History of Lake Union Church

History of Lake Union Church

"Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides." Psalm 119:90

On January 1, 1906, a group of Christians met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson for the purpose of laying plans for the building of a church. Motion was made and carried that the name of the church should be "Swedish Christian Mission" at Lake Union, not to belong to any orgnization or conference. Mr. Hedwin Olson donated approximately one-quarter acre of land for the church lot. Decision was made to accept donations for the building fund and labor for the church. Several of the men in the community helped with the building and materials. On November 10, 1906, after much prayer and sacrificial planning on the part of our pioneer Christians in the community, a small group met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson for the purpose of organizing a congregation. Upon motion made and carried, it was resolved that "the name of this congregation shall be the Swedish Chrisian Mission congregation (Independent) of Lake Union, North Kingston, Meeker County, Minnesota." The church was incorporated at Litchfield, Minnesota, January 1907. 

The charter members of this congregation were:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson, Mr. Gus Werner, Mr. and Mrs. John Hasselberg, Mr. and Mrs. Hedwin Olson, and Mrs. Anna Maria Olson.

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. The pews were made of home sawed planks. In 1908 chairs were purchased with donations. In 1910 an organ was purchased, being replaced later by pianos. The first hymn books were the Swedish "Evangeli Basun" and later "Sions Basun." Our first English hymn books were "Victory Songs," then "Mission Hymns," "The Covenant Hymnal," and "Worship and Service Hymnal." The first lights were kerosene lamps, later gas lamps. Electric lights were installed in 1937. A basement was added in 1939 and later finished with paneling. In 1946 pews were purchased with memorials given by members and friends of the church.

The church constitution was translated into English and adopted on January 2, 1939. Recognizing a need for fellowship with other churches, the congregation decided to join The Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church of America at the January 1935 meeting. Our church adopted the Covenant Pastors Plan in 1944.

In January 1981 the congregation was given an invitation to join The Evangelical Covenant Church of America, currently known as The Evangelical Covenant Church. We were accepted as members of the Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in June 1981. In 1990 the field adjacent to the church parking lot was purchased from Norma and Kenneth Zander, assuring adequate parking space and room for possible future expansion. The unused part of the field was planted with trees, following conservation practices and enhancing the overall appearance of the church grounds.

Improvements to the church building occurred in 1974 when an enlarged entrance and bathrooms were added. In 1981 a kitchen was added to improve the fellowship hall in the basement. In 1992 the narthex was enlarged, an office was added as well as a nursery. Memorial donations have been used to furnish new hymnals, banners, and other items used in the church. Our most recent hymnal, "The Covenant Hymnal," was dedicated in the spring of 2005. In 2006 a new sound system was purchased and installed using the "Second Miler" grant.


  • 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 and 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 - 2007-2011
  • Rev. Eric Marx - 2011-2013
  • Rev. Dan Thompson - Spring 2016
  • Rev. Mark Andrews - 2016-2021
  • Rev. Tyler Menssen - July 2016 - present

Confirmation pictures prior to 2014 - View on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa0OtKr_7SI&list=PLHtpFyUUZxGdPzVi53sZdYBouDnO1Zgmb&index=2

Scanned copies of deeds and recordings - 

Grand opening new addition 2011 - View on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHtuE06B_s&list=PLHtpFyUUZxGdPzVi53sZdYBouDnO1Zgmb

100th Anniversary bookletClick here to view

More pictures: