Final events planned
During the year many events take place in a church. There are regular worship services, weddings and funerals. People come to gather for all of them.
Augustana Lutheran Church in Minot has been no different but now things are changing for the church and its congregation. The 107-year history of the church will conclude with a final worship service on Sunday, June 9, at 2 p.m.
According to church records, the history of the church began in 1906 when the first Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in Minot. The ambitious congregation built a new church at Fourth Avenue Northwest and Broadway. The first worship service was held there on April 25, 1909. The worship service was in Swedish, a tradition that continued there until 1922 when the service was changed to English. The church that took two years to build still stands at that location.
As years passed the congregation grew and in the mid-1950s plans for a new location and church developed. Ground was broken for the new church at 321 W. University Ave. in 1957 and in May 1958 the cornerstone was laid. Records indicate that the last worship service at the Fourth Avenue Northwest location was held on Aug. 31, 1958.
As the new church was being built Augustana Lutheran became a partner with Lutheran Campus Ministries, a decision that evolved into a special history with that organization.
At one time there were between 900 and 1,000 baptized members in the congregation of Augustana Lutheran.
Other congregations have merged with Augustana. Bethany Lutheran Church, located six miles south of Glenburn, merged with Augustana in 1937 and in 1965 Bergan Evangelical Lutheran Church merged with the congregation. Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, which was formed in southwest Minot in 1953, merged with Augustana in 1975.
A total of 21 pastors have served Augustana since it began. The most recent pastor was the Rev. Michon Weingartner, who accepted another calling away from Minot in May.
The devastation created by the Souris River flood in June 2011 took a great toll on the structure of Augustana and the congregation voted to merge with Christ Lutheran Church on 16th Street Northwest in Minot.
Carter Matson, church council president, said “As Augustana members look at the history of their church, they see the blending of other churches that decided to close and become a part of Augustana. There was sadness for these congregations as they realized their time as a church organization was coming to a close. It was a joyous time for Augustana members to welcome them.”
Matson continued, “It is now time for Augustana to close its doors. It is time for ‘they’ of Christ Lutheran and ‘us’ of Augustana to become ‘we’ and work together to be a vital part of the history in Minot for years to come.”