The first service of Aurdal Lutheran Church was held November 4, 1883, in Ellendale, North Dakota. On December 21 of that 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 church in Norway. Before the actual church building was constructed, members of the Aurdal congregation met for services in various homes around the countryside.
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 on 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 arthex 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 (Acc.# 2000-2451) and January 9, 2002 (Acc.#2002-2565)
The Aurdal Lutheran Church Records consist of copies made from original church documents. The first document in the collection is the Aurdal Church's constitution, which was translated from the original document Norwegian. This constitution was translated by Reverend H. E. Haughland on January 4, 1961.
Following the constitution is a list of the pastors who served Aurdal from 1888 until May of 1944. The list was typed, and then had hand-written additions of the pastors who served from 1938 to 1944.
Included next in the collection are meeting minutes in English that date from November 19, 1923 to July 19, 1964. These meeting minutes are from the yearly business meetings held at Aurdal Church, as well as special meetings. Meeting topics included fund raisers, work and renovation to be done on the Church, election of officers, and all other various church business.
Also included are separate financial records of the church. First are lists of expenses for the church dating from 1954-1958. For 1963, a treasurer's report is included which lists both the church's budget and expenses for the year, as well as the current balance on hand at the time that the report was made.
Also included is the North Dakota State Department of Health cemetery registration for 1932. This is the only year for which a cemetery registration is included in the collection. After this is a small drawing showing the acreage belonging to Aurdal Church.
The program for the sixtieth anniversary of Aurdal Church is located following the illustration depicting the acreage of Aurdal Church. This details the Anniversary Festival Service, the Program (which included a prayer and an address given by Reverend L. J. Odland of Clark, South Dakota), and the Anniversary Festival Rally. All these events were held on June 10, 1945.
The final two folders include untranslated documents entirely in Norwegian, and a typed, bound and edited minutes and account book for the church. This book contains meeting minutes and other church information dating from 1883-1964, and where needed was translated into English from the original Norwegian.
All of the materials in this collection 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 the Aurdal Lutheran Church Congregation.