the Dundee area. They soon realized that a church would have to be organized. On September 1, 1885, a group gathered at the home of Haken Johnson. Reverend S. D. Franzen conducted the meeting. He was elected as the Lutheran Church’s chairman. William Hawkins was elected as secretary. Charter members of the Lutheran church were Mr. and Mrs. Erick Erickson, Mr. and Mrs. John Erickson and seven children, C. M. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. p. N. Nelson, Charles Stat, William Hawkins, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. John Sjolt and two children, Mr. and Mrs. Ole bakken and three children, Haken Nelson, Nils Pehrson, Swan Nelson, Charles Larson, Swen Johnson, Andrew Peterson and Anton Nelson.

The first name given to the Lutheran congregation was The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Lund Congregation of Dundee. Later the name was changed to The First Evangelical Lutheran Church. In another name change, the congregation became known as “The First Lutheran Church.”

During the summer of 1886, a 24 feet by 30 feet church building was constructed. Worship services were held once a month and were presented in the Swedish language.

As is the case today, the pastor who served First Lutheran Church during 1909 also served other local congregations . During those years, the congregations of Dundee, Lake Sarah, and Avoca. - those of Lake Sara and Avoca. Sunday School was started in 1910 with the classes meeting one time per month during the winter months and twice a month during summer months.

In 1925, a house was purchased as a parsonage, but it was located by Lake Sarah as the pastor was serving the congregations of Lake Sarah, Avoca and Dundee.

Membership continued to grow for the First Lutheran Church congregation and when they celebrated their 55th anniversary on September 1, 1940, there were 122 confirmed members and 40 children.

Ground breaking for a new church was held on April 12, 1942, and construction of the church building that is located on Dundee’s main street was started. The corner stone was laid on Sunday afternoon, July 26, 1942. Two years later, on November 12, 1944, the mortgage was burned. Improvements continued to be made to the new building and many funds were donated to make those improvements.

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