Church: Greenwood – Our Savior's Lutheran (History: 1872 -1972)


Surnames: Johnson, Peterson, Hendrickson, Christianson, Christopherson, Alfson, Sampson, Bertz, Felix, Jolivette, Lobben, Berentzen, Speich, Richelieu, Mathison, Anderson, Reishus, Svanoe, Dyre, Gullard, Strommen, Thompson, Iverson, Abel, Kleppe, Tanner, Nielsen, Aberg, Nelson, Gustafson, Ystad, Hembre, Bragstad, Hougum, Danielson, Erdahl, Aaberg, Egge, Odland, Jackson, Franz, Turnquist, Ellingson, Behrens, Olson, Clouse, Myhrwold

----Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Loyal, Wis.) 17 Aug 1972

On August 21, 1872, a group of Scandinavian relatives and friends met in one of their homes to organize a church congregation. These people felt the need of a church to carry on the spiritual work as they had been used to in their native land. That organization came to be known as Greenwood, Norsk Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. Charter members were: Ole Johnson, Elias Peterson, Victory Hendrickson, Ole Christianson, Ole Peterson, Peter Christopherson, and Simon Johnson. Their first meetings were held in private home and in a little red schoolhouse two miles northeast of Greenwood (Clark Co., Wis.), which, at the time, was near the center of the community where most of these people lived. Rev. Alfson was the first pastor. He was followed by Rev. Sampson, who officiated at the first weddings in the congregation, on September 20, 1874. They were Victor Hendrickson and Anne Johnson (grandparents of Ruth Bertz and Verdelle Felix), and Ole Johnson and Kari Peterson (grandparents of Delmond Johnson and Mrs. Gerald Jolivette). He also conducted the first funeral, that of Emma Christianson in 1874. Rev. Lobben served as vacancy pastor from 1875-1876, until the arrival of Rev. Berentzen, who served until 1899. It was he who officiated at the first confirmation service in 1878. Members of that class were Theodore Martin Richelieu (Mrs. Alice Speich's father), Marit E. Peterson Sr. (Leonard Johnson's mother), Marit E. Peterson Jr (Leonard's aunt), Theoline Christianson and Maria Mathison. Pastors who followed Berentzen were A.J. Anderson, Svanoe, Reishus and A.B. Dyre) father of Ken Dyre.

In 1916 the congregation was reorganized with these charter members: John Dyre, Ole Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Severin Johnson, P.W. Gullard, Tom Thompson, Martin Strommen, Art Iverson, and about 25 others. At that time the name was changed to United Evangelical Lutheran. Up to that time services were few and far between, they being held in various church buildings in Greenwood. At one time, the former Catholic Church belonged to United Lutheran, but was sold to the Catholic Congregation when the Lutheran s decided to build a new church.

That construction began in 1915 on the lot where Mr. and Mrs. Ted Abel live now. It was completed and dedicated in 1917. Rev. Kleppe had come in 1916 to serve full time. He was followed by Rev. Auberg in 1919, who served until 1935. Rev. Jacob Tanner, Anderson and student Nielsen served as interim pastors until 1937, when Rev. A.E. Norson answered the call. He served until 1947.

During that time, the parsonage was built, with Clarence Aberg as head carpenter, assisted by men of the congregation. Rev. Norson also organized a Ladies' Chorus, Men's Brotherhood, and a Lutheran Daughters of Reformation for younger girls. In June 1947 Rev. M. Nelson was installed.

Meanwhile, in 1902, a part of the first congregation had withdrawn and organized the Trondhjem Lutheran Church. Charter members were: Peter Christopherson, Simon B. Johnson. August Gustafson, Hans Ystad, Iver Hembre, Ole Bragstad, Morton Johnson, Jonas Hembre, Ole Peterson and Christian Christianson. Rev. J.C. Hougum was the first pastor. The first baptism was that of Lillie Hembre in 1903. After the red schoolhouse was destroyed by fire, services were held in Christopherson schoolhouse. A meeting of the congregation in 1909 resulted in the construction of a new church on the land leased by Simon Johnson, across from where the red schoolhouse had stood. The building was ready for use by 1910, but furnishings were incomplete until later. It was dedicated in 1912. David Danielson Sr. was head carpenter, assisted by the other members. Rev. Hougum served until 1914, when he retired. He was followed by Rev. Erdahl, but do to ill health, he was unable to continue more than one year. Rev. Kleppe was called in 1915, and served until the close of 1918.

On January 1, 1919 Rev. Aaberg arrived to take up the duties. Her served until 1948, when his age and failing health forced him to retire. In February 1948, Pastor Nelson, who was serving United Lutheran, agreed to serve. Later that year, the congregation voted to discontinue services in Trondhjem Church and unite with United Lutheran. Thus, after 46 years, the two congregations were reunited.

Pastor Nelson continued until January 1952, when he accepted a call to Superior. From then until June, students Egge, Jolivette and Thompson conducted services, assisted by Pastor Odland of Curtiss. He officiated at wo marriage ceremonies and a confirmation class.

In June, Pastor Egge accepted the call, following his ordination. The desire and need for a new church continued to grow. So, a building committee was elected to carry out plans.

In September 1954 the cornerstone was laid. It was not until May 1955 that the building was ready to use. In spite of inclement weather, a large crowd attended the dedication service on November 13, 1955.

About that time the congregation decided to change the name to Our Savior's Lutheran.

No church is complete without a Ladies Aid, right named "Aid."

In 1907 the Good Hope Society had been organized to serve United Lutheran. Likewise, the Trondhjem Ladies Aid had been organized for that congregation. Both Aids continued to function until the new church was built. It was in December 1955 both Aids disbanded, and in January 1956 united to be known as Our Savior's Guild. Later theyw ere given the name of American Lutheran Church Women, or in short, A.L.C.W.

Pastor Egge officiated at the first baptism in the new church. Corinne Se Turnquist, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Art Turnquist; the first wedding, Yula Jackson and Paul Franz; and confirmed the first class: Romaine Ellingson, Jerome Behrens, Harry D. Johnson, Alice Turnquist, Corinne Verhulst, Bonnie Johnson, Evelyn Clouse and Roger Olson. Pastor Egge accepted a call to Minnesota in March 1956.

Thus, we were without a shepherd again, but not for long. Pastor Ira Tanner accepted our call and came in June of that year. He remained until august 1960, when Pastor Myhrwold arrived to replace him. The Myhrwold family were with us until 1969, when he accepted a call to Downsville. Pastor Wenger came as an interim pastor and later that year accepted our call. It is with his guidance that we celebrate this day. It is with much joy that we praise and thank God for His care and guidance over these many years. We ask that God will continue to lead us us so that we may go, "On Our Way Rejoicing" and continue to work for the furtherance of his Kingdom.



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