Ness Lutheran Church

The Ness congregation was organized when Pastor I.L. Lundeby was Home Missionary