History

 



Moe Lutheran Congregation had its start in the Knut O. Dokken home on December 4, 1895. The roots of our congregation were in the Rose Congregation located a few miles west of Roseau. Roads and transportation were poor at this time and made it difficult for the eastern half of Rose Congregation to attend services at the Rose Church. The members agreed to divide and form two congregations. Using Rose Congregation as a spiritual advisor and guide, a group of pioneers met at the Dokken home to organize a new congregation. The Constitution of the congregation was adopted at the meeting, and the name of the congregation appearing in its opening sentence is Moe Lutheran Congregation. The name, Moe, refers to a parish in Norway from where many of these members originally came. Services were held in surrounding homes and also in a nearby schoolhouse.

On March 11, 1897, Rose, Aspeland, Melum, Pinecreek, Moe, and Clara Congregations organized into a parish. Rev. Nels Askeland was called to serve as pastor of the parish.

The first Moe Lutheran Church building was constructed in 1899 and was situated on the western edge of Roseau. Members donated much of the material and workmanship. On August 20, 1913, a severe windstorm occurred which destroyed the church building. The altar, (which is still used in our church), the church bell, and organ were saved. In 1914, work was begun on a new church building, about two blocks east of the original church. Much of the lumber from the destroyed building had been salvaged and was reused in the new church. Construction progressed so quickly that services were held in the basement in December, 1914, with Rev. E.E. Gynild, President of the Lutheran Free Church, presiding. The building was completed in 1915.

In 1929, a parsonage - jointly owned by all congregations of the parish - was built and located just south of the new church building.

From December, 1895 to September, 1938 (about 52 years) a total of 12 full-time and temporary pastors served this parish. In September, 1938, Pastor A. C. Rykken accepted a call to serve as pastor of Moe Lutheran and faithfully continued to serve as pastor until 1962 (a total of 24 years). Pastor Erling Huglen accepted a call to serve our congregation, and on September 29, 1962, he and his family arrived in Roseau. Pastor Rykken continued to serve as assistant pastor, administering to the spiritual needs of those in the hospital and nursing home until his death in December, 1968.

During this time many changes came about at Moe Lutheran.

In 1949, remodeling and additions were made to the four corners of the existing church building. Space for a choir loft and pastor's study were now available.

On Easter Sunday, 1963, Moe began its Sunday morning service broadcast over radio station KRWB. Live broadcasting continues to be part of our mission service.

In May, 1966, Moe Congregation was accepted into membership in the American Lutheran Church. From 1967 to 1978, Moe Congregation worked together with the Wannaska Parish. The Wannaska Parish consisted of the Riverside, Bethesda, and Pinegrove churches. During this time, the congregations entered into a Seminary Intern Program to help with the ministry in these four churches. In 1978 the Wannaska Parish secured their own pastor, and Moe continued its ministry, unaligned with any other church or parish relationship.

In 1973, a new parish education building was completed which consisted of classrooms, two offices, two bathrooms, a kitchen and dining area. The old dining area was refurbished and used as a family or fellowship room.

In 1985, construction of a narthex addition was completed. A beautiful stained glass window with our church name inscribed in it was added at this time. (This window has been moved to our new church.)

In 1992, the parsonage was sold and moved to a different location. A new parsonage was completed in 1993 on the same lot, just across the street from Moe Lutheran.

The year 1995 was a year of celebration for Moe Lutheran as we turned 100 years old. Our theme for the Centennial year was "Great is Thy Faithfulness,," and special activities were scheduled for each month of the year.

In 1997, a big change came for our congregation with the resignation and retirement of Pastor Erling Huglen after 35 years of service to our congregation.

In 1998, under the leadership of Interim Pastor Cheryl Berg, the Moe Lutheran Constitution was rewritten from its original Norwegian language. Also, Pastor John Martinson accepted the call to Moe and began his ministry to us.

In June, 2002, the Roseau flood brought devastation to our community, including Moe Lutheran. The entire lower level was flooded and unacceptable for continued use. The church building had served our congregation for 91 years. A decision was made to purchase land on the east edge of town and to construct a new church building. Construction began in the spring of 2004, and the first service was held in our church on October 16th of the same year.

Pastor John Martinson resigned as pastor of our church in September, 2006, to accept a call as an Intentional Interim at a church closer to his family.

Following Pastor John Martinson's departure, Interim Pastor Nancy Jewell ministered to our congregation, and, with the help of God, we began the search for a new pastor for Moe Lutheran Congregation.

Pastor Kwanza Yu accepted our Call and began her ministry at Moe Lutheran in October, 2007.

One project for 2008 was to add a cross to the top of our church steeple. The idea was suggested by Pastor Yu. We tried to contact the manufacturer of our steeple so that we could purchase a cross that would fit. Unfortunately, they had gone out of business, and we needed to find another solution. We decided to design and build our own. Norm Berg helped design the shape and determine how it could be mounted. It was challenging without having exact specifications on the current steeple. The cross is four feet tall and sits on top of a sphere that represents the earth.
 
The project was taken to Randy Larson at Polaris Engineering to see if they could fabricate the cross. Randy agreed, and Polaris donated the labor and materials for the project. Al Hagen did the PRO-E design work that created the flat patterns that were fed into the laser. The cross is made from aluminum to minimize the amount of weight added to the top of the steeple. Robert Mekash and Chad Billberg assembled the cross and prepared it for painting. Reuben Norquist donated the time and materials to paint the cross in his body shop.
 
One of our biggest challenges was to find a safe way to have it installed on the steeple that is 80 feet in the air. Eden Berg (Woodland Industries) offered to help install the cross. On October 31, 2008, a crane arrived from Acme Electric in Grand Forks to help with the installation. Eden loaded the cross in the work platform and was elevated to the top of the steeple. The tapered section of the cross was slid down over the steeple and quickly secured.
 
The cross was made possible through memorials given by Alice Halvorson and her brothers in memory of their father, Thoralf Melby, and Bob and Ann Kulig.

The Stained Glass Committee was formed in the summer of 2007. The Committee spent a considerable amount of time researching many different stained glass window companies and requested proposals from several. We decided to work with Classic Glass located in Fargo, North Dakota.  2008 was spent working with artist Stacey Asp on the designs of our stained glass windows. Each window has features designed into it that reflect our heritage, community, and congregation. Careful consideration was taken to keep the bright atmosphere in our sanctuary, utilizing natural sunlight.

The first two stained glass windows were installed on December 19, 2008, prior to Christmas programs and services so they could be viewed and enjoyed by the large number of people attending our church during the Christmas season. The next four windows were installed on February 16, 2009. The remaining four windows were installed the summer of 2009, after receiving funding to complete the project. Committee members included Tami Yon, Connie Berg, Pam Hetteen, Phil Sallberg, Alex Kostrzewski, and Terry Lee.

Pastor Kwanza Yu's last Sunday as Pastor of Moe Lutheran Church was January 31, 2010. She accepted a call in Tokyo, Japan.

Interim Minister Mary Marotte.  First Sunday at Moe: March 7, 2010. Final Sunday: June 27, 2010

Interim Pastor John G. Krueger.  First Sunday at Moe: July 11, 2010. Final Sunday: January 30, 2011
 
Interim Pastor Rena F. Peterson.  First Sunday at Moe:  March 6, 2011.  Final Sunday:  July 31, 2011.
 
Pastor Lisa Beery.  First Sunday as Pastor at Moe:  September 4, 2011.
 
June 4, 2014:  Welcome, Bryce Allen Beery to our Church Family.
 
October 16, 2014:  Ten years in our "new" church building.
 
November 27, 2015:  Judi Aronson's (Church and Financial Secretary) last day as Church Secretary, after nearly 18 years of service.
 
December 19, 2015:  Former Pastor at Moe, Pastor Erling Huglen, passed away. Blessed be his memory.
 
September 4, 2016:  Fifth-year Anniversary of Pastor Lisa Beery at Moe.
 
July 11, 2017:  Welcome, Clara Caroline Beery, to our Church Family. 

 

   

 

 
 
 

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