Dickey County Churches

Churches were a vital part of most pioneers' lives.
In the early years around 1883 to 1884, homesteaders came from northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, etc.) and the eastern states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa to file claims on land located between Fullerton and Oakes, towns that were later organized with the coming of the railroad. After "claiming" their land, they built homes and shelters of sod, planted trees and sowed crops which were mostly wheat and oats. The Milwaukee Railroad had been built as far north as Ellendale, and the homesteaders hauled their coal, lumber and other supplies from there by oxen and horses. Ellendale was also the point from which many traveling ministers began their lengthy routes. When word was received that a pastor was coming to conduct a meeting, the people were happy to gather together for this was a rare opportunity to see friends and neighbors! Small groups would meet in the larger homes; many times the pastor stood in the doorway so that those inside and out could hear him.
In the early 1800's Rev. N. A. Ofstedal, whose address was given as Brown County, Dakota Territory, served the territory from Aberdeen and Frederick, SD west to Forbes, ND and to the northeast beyond the Norway (Clement) Township area.
In 1885, the Norwegian Synod sent Rev. E. T. Rogne to Ellendale to serve the homesteaders living within a 50 mile radius of Ellendale. He traveled much of this distance on foot. It is noted in the Aurdal Lutheran Church History (rural Forbes) that because of lack of funds, Rev. Rogne's rented room was unheated and many times he wore his gloves, overcoat and overshoes to keep warm as he wrote his sermons.
Worship services led by the traveling pastors were few and far between. (The Oakes Centennial Book p.102)
To share a bit of nostalgia here is a group of Easter postcards from 1911 - 1920, courtesy of Tim Stowell.

The churches are keys to finding burial information. These churches are listed by towns, but many, especially the closed ones, are located in rural areas.

Clement Township

Our Savior's Lutheran Church - Under the guidance of Rev. J. H. Lindland who served from Ellendale, the people in the Clement area met at the John Morgan home on January 16, 1898 and voted upon a new constitution. They retained the old name of "Our Savior's". The dream of building a church was beginning to materialize. A site was secured from the School Land Department, on the northwest quarter of Section 16, Township 131, Range 60 of Clement Township, where the church stands today. The first service in the new church was held on September 2, 1900.
A list of the pastors:
Rev. J. H. Lindland 1898-1921
Rev. Torgerson 1921-1923
Rev. E. S. Estrom 1924-1927
Rev. Mithun 1927-1929
Rev. Ronsberg 1930-1938 who served during the discouraging times of the depression and drought.
Rev. J. M. Rasmussen until1942
Missionary Tverberg, who served in Madagascar, filled in until
Rev. C. O. Hansen was called in 1943-1947
Rev. R. C. Cartford, another missionary to Madagascar, served until he retired in 1956
Rev. C. M. Rasmussen 1957-1967
Rev. Garrit Van Hunnik January 1968 - May 1970
Rev. Eldon Person July 1970 - December 1982
Rev. Charles (Budd) Johnson March 6, 1983 - present (1986)

The disappearance of many country churches and country schools has been noted in the later part of this century, but the little country church of Our Savior's still stands today with its steeple as a beacon on the prairie. (The Oakes Centennial Book pp.102-103; published 1986)

Ellendale

Abundant Life Assembly of God Church
50 6th Avenue South,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-5449


Christ the King Lutheran Church ELCA
713 3rd Street North,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-3629


Church of the Nazarene
112 5th Street North,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-3833


First Assembly of God
44 Main Street,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-3451


First Baptist Church
208 1st Street South,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-3594
Here's a picture of the Ellendale Baptist Church from a 1919 postcard.


Methodist Church Records, 1888


Presbyterian United Methodist Church
421 5th Avenue North,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-4007


Seventh Day Adventist Church
720 3rd Street North,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-4084


St. Helena's Catholic Church Rectory
421 2nd Street North,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-3297


St. Paul Lutheran Church*
302 2nd Avenue,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-5313
*There are 3 separate churches/cemeteries by this name in Dickey County, so it could get confusing.


