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History

Root Prairie Lutheran Church Chronological Events

 1856 - Congregation formally organized - services held in

            homes – Norwegian Synod

            47 members

1863 - Land purchased for $2.00

1865 - Church erected with stone foundation - church entrance

           faced the west – chancel faced the east

1866 - November 12th, first church services

            93 charter members

1868 - Root Prairie and North Prairie call first pastor

           (Rev. M.H. Magnus)

           Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran

           (Norwegian Synod)

1871 - Original pulpit built

1876 - Bell weighing 1000 pounds purchased for $400.00

1887 - Root Prairie and North Prairie withdrew Norwegian

           Synod and joined the Antimissourians (one of three

           Norwegian synods in America)

1888 - Ladies Aid organized

1890 - Joined the Norwegian Lutheran United Church

           (Antimissourians, Augustana Synod and the

            Konferentsen united)

1896 - One acre of land purchased for $1.00

1897 - Church rebuilt (present church edifice)

1898 - Cornerstone laid and edifice dedicated

1902 - More land purchased for $50.00

1904 - Fountain Lutheran church organized

           17 families released from Root Prairie

1910 - Pilot Mound Lutheran church organized

            19 families released from Root Prairie

1910 - Union with North Prairie dissolved -

            united with Fountain and Spring Valley

1914 - 530 members

1915 - Started English services 1-2 per year

1919 - Women of the congregation were granted the privilege

            to vote

1930 - English service every 4th Sunday

1933 - Sunday School organized

1934 - One third of services English

1938 - Half of services English

1943 - English services (few exceptions conducted in

           Norwegian)

1945 - Root Prairie formed parish with newly organized

           Chatfield Lutheran Church

1946 - 90th celebration September 29th

1956 - Centennial celebration August 23rd, 24th, and 26th

           290 members

1958 - Root Prairie Cemetery Association established

1962 - Became member of American Lutheran Church

1966 - Union with Chatfield Lutheran dissolved

            joined with Fountain Lutheran Church

1966 - 110th Anniversary observed, August 7th

1981 - 125th Anniversary celebration August 16th

           218 baptized 168 confirmed

1987 - Became member of Evangelical Lutheran Church of

           America - ELCA

2006 - 150th Anniversary celebration August 20th

           168 baptized 144 confirmed

2012 - 198 baptized, 160 confirmed

2013 - 160 baptized, 129 confirmed

2014  - 162 Baptized, 131 confirmed

2015 -  170 Active Baptized Members, 136 Active Confirmed Members

2017 -    185 Active Baptized Members, 146 Active Confirmed Members

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary

Republican Leader - August 10, 2006

The Chatfield News - August 15, 2006




Root Prairie Lutheran Pastors   

1856-1868 Rev. F.C. Clausen (Spring Grove) &

                   Rev. N.E. Jensen (Highland Prairie) 

1868-1875 Rev. M.H. Magnus (served Root Prairie

                   & North Prairie)

1875-1876   Rev. Kristian Magelson from Highland

                    Prairie and Elstad (interim pastor)

1876-1889 Rev. J.I.Krohn

1889-1890 Rev. Bjorn (interim pastor)

1890-1893 Rev. P.R.O. Olson

1893-1894 Rev. Rasmussen (interim pastor)

1894-1904 Rev. N.C. Arveson

1904-1932 Rev. N.A. Giere

1932-1942  Rev. John Ritland (served Root Prairie,

                   Fountain, Spring Valley, & Stewartville)

1942-1943   Rev. C.C.A. Jensen (interim pastor)

1943-1946   Rev. E.A. Nilssen

1946-1950   Rev. M.L. Witte

1951-1954   Rev. William Benbow

1955-1960   Rev. Gordon Carls

1960-1961   Rev. N.C. Renslo (interim pastor)

1961-1965   Rev. James Braaten

1966-1969   Rev. Leander Brakke

1969-1974   Rev. Gustav Odegaard

1974-1978   Rev. Paul Nelson

1979-2000   Rev. John Sime

2000-2002   Rev. Curtis Fox (interim pastor)

2002-2005   Rev. Kieran Darcy

2005-2006   Rev. Jane Timmerman (interim pastor)

2006- 2014  Rev. Paul Forde 

2014 - 2016  Rev. Karla Kirkeby (interim pastor)

2016 - 2018  Rev. Grace Gravelle

2018  -          Rev. Chris Miller (interim pastor)


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