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Church is also known as "the frame church" so is not to be confused with the old Stavanger church, known as the "stone church".
Organized in 1850, the church was the oldest Norwegian Lutheran church in Iowa. It served early settlers arriving from Stavanger, Norway. The congregation's first pastor was the Rev. Elling Eielson, who was the first Norwegian minister ordained in America. He traveled by foot from Chicago to begin serving the congregation of Norwegians.
After serving the rural Ossian community for more than 162 years, the First Lutheran Church membership dissolved in November 2012. The church's 91 members transferred to St. Peter Lutheran in Eldorado, with whom First Lutheran shared a pastor since the early 1990s. The building and land were given to First Lutheran Cemetery, Inc.