SAREPTA LUTHERAN CHURCH
Taken from Walsh Heritage, Vol 2, pg 801
A congregational church was incorporated in Adams on Nov. 15, 1905, by Dr. F.A. Fardwell, F. Thody and A. Bannerman. Rev. E. Evans served this church, which was first located where Goodwin Hagen now lives. It was later moved to the west side of the north end of Main Street. The church building was sold in 1912 to Latona Township and was named the Sarepta Church, which is still active today. John Gilbertson moved the building to its present site. There was also a small mission church in existence for a while. This church is now the Vivian Levang residence.
Taken from “Walsh Heritage”, Vol 2, pg 934
The organization of the Sarepta Lutheran Chuirch of Latona Township dates back to the early eighties. At first it was organized under the name, the Latona Norwegian-Swedish Lutheran Congregation, but it was affiliated with the Norwegian Lutheran Conference of America. This organization was perfected in 1884. The first pastor serving the congregation was Rev. P.A. Nykreim and later Rev. G.J. Omland. Abouth the last years of the past century a new constitution was adopted and reorganized under the name “Sarepta Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Latona Township”. The congregation sent a call to Rev. E.B. Wollan, and he accepted the call and served the congregation for a number of years. Sarepta Church got its name from the Bible. Sarepta is a city on the Great Sea on the boundary of North Palestine.
The trustees of the new congregation were Ole O. Linstad, Ole Ronald and S.H. Koppang. P.T. Wiste was treasurer and Anders (Aneus) Skavhaug was secretary. They had services at the homes and sometimes at the schoolhouses. Rev. E.B. Wollan was one of their first ministers. Then they had Rev. M.O. Silseth, who came from Lankin.
In 1929 they bought the small congregational church in Adams and moved it out to the Sarepta Cemetery where it now stands. The front part of the church was added on and also the kitchen. On Sept. ll, 1931, the church was dedicated by the Right Reverend Dr. David Stoeve. Rev. B.J. Hatlem was their first minister after they got a church. He served from 1930 to 1943.
Carl and Ted Hendrickson made the kitchen cupboards and painted the interior of the church in 1938. Selmer Wiste made the pews the same year. In 1941 Rev. Hatlem made the pulpit and the lower part of the altar. Andrew Skavhaug and Sig Bakke made the upper part of the altar and the altar ring. Torger Wiste made the minister’s chair. He did the carving on the rungs and so forth by hand. Mrs. Inga Ness donated the crocheted cloth for the altar.
Rev. O.T. Haugen served the congregation from 1943-1957. At this time we had afternoon services. Parochial school was held through 1947. In 1949 we had the church wired for electricity. Rev. E.R. Leivestad was our pastor from 1957-1963. In 1958 Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Askim donated the Communion Set in memory of Mrs. Askim’s mother, Mrs. Inga Ness. In 1961 we installed the furnace. Mrs. Christine Bylin donated a Bible in memory of Vernon Bylin. In 1962 Jerome Bylin and Gerald Linstad made book holders for pews. Christine Bylin donated the material. Rev. Gary Olson served our congregation from 1963 to 1965.
In 1965 we remodeled the kitchen. Jerome Bylin built additional cupboards with the help of other church members. A rug was laid in the kitchen and we also put in a kitchn stove. The north wall in both the church and kitchen were closed up and a mural was put on the north wall of the church. Doris Skiavhaug painted the interior of the church. The organ was sold to Mrs. Clarence Nygard at this time. This organ was in the church at the time they bought it.
Dr. Landgrebe served as relief pastor for nine months in 1966. Rev. A.G. Ehlers served as pastor from June, 1966 to December, 1966. We got a candelabra, candle lighters and snuffer at this time. A cross for the altar was given in memory of Arthur Curtis Bylin by Doris Bylin and family. A stand for the Bible was given by Mrs. Doris Bylin and family in memory of Danny Bylin. Rev. David Christenson served as pastor here from March, 1967 to December, 1971. In 1967 we got the carpet for the church. In 1968 we carpeted the entrance, also put in a refrigerator. Our present pastor, Rev. Robert Nelson, came here July, 1972. In 1973, Mrs. Kim Bylin made directional signs to put east and west of the church.