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Buxton, North Dakota

The history of Immanuel Lutheran must include the history of other congregations from which its heritage comes, the New Stavanger and the Buxton Lutheran Church.
New Stavanger was organized in 1881, by Reverend Bergsven Anderson a traveling mission pastor for the Hauge Synod. Those present at the organizational meeting were Orm Boen, Osmund Ramsfjeld, Gabriel Gunderson, Rasmus Riveland, Torger Ulledalen, Knute Lilleboe, Halvor Knudsvig, Peder Asheim, Osten Asheim, Osmund Thompson, Sivert Broe, and Styrk Kvitne. The first regular pastor was Gustav C Gjerstad who took up the work in 1885, and served until 1891. During Pastor Gjerstad's pastorate, the church was built
In 1887, early records show a total of 136 persons in the congregation. In the year 1892, Reverend M. G. Hanson took over the work. The same year, the church building was completed and dedicated on November 26. Early records show that fifteen services were held during the first year the church was in use. After five years of service, Pastor Hanson was succeeded by Reverend D. T. Borgen who served until 1908.
Reverend J. S. Halvorson served the congregation from 1909 until 1916. Records show a parsonage added to the property in 1909, and a total of 244 souls in 1914. Reverend J. C. Hjelmervik served from 1916 until 1921. Reverend M. B. Lokkesmoe served from 1921 to 1923, and Reverend J. M. Johnson from 1923 until 1935. Reverend Karl Stromme served from 1935 until 1949, when this congregation was merged with Buxton Lutheran Church.
Buxton Lutheran Church was organized on January 13, 1889, by Chas. Berg. Ole Hong, L. 0. Myhre, Syver Sorenson, Lewis Thompson, P. L. Odegard, E. R. Nestoss and O. B. Olson at the Chas Berg Drug Store.
In March, 1889, a call was issued to Reverend Gustav Oftedahl who came to Buxton in the fall. Besides the families above mentioned, the Ole Davis, Waldy, and K. K. Knudson families were listed in the membership. There were thirty-five members.
Work was begun on the building of the church in 1892. The New Stavanger Church was rented for services until Buxton Lutheran was completed shortly thereafter. An interesting sidelight reveals that the income for 1893 was $303.40 of which $300.55 was spent, leaving a balance of $2.85
Pastor Oftedahl served until 1902, was followed by Reverend O. T. Nelson, 1902-1905, and then Reverend Gronningen, 1905 until 1921. During this time, the church acquired an organ, a piano and electricity in 1917.
In 1921, Reverend M B Lokkesmoe came to serve until 1923. He was the first pastor to serve four congregations which became the Buxton Parish; Buxton Lutheran, New Stavanger, North Prairie and Hyllestad. He was followed by Reverend J. M. Johnson, 1923-1935, Reverend Karl Stromme came in 1935, and was pastor until the congregation merged to Immanuel in 1949.
New Stavanger and Buxton Lutheran were incorporated as the new congregation of Immanuel on November 16, 1948. Pastor John D Kronlokken came in 1950. On August 1, 1950, a meeting took place which literally led to the moving together of the two church buildings. The men of the church did this work while the ladies provided the food.
Pastor Kronlokken served until 1957, when he was followed by Reverend E. O. Anhalt who served until 1965, when Reverend Fred S. Crozier came. During this time the parish consisted of Immanuel (Buxton), Highland (Cummings), and Norway (Hillsboro). In 1965, a new parsonage was built and added to the church properties.
In 1970, the parish was again changed to include Immanuel and Highland. Reverend Floyd R. Anderson came to serve and is the present pastor. The congregation presently has about 425 members.
A part of this congregation is Hyllestad Lutheran which was dissolved in 1952, and several members were received into membership in the Immanuel Congregation.
Also, a part is North Prairie Congregation, which was dissolved in December 1954, and several members became a part of the Immanuel Congregation.

From: YESTERYEARS IN TRAILL, A History of Traill County, North Dakota, 1976. Contributed by Gerry Forde Mohn

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