Holton Church | ELS

Holton Evangelical Lutheran Church, a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), is here to serve you.

“Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him saying, Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33

Our first 50 years….

Pastors who served us: Rev. J. E. Bergh (1869-1871), Rev. S. L. Floren (1872-1874), Rev. A. Anderson (1874-1887), Rev. A. M. Frose (1889-1896), Rev. J. Hendricks (1896-1902), and Rev. N. E. Halvorsen (1902-1921)

In the early 1860s families started settling into the area: Christian Olson, Tolliff Hendrickson, Captain Hans Aslakson, Lars Halvorson, Johannes Hanson, Christian Sorensons, Jacob Jacobson, Lars Sorenson, Lorgen Anderson, Svend Swenson, and Ole Jensen. By 1869 they organized a congregation with eleven voting members. The original name of the congregation was “Den Skandinavisk Evangelisk Lutherske Menighet Og Cedar Creek” (The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cedar Creek).

In 1881, the first church building was completed by a donation from the Christian Olson family. The total cost was $500.00. Much of the materials and labor were donated by other members of the congregation. With the dedication on August 30, 1882.

Land was donated by Ole. C. Olson in 1882 for the parsonage, next to the church and cemetery grounds. It was built by a member of the congregation, Severt Swenson. This building was used until 1938.

By 1903 membership had increased to 43, and a constitution was adopted on May 31, 1903. Also that year, a special service was held in Tom Olson woods, and a collection was taken to help pay for a new organ.

A very active group in this congregation was the “Kvindeforening” or Ladies Aid, which also met once a month. These women help support the congregation through free will offering lunches hosted at various women’s homes. Often, the money they raised helped to support the pastor salary.

The Golden Anniversary was held on October 5, 1919. At that time, the records show that in the first fifty years there were 1,060 worship services, 254 children baptized and 131 were confirmed. There were 40 weddings and 86 funerals. At the present we have family members that are direct descendants in the 6th generation of the first Norwegian and Danish members.

It is interesting to note that all services and meetings were held in Norwegian until 1935.