|36608 Grue Church Ln|
Otter Tail County
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Grue Lutheran Church & Cemetery … is located in Section 16 of Eagle Lake Twp, Otter Tail County, MN. The exact date of the organizing of Grue, also known as the Norwegian Lutheran Church in the early years is not positively know. The first records were destroyed in the early 1880’s. It is believed, however, to have been organized in 1874. Grue Lutheran Church was named in honor of Grue, Hedmark flyke (county) Norway. Two of Grue’s founding members, Chris Olsen Wold and his wife Joanne, were both born in the Grue Prestegield in Hedmark, Norway and probably assisted in the naming of Grue Lutheran Church of rural Ashby.
Services were first held in the homes of its members and in the schoolhouses of District No. 6 and District No. 114. As early as 1885, August Miller offered two acres for a church site and $25 towards its construction. The offer was accepted but construction was postponed several years due to the difficulty in raising money. The congregation was incorporated on May 12, 1886. The first trustees elected were Haagen Paulson; Christian Olsen Wold and Olaus Thorp. At the annual meeting held in 1889 it was decided to begin work on a church building as soon as the building committee, which included the following members: John H Peterson, Halvor Thompson, and Christian Olsen Wold, had decided upon the size. It was decided that when the sum of $500 in cash was on hand, building would commence. In 1890 the church was completed. Much of the labor was volunteer and even conscript, as a resolution was passed requiring all male members to contribute four days of labor each. In order to build and furnish the church, the congregation was in debt one hundred dollars at the time of its completion.
Church service continued to be offered in Norwegian until 1946. In 1926 it was decided that every third service would be conducted in English. The two languages were placed on an equal basis in 1936 and English was given the preference in 1941.
From the time of its organization until 1890 the congregation was affiliated with the Norwegian Danish Lutheran Conference, from 1890-1895 with the United Lutheran Church, from 1895-1962 with the Lutheran Free Church, from 1962-1987 with e American Lutheran Church and from 1987 to the present with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the early years Grue was one of a large group of congregations served by Pastor Thorvaldsen and later by Pater Moen. It appears that since the pastorate of Rev. Ellingson until 1948, Grue was associated with First Lutheran of Battle Lake, which also served Rindal and Skibtvet Lutheran churches.
In 1955 the Grue congregation joined Trinity Lutheran Church of Ashby and in 1993 it joined a parish made up of Trinity Lutheran, Erdahl Lutheran and Pelican Lake Lutheran of Ashby. The subsequent merger of Trinity Lutheran Church and Pelican Lake Lutheran Church, becoming known as Peace Lutheran Church makes up the parish which exists today.
In 1903 the steeple was built. In 1910 a new fence was built around the cemetery. In 1915 the chancel was added. In 1918 the whole church was gone over with repairs and paint, with the building dedicated June 2, 1918. The new alter with the famous painting “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane” by Heinrich Hoffman was dedicated with special services on Holy Thursday, March 28, 1929.
A full basement was added and the church was remodeled throughout in 1929. The contract for the basement was let to Alfred Hanson of Alexandria. The Grue Young People Society put on a supper and program in the new basement October 4, 1929. In 2002 a major renovation of the basement was completed. In 1947 the church was wired for lights and operated with a power generator until electrical service became available in the spring of 1945. An entry was erected in 1973 and replaced with a larger entry in 2002.
In 1955 the Charles Nelson family who owned a farm adjacent to the cemetery donated much needed additional land. In 1968 a cemetery fund was started and in 1990 the Cemetery Association became incorporated. Again additional land was needed and in 1999 the Cemetery Association purchased additional land for both the cemetery and for parking, expanding the church property both to the north and south.
In May of 2004 Grue had 153 baptized members.
These pastors have served this church. Rev. Iver Tharaldsen (18774-1881); Rev. Torstein K Moen (1881-1895); Rev. Olaf Ellingson (1886-1902); Rev. Frederick O. Iverson (1902-1907); Rev. Johan Mattson (1908-1912);Rev Gustav Sandanger (1913-1918); Rev. Johan A. Paulson (1918-1923); Rev. Johan H. Hanson (1924-1927); Rev Ralph Mortensen (1927-1930); Rev Johannes Ringstad (1930-1938); Rev Torgney Kleven (1939-1945); Rev Olaf C. Helland (1946-1952); Rev. Norman Anderson (1952-1955); Rev Johannes Ringstad (1956-1963); Rev. Kenneth Anderson (1963-1968); Rev Earl Peterson (1969-1974); Rev Aage Carlsen (1974-1980); Pastor Howard Buenting (1980-1984); Pastor Carl Ulrich (1986-1995); pastor Bruce Krogstad (1992-1995); Intern Barb Spaulding (1996); Pastor Allyne Hotz (1996-2001); Intern Ruth Hetland (1997-1998); Intern Mona Gausman (1999-2000); Pastor Carol Olson (2001-present). Grue has also been blessed to have been served by numerous supply and visiting pastors.
(Information gleaned from the following sources: Grue Lutheran Church Centennial booklet; Interview with Anton K Evavold, 1938; 125th Anniversary history write-up; Newspaper clippings and special thanks to the Otter Tail County Historical Society where much of this information was found.)
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