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History of Lake Union Covenant Church
Presentation to the Annandale History Club
August 7, 2006
John Hasselberg 

Nineteen members of the Annandale History Club and four members of Lake Union Covenant Church met at the church located on County Road 19 in Meeker County (just over the border of Wright County).  Joann Strand introduced John Hasselberg, whose grandparents, John and Hulda Hasselberg, were charter members. 

John Hasselbergass read part of the history from the Lake Union 100th Anniversary booklet.  On January 1, 1906, a group of Christians met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson to lay plans to build a church.  Hedwin Olson had donated one-quarter acre of land bordering Lake Union.  On November 10, 1906, a small group met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson to organize a congregation.  Upon motion made and carried, it was resolved that the name of the congregation would be the Swedish Christian Mission Congregation (Independent) of Lake Union, North Kingston Township, Meeker County, Minnesota.  The charter members of the congregation were as follows:

John Hasselberg was elected chairman; Gust Werner, clerk: Andrew Anderson, treasurer;  Hedwin Olson, deacon;  Hulda Hasselberg, deaconess.  Before and during the time of building the church, meetings and Sunday school were held in Lake Francis School and in the homes.  Several of the men in the community helped with materials and the building of the church.

John said that the immigrants had a passion for the Christian faith and community.  Schools and churches were priorities.  Language was important, because services were conducted in the language of their homeland into the 1930s.  Proximity was important, because the early pioneers walked to church or traveled by horse and wagon.

Some significant dates in church history:

1899 - Cemetery started. 

1905 - First recorded meeting of Ladies Aid in May.

1906 - First organizational meeting January 1.  Congregation organized in November.

1907 - Church incorporated in January at Litchfield , Minnesota .

1908 - Chairs purchased to replace home-sawed plank benches.

1909 - Organ purchased.  Replaced later by a piano.

1910 - First confirmation class. 17 confirmed by Rev. S. E. Roslin.

1935 - Congregation affiliated with the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church of America.

1936 - First Vacation Bible School .

1937 - Electric lights installed.  Funds for the electric lights were raised by the women of the church.

1938 - Sunday worship changed from Swedish to English, except for the first Sunday of the month, which remained in Swedish.

1939 - Basement added.  Church Constitution translated from Swedish to English and adopted.

1944 - Adopted Covenant Pastors' Plan.

1946 - Pews were purchased with memorials.

1956 - Furnace installed.

1974 - Church building improved with enlarged entrance and bathrooms.

1981 - Kitchen added to fellowship hall in the basement.  Congregation accepted as members of the Evangelical Covenant Church .

1990 - Additional land purchased for possible future expansion.

1992 - Narthex enlarged, office and nursery added.

2006 - Centennial Celebration.  New sound system.

Pastors serving Lake Union Covenant Church were as follows:

Rev. August Sjoberg, Rev. J. G. Sjoquist and Rev. Bergren served the church as ministers during the first years until 1910. 

Rev. S. E. Roslin                      1910-1924

Rev. Paul Cassel                       1924-1925

Rev. Elmer Landerdahl              Summer 1925

Rev. Ernest B. Anderson          October 1925-April 1926

Rev. Roy N. Wiberg                 1926-1929

Rev. H. Martin Olson               1932-1935

Rev. Victor Mars                      1936-1938

Rev. Einar Anderson                 1938-1942

Rev. Elroy Anderson                1942-1943

Rev. C. Lloyd Walters &
Rev. Carl I. Lindberg                1944-1946

Rev. Paul Sundberg                  1946-1947 

Rev. Oscar B. Johnson              1948-1952

Rev. John Hallsten                    Summer 1952

Rev. Paul S. Backlund              1952-1953

Rev. George Pauluk                  1953-1960      

Rev. Robert Christianson          1960-1962

Rev. Wallace Burke                  1962-1964

Rev. Walter Blackwood           1964-1971

Rev. Clarence Swanson            1971-1972

Rev. Roy N. Wiberg                 February-March 1972

Rev. Randy Stauter                   1973-1974

Rev. Walter Blackwood           March-July 1973

Rev. Fred Glasser                     1974-1975

Rev. Carol Shimmin                  1975-1976

Rev. George Pauluk                  1976-1983

Rev. Paul Webster                    1983-1988

Rev. Lee Shelton                      1988-1995

Rev. Lloyd Melvie & 
Rev. Lee Shelton                      1994-1995

Rev. Art Stenberg                     1995-2002

Rev. Mike McCain                   2003-2006

Rev. Lloyd Melvie                    September 2006 - Present [as of 2009]

Celebrations have been held for Lake Union's 50th, 75th and 90th anniversaries.  On July 16, 2006, the 100th anniversary of Lake Union Covenant Church was celebrated with worship services at Lake Union, followed by dinner and program at Playland Ballroom in Kimball.  Seven former pastors were in attendance.  The most recent former pastor, Mike McCain, was emcee.  Pastors attending the celebration were the Reverends McCain, Melvie, Burke, Stauter, Glasser, Stenberg and Shimmin-Nordstrom. In addition, greetings from Pastors Lee Shelton and Paul Webster were read.  200 attended the worship services at the church, and 400 people (church members, friends, former pastors and extended community) enjoyed a dinner, and a program of comments by previous pastors, music, and a video of Lake Union's 100 years. 

Notes by Secretary
Annandale History Club