Zion Lutheran Church - Church Office
121 2nd Street South,
Ellendale, ND 58436
(701) 349-4147

Forbes

Aurdal Lutheran Church - It is located about three miles east of Forbes. The cemetery is still maintained. Memorial services are still held once a year. Click for a photo of the Aurdal Lutheran Church from the Forbes Jubilee Book.

Bethlehem Christ Lutheran Parsonage
Forbes, ND 58439
(701) 357-7521

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - It is located in Forbes and is currently open. Click for a photo of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church from the Forbes Jubilee Book.

Community Church - It became the Presbyterian church; closed in 1970. Then made into a museum for the Shimmin-Tveit collections.
Click for a photo of the Community Church now Shimmin-Tveit Museum from the Forbes Jubilee Book.

Ebenezer Reformed Church - It is an off-shoot of the Leola German Reformed Church, the building came from Ashley, ND.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church - It began in 1922 in the building now occupied by St. Marks United Methodist Church; met in the school house, never built another building. Most members transferred to St. Helena's in Ellendale.

St. Marks United Methodist Church - It was once known as Immanuel Evangelical Church. The church building was purchased from St. Joseph Catholic congregation. It burned in the 1940's and was rebuilt. Ministers shared with Ellendale, Leola, Kulm and Ashley.

St. Peter Lutheran Church - It is located ten and a half miles west of Forbes, 1 mile north and three-fourths mile east . Dissolved in1959.
Cemetery is still maintained. Click for a photo of the St. Peter Lutheran Church from the Forbes Jubilee Book.

Fullerton

Fullerton Union Church - It is located in Fullerton. It began as an all denominations church, each was to pay for up-keep. Pastors came from various denominations usually from other towns. It was still active in 1990's but has few members.

St. Ansgar (A.L.C.) - It is located in section one of Wright Township, five miles east on County Road, then six miles north on County Road 10, two miles east on 1, two miles north on Co. Road 1A. Ministers first came from Fort Ransom or Lisbon to visit the people. Services were held in the school after it was built in 1884. St. Ansgar Church congregation was organized in 1889, as Norwegian Lutheran, Hawga (Hauge) Synod.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church - It is located in Fullerton.

Swedish Lutheran Church (Augustana Lutheran Synod) - It met in various homes and in the Fullerton Union Church. It had plans to build in town, but lost members and money in bank crashes of the late 1920s and disbanded in 1937.

United Church of Christ - It began meeting in various homes, then built a church building in 1912 three miles northeast of Fullerton. The building moved to Fullerton in 1920. It merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Chruch in 1934.

Ludden

1888 Methodist Church Records - This information is from "Palmer's Directory of the Methodist Episcopal Church for Dakota Conference - 1888" by Rev. John G. Palmer. Pages 25-26

Merricourt

First Congregational Church - It was organized in 1925 and closed in 1972. Cemetery still remains about a half mile south of town on County Road #2 and then a half mile east. The cemetery was recorded by Judy Huber in 1998.

Peace Lutheran Church - It is located four miles east of Merricourt and one mile north. From Monango it is two miles north and two and a half miles west and one mile north. Building was moved to a farm southwest of Merricourt with plans of being an antique shop, but it is now deteriorating. Cemetery still remains on the site. The cemetery was recorded by Judy Huber in 1998.

Oakes

Church of the Nazarene - It was founded in 1922. The present church building was built in 1976.
11th and Ivy,
Oakes, ND 58474

The beginning of the Church of the Nazarene was in 1908 at Pilot Point, TX. In 1922 a lady known in our church as "Mother Andrews" felt there should be a Holiness Church in Oakes, ND. She talked with Dr. J. G. Morrison, District Superintendent, about the possibility of organizing a Church of the Nazarene in Oakes. He informed her that, if she could gather eight or nine people who believed in Holiness, they could organize a church. When Dr. Morrison came later to Mother Andrews and asked how many members were ready to join, she said that there were three adults and one child. Rev. Morrison said there are nine offices to be filled and you really should have eight or nine members to fill them. "But," says Mother Andrews, "couldn't we each take three offices?" Thus was organized the Church of the Nazarene in the parlor of Mrs. J. B. Andrews. Mrs. V. E. Peterson also took the vows at this time. That evening Victor Peterson and Florence Kreiger joined the ranks.
When Rev. Hobza came as the evangelist, he conducted revival services in a consolidated schoolhouse south of Oakes and in the Hample School. A short time later, he was called to be pastor of the church.
The following have been pastors of the church:
Rev. J. M. Butchart (visiting)
Rev. R. I. Hobza
Rev. C. A. Miller
Rev. D. J. Seevers
Rev. C. S. Driscoll
Rev. George Mowry
Rev. L. E. Teare
Rev. F. J. Cannon
Rev. H. H. Tromburg
Rev. Duane S. Springer
Rev. Karl Coil
Rev. Wesley Hall
Rev. Mark Vandine
Rev. C. Don Reynolds
Rev. Benjamin Ketterling
Rev. Victor McIntire
Rev. Eugene Bucklin
Rev. Delroy Bender

Out of the membership of the Church of the Nazarene in Oakes has come four ministers:
Rev. Nehard Malmberg
Rev. Perm Gustafson
Rev. David Ehrlin
Rev. Roger Leibing
(The Oakes Centennial Book pp.97-98; published 1986)

Evangelical Free Church
517 Main Avenue,
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-2589

Faith Baptist Church - It was founded in 1957.
408 South 7th Street,
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-2371

The Church has been served by eight different pastors during its history:
Pastor LeRoy Gross 1957-1960
Pastor Harris Melin 1960-1966
Pastor Neil Kemp 1966-1968
Pastor Ernest Schwenke 1968-1975
Pastor Wesley White 1975-1977
Pastor Phil Markel 1977-1980
Pastor Terry Conroy 1980-1982
Pastor Jonathan Melin 1982-present
(The Oakes Centennial Book p.97; published 1986)

First Presbyterian Church - It was founded in 1887. The church became a joint parish with the Lisbon church in June 1973, with the minister living in Lisbon. The manse was rented for several years and then sold.

Ministers through the years:
Rev. Robert H. Hooke, 1887-1891
Rev. John C. Linton, 1893-1894
Rev. C. S. Vincent, 1895-
Rev. C. W. Irwin, 1898
Rev. Carver, 1898-1899
Rev. J. C. Cheesman, 1901-1902
Rev. E. P. Lawrence, 1902-1905
Rev. Ralph T. Fulton, 1908-1909
Rev. Bertram G. Jackson, 1910-1913
Rev. Frederick C. Oliver, 1914-1916
Rev. Aaron Wolfe, 1917-1918
Rev. W. M. Grafton, 1919-1921
Rev. H. E. Dierenfield, 1921-1926
Rev. S. C. Williams, 1927-1929
Rev. R. C. Babylon, 1930-1934
Rev. Adam Hunter, 1935-
Rev. H. R. Shirley, 1936-1940
Rev. E. W. Corbit, 1940-1946; 1952-1956
Rev. Ralph W. Walty, 1957-1958
Rev. Harry A. Houser, 1959-1969
Rev. Richard Jones, 1970-1974
Rev. Charles Spencer, 1973-1974
Rev. Robert Maharry, 1976-
(The Oakes Centennial Book pp. 100-101; published 1986)

Grace Lutheran Church
821 Hickory Avenue,
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-3395
It was officially organized in 1905 as the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Salem Church.

The first Norwegian Lutheran Congregation in Oakes was known as Ebenezer Lutheran, organized in 1904. Early records of this church have been lost. In 1921, the church was reorganized and became the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oakes. In 1939, it was decided to unite the church with the Salem Lutheran Congregation of Oakes. In 1964, the name was changed to Grace Lutheran Church.

In the year 1900 Pastor A. G. Olson, who resided in Milnor, ND, began preaching in Oakes using the Swedish Mission Church building which was rented for 50 cents a Sunday. In 1902 Pastor Olson confirmed the following: Minnie Jensen, Hilda Anderson, Selma Johnson, Edna Christenson, Julia Dahlbeck, Albert Johnson, Andrew Swanson and Hilma Nelson.
In 1904 under the leadership of Rev. Kallberg, the Swedish Lutheran families decided to call a student to hold Christmas services. C. W. Samuelson was the student called. In January of 1905 the people decided to call Mr. Samuelson back for the Easter season and summer months to help organize a congregation. His salary was $150 for the three months plus room and board.

In August of 1905 under the leadership of Pastor A. P. Montin of Wheaton, MN, a congregation was officially organized. The charter was as follows: Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Salem Church of Oakes, Dickey County, ND. The first trustees were John Nelson, Ben Bowman, and Nels J. Nelson. Charter members were Jens Nelson and family, Ben Bowman and family, N. J. Nelson and family, Nels A. Anderson and family, John Gustafson and family, John Nelson and family, Mons Nelson and family, O. K. Hanson and family, Pete Nelson family, Henning Bergren and family, Ben Swanson and family, J. P. Dahlbeck and family, Fritz Swanson, Lars Hellstrom and Ole Rorenquist. The following were in the first confirmation class of 1905: Eddie Christianson, Clara Swanson, Albert Swanson, Geo. Nelson, H. Hansen, Marie Nelson, Anna Nelson, George Hanson, Emil Hanson, J. Gustafson Jr., Herman Iverson and Minnie Nelson. Rev. C. W. Samuelson was the first pastor of the Salem Congregation. Carl Bowman was the first baby baptized in the new church in 1906. In 1907 the first confirmation class in the new church consisted of Axel Gustafson, Jennie Dahlbeck, Hilma Orn,and Adolph Dahlbeck.
Pastor Samuelson served until February 1911. The following is a list of the pastors that served this congregation:
Pastor J. Edgar Larson
S. A. Erling
Student Pastor J. A. Mattson
Pastor H. S. Chilgren
Pastor S. N. Elvin
Pastor P. A. Zendren
Paul Swenson - Student Pastor
Pastor E. E. Bostrum

The first Norwegian Lutheran Congregation in Oakes was known as Ebenezer Lutheran. It was organized by Rev. J. H. Lindland in 1904 with 13 members. The first officers were: O. C. Berger, Carl Bjerklin, Einar Kjerse, Krist Wollt and T. M. Thompson. The early records were lost so information has been passed on by word of mouth. The Ebenezer congregation was organized in the Carl Bjerklin home. The Swedish Church building was rented for services for 50 cents per Sunday. The church grew and the Aid was organized. A church building was purchased from the Methodists. The pastor's salary in the beginning was $50 a month.

In April of 1921 a new congregation was organized with Rev. Moe as pastor. The church then became the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oakes. The first board members were: P. J. Aasen, Albert Romstad and Clarence Salverson. Deacons were C. H. Frojen, Ole Olafson and C. J. Anderson. Other officers were I. Simmons, Thore Bjerklin and Mrs. J. H. Lindland. The first pastor to serve the new church was O. K. Torgerson. Pastor Moe had served the church since before 1900.
In 1923, Pastor E. S. Estrem was called as Pastor and lived in the Oakesparsonage, but also served the outlying congregations. Following him were Rev. Mithum and Rev. Ronsberg.
The church increased in size and by 1938, 50 families held memberships. The first confirmation class of the First Lutheran in 1923 were: Irving Colby, Helen Erickson, Bernice Hartman, Hazel Henjum, Bernice Laugsjon, Marie Lindseth, Sigurd Lindseth and Annette Sanders.
In 1934, 1935 and 1936 the severe droughts came and there were not enough funds, so the church ran a deficit. In 1939 a movement was made to unite with the Salem Lutheran Congregation of Oakes. In June 1939 A. M. Dahlbeck and E. P. Dethlefsen from Salem and A. B. Carlson, Dr. Wolfe, Clarence Enger and Mrs. Chris Karpen from First Lutheran were asked to serve on a call committee. Much credit was given to the board, who met often to consider the welfare of the churches.
Student Everett Bexell was called to serve at Christmas and Easter. On February 14, 1940 a call was extended to J. M. Rasmussen to come and unite the two churches. Pastor Bostrum and Pastor Rasmussen worked hard and accomplished this in May, 1940. The new Inter-Church Board consisted of Adolph Dahlbeck, Fred Sletvold, W. M. Anderson and Dr. Wolfe, members from both congregations. After the churches were amalgamated, the new board consisted of Emil Dethlefson, W. M. Anderson, Dr. Wolfe, A. Dethlefson, A. Dahlbeck, Fred Sletvold, J. F. Nelson, B. M. Bjornstad, Otto Nelson, Lane Rasmussen, H. C. Hagen, Thor Bjerklin, Rev. J. H. Lindland, Mrs. Henry Frojen and Berger Frojen. A new constitution was adopted. Salem Lutheran became the new church home and the First Lutheran Church building was sold. Pastor Rasmussen confirmed four adults and 27 juniors in 1942, as no confirmation classes were held for several years because of the uniting.
Following Pastor Rasmussen came Pastor Tverberg as supply pastor and student pastor, Allen Johnson. Rev. C. O. Hanson accepted the next call in 1943, followed by R. C. Cartford in 1948. Pastor Cartford's resignation was filled by Pastor C. M. Rasmussen, followed by Pastor G. Van Hunnik and Pastor Eldon Person, who came in 1970.
In 1964 First Lutheran reorganized to become part of the newly formed American Lutheran Church Synod. The name was also changed to Grace Lutheran at this time.
In December 1982 Pastor Person accepted a position with Golden Valley Lutheran College at Golden Valley, MN. Pastor Charles Johnson accepted the call to be [the] pastor. In 1984 [there were] 450 confirmed members and 520 baptized members. Grace Lutheran celebrate[d] its 25th anniversary in 1985.
(The Oakes Centennial Book, excerpts from pp. 98-100; published 1986)
Church of St. Charles Borromeo or St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish
Saint Charles Court
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-2911

The first permanent building was erected in 1900. The present building was erected on a new site at the north edge of the city in 1968 with mass being celebrated on March 10, 1968. An addition of a large hall, with kitchen, storage and ten classrooms was added. It was dedicated in 1977.
In the 1880's as Oakes and the surrounding area was being developed, a number of Catholics were among the settlers. Mainly they were families of German and Irish origin. Some of the family names of these pioneers were Sheridan, Lynch, Kelly, Mosher, Mulholland, Schler, McGill, Hagen, Purcell, Gilleran, McCarthy and Schill.
A missionary priest from Big Stone, MN, Father Hepperle, apparently visited the area in the early 1880's; though the first mass in Oakes itself was celebrated by Father M. M. Tierney of Lisbon sometime around the year 1886.
Priests in that era ranged over large areasm serving scattered communities of Catholics. According to the Catholic Directory of 1899, there was apriest residing in Oakes, Father Dillon, but in the Directory of other years he is listed as living in Ellendale and visiting Oakes.At any rate, in 1899, he is reported as serving missions in Ellendale, Genesso, Ligerwood, Claremont (Brown County, SD), Harlem, Havana and Ludden. In general, priests from Lidgerwood, Ellendale and Lisbon first ministered in Oakes, and would offer mass in private homes (J. J. Sheridan's is mentioned) or in the railway depot. In 1896 a claim shanty, costing $100 was moved into town as a place for Catholic worship. It was replaced in 1900 by a permanent church structure, which was in turn enlarged and fittingly decorated in 1907.
The era of being an outpost mission came to an end on Thanksgiving Day, 1905, when Father John Baker transferred from Ellendale and became St. Charles' first resident pastor. He was a very forceful leader and evidently an eloquent speaker, addressing such local groups as the "Academy of Music". It was he who spearheaded the effort to erect a Catholic grammar school in Oakes. St. Charles School, built with the aid of a large donation from George Baldwin of Appleton, WI, as well as with local subscriptions, opened its doors on September 7, 1908. It was staffed by Benedictine Sisters from Yankton, SD. In addition to the standard curriculum, lessons in piano, violin, mandolin, guitar and embroidery were offered. (The school, after educating youngsters for almost sixty years, had closed in 1966.)

The age of the far-ranging prairie pastor was not over. Until 1918 the pastors of Oakes also attended the towns of LaMoure, Berlin and Dickey.
Father Baker was succeeded by Father J. G. Sailor, who was here only for a year. Then came Father J. P. Zimmerman (1916-1929) who in turn was succeeded by a native of Oakes, Father Frank Meyer. He had been ordained in Oakes by the first Catholic Bishop in North Dakota, John Stanley, in 1909. During the bitter years of drought and depression, Father Roman Dworschak was pastor, from 1931 until his transfer to Valley City in 1939. Father Patrick Reddin, a native of Ireland came next. His health failed, and he died in 1944 at the age of 49. He is buried in St. Charles Cemetery, as is Father Meyer.
A pastorate of thirty years commenced in 1944 with the arrival, in September, of Father Edward McDonald. During these years he was usually assisted by another priest. Those who served as assistant pastors and hospital chaplains were: Fathers Arthur Nestor, Othmar Homan OSB., Neal Kapaun, John Graven, Eugene Schwartzenberger and Hilary Bitz.
Father McDonald retired in 1974, and was replaced by Father Albert Binder. St. Charles, which at the time of Father Baker numbered about 35 families, now counted more than 200 households.
(The Oakes Centennial Book, excerpts from p. 104; published 1986)
St. John's Lutheran Church
120 South 9th Street
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-3008

It was organized in 1905. They originally met at the Swedish Lutheran Church, now known as Grace Lutheran. They purchased the old Presbyterian Church building which was dedicated in 1920. The present church was built in 1950.

The congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church traces its roots back to 1883, when the Gus Strutz family moved to Oakes from Cleveland, three years before Oakes was incorporated as a city. A year later John Kunrath arrived from Holstein, Germany. All these people were of the Lutheran faith. When Miss Bertha Gripp arrived in 1889 and accepted a proposal of marriage from John Kunrath, they desired to be married by a Lutheran minister. Rev. A. F. Mundt was the closest one. He had been conducting services seven miles west of Ludden in a schoolhouse, and he agreed to perform the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, services were held at the home of August Wedel, Sr., two and one-half west of Ludden. This marked the real beginning of St. John's Lutheran Church, although the congregation was not organized until 16 years later. In 1905 Rev. Karl Linse came to serve Immanuel, Stirum and the Lutherans in Oakes. On October 1, 1905 the Lutherans of Oakes met and organized St, John's Lutheran Church. There were five members, with their families, presented at the meeting: August Wedell Sr., George Kunrath, Gus Strutz, Carl Wagner and William Zieman. Rev. Walter Stolper was installed as the first resident pastor on August 11, 1907. In 1908 the first confirmation class numbered eight young Lutherans which included, Arthur G. Strutz, who is still a member today. Harold Zieman was confirmed in 1909. All the worship services were conducted in the German language. The next pastor to serve was Rev. K. J. Wulff. He stayed less than a year. Rev. Karl Strasburg was installed as the next pastor and after only 19 months he was forced to resign, due to illness. Rev. Hartwig Dierks served from 1915 to 1921. Rev. R. C. Jahn served from 1921 to 1922. When he left there was a long vacancy until August, 1925 when Rev. William Zabel was installed. He stayed six years. On August 30, 1931 Rev. Walter Landgraf was installed and served as a pastor from 1931 to 1943. One of the problems of the times was the transition from German to English in worship services. First there were two English and two German services each month. Later Rev. Landgraf preached both in English and German each Sunday; then came English most of the time with German on holidays. It is not known exactly which date is acknowledged as the final German service. This was the time of the great drought, and almost everyone suffered, including the pastor, who never did receive all his salary during those years. Rev. Allen Schuldheiss came from Murray, UT and served from 1943 to 1952. After a vacancy of several months, Rev. Harold Huber took office on May 24, 1954. Pastor Huber served as supervisor for several vicars, which included: Rev. Lowell Boettcher, Rev. Rex Longshore and Rev. Daniel Bell. Rev. Theo. Allwardt was installed in 1965 to 1973. A vacancy occurred. On November 23, 1975 Rev. Robert Tasler of McClusky was installed. [During his service] a family of Lao refugees was sponsored, the Ly Keohavong family of nine. Pastor Tasler and family left to take a pastorate in Riverside, CA. Rev. Patrick O'Brien came to Oakes to serve St. John's on September 19, 1982. We lost two, Sandy Tasler, the wife of Pastor Tasler, in a car accident and Pastor Huber with a heart attack, this past year. (The Oakes Centennial Book, excerpts from p. 105; published 1986)
St. Mark's Episcopal Church - It was organized in 1912.

When Oakes was a small railroad town, Rev. William Watson held the first Episcopal service on May 11, 1904. As the population of the town grew, communicant strength increased slightly. Disregarding the fact that collections at services regularly yielded less than Watson's expense in visiting from Wahpeton, Bishop Mann organized St. Mark's Mission in 1912. Difficulties also plagued the holding of services. Oftentimes the announcement of the missionary's intended appearance in the town was not received or published. Two churches were erected in the southeastern field by the Bishop, both of them the result of Archdeacon Albert Martyr's work. At Oakes, a town of 2,000 people, fourteen communicants had started a building fund. In April of 1914 St. Mark's Church became a reality through money received from the Nation-wide campaign. By 1925 it had grown from 31 to 48 communicants, but by 1931, membership had dropped to 30. In 1957 Oakes, Ellendale and Guelph had 104 communicants. Ellendale closed their church and sold the building in 1964 for $5,000. This money was given to St. Mary's of Guelph and St. Mark's of Oakes by the Diocese. [There have been] 13 vicars who served the Oakes field since its inception. Of these, three are now Bishops. They are Rt. Rev. William F. Creighton of Washington, D. C.; the Rt. Rev. Elliott Sorge of Easton, MD; and the Rt. Rev. Harold Jones of Arizona. At the present time, 1985, [there are] five active lay readers.
(The Oakes Centennial Book, excerpts from p. 106; published 1986)
United Methodist Church
602 Juniper Avenue
Oakes, ND 58474
(701) 742-2925

It was founded in 1887. The present church building was built in 1908. Their first church home was built in 1891. This building has been used by the Norwegian and Hague Lutherans, Church of Christ and the Church of the Nazarene. It now stands at the Oakes Historical Site.
Although there were Methodists meeting in homes and schools earlier, it was in 1887 that Oakes received circuit status as an official part of the North Dakota Methodist Conference. The initial membership was 40. Names of early members included: Andrus, Denning, Dill, Fordyce, Hutsinpillar, Kennedy, Nichols, Phifer, Slocum and Stevens, as well as others.
The Glover church joined with Oakes in 1957. The merger of the Evangelical United Brethren Church with the Methodist Church in 1968 created the United Methodist Church. Present membership of the Oakes United Methodist Church is 250 (end of 1984).
Pastors have been:
Charles S. Lane, 1887
Fred J. Giddings, 1889
J. B. Monroe, 1890
A. F. Nichols, 1891
W. A. Robins, 1892
J. C. Pike,1893
George Bailey, 1894
J. M. Taylor, 1896
A. T. Bishop, 1898
J. Scarboro and E. Duden, 1900
J. N. Loach, 1901
J. S. DeLong, 1905
James Opie, 1907
R. A. Burns, 1909
B. J. Morse, 1911
F. S. Hollett, 1912
James Opie, 1915
O. L. Anthony, 1919
J. D. Smith, 1921
Silas Fairham, 1928
Benjamin Babcock, 1931
Wilson Johnstone, 1933
H. J. Gernhardt, Sr., 1937
H. J. Gernhardt, Jr., 1944
Sherman Bushendorf. 1948
Harold J. Empie, 1951
Edward H. Parker, 1961
Clarence Ketterling, 1970
Harold Eastburn, 1974
Otto Lebner, 1976
Phil Lint, 1980
Nancy Scarff, 1985
(The Oakes Centennial Book, excerpts from pp. 101-102; published 1986)
A special "Thank You" to Alison Ligman and Char Kibbie who gathered the materials for this page.

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Char Kibbie
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