“Walsh Heritage”, Vol 2, pg 744
LOCATION: 220 Main Street, Fordville, ND
The Norwegian people are pioneers by nature. When they learned free land was obtainable in America, they determined to leave their fatherland and seek homes in the new country, giving promise of more favorable economic conditions than they were used to.
Many of the immigrants spent some time in the eastern states before coming to the Fordville area where they homesteaded. They were also religious minded and soon after being settled here, they sought church connections. Rev. C.A. Flaten was the first missionary pastor to conduct services here in 1881 and 1882, coming here from Grafton. Early services were held in the homes of Peter Aafedt and Elling Dahlen.
On Dec. 8, 1882, this congregation and the Pleasant Valley Congregation sent a letter to M.C. Holseth, who came in June of 1883. Pastor Holseth was to receive a salary of $150 a year, plus one bushel of wheat and two bushels of oats from each family, three festival offerings, and money for ministerial acts. Pastor Holseth served until July 1, 1885. Pastor John Ringstad succeeded him in the fall of 1885.
On Nov. 11, 1885, this large congregation was divided by mutual agreement into the West, Middle and East Forest River Congregations, with Pastor John Ringstad serving all three. In 1886t, Elk Valley Congregation also joined the parish.