The first service of Aurdal Lutheran Church was held November 4, 1883, in Ellendale, North Dakota. On December 21 of the same year, a meeting was held in the Ellendale schoolhouse for the purpose of organizing a Norwegian Lutheran congregation. Aurdal was chosen as the name because it was the name of a parish in Norway. Before the actual church building was constructed, members of the Aurdal congregation met for services in various homes.
In 1885, the Aurdal congregation of Ellendale split into Immanuel Church, which was to serve Ellendale, and Aurdal Church, which was located three miles outside of Forbes. The first services for the respective churches were held August 16, 1885. The altar and altar painting for Aurdal Church were purchased by the ladies aid. The entire church was redecorated in 1945, and it was first wired for electricity in 1954. The narthex and heating plant were added between 1955 and 1956.
Aurdal Church merged with Christ the King Church in 1963. Aurdal Church is now registered as a cemetery association. This association is a group of elected members of the community responsible for the upkeep of two or more cemeteries. The church itself is being used as a funeral chapel, and memorial services are held there on a yearly basis.
Source: Forbes Diamond Jubilee: 1905-1980, "Aurdal Lutheran Church," by Mrs. Jennie Flakoll, pg. 21
Deposit; June 27, 2000 (2000-2451) and January 9, 2002 (2002-2565)
The Aurdal Lutheran Church Records consist of copies of original church documents. The first document is their constitution, which was translated from Norwegian by Reverend H. E. Haughland in January 1961. There is also a list of the pastors who served Aurdal from 1888 until May 1944. Next are meeting minutes in English from November 19, 1923 to July 19, 1964. These minutes are from annual meetings as well as special meetings. Meeting topics include fundraisers, work and renovation projects, and elections of officers. Also included are assorted financial records.
Additionally, there is the North Dakota State Department of Health cemetery registration for 1932, a small drawing showing the acreage belonging to Aurdal Church, and a program for the sixtieth anniversary, celebrated June 10, 1945. The final two folders include untranslated Norwegian documents, a book of meeting minutes, and other church information, 1883-1964.
The materials were deposited by Dr. Curtis W. Stofferahn of the UND Sociology Department. Stofferahn is the great-grandson of Syvert E. Strand, one of the first trustees of Aurdal Lutheran Church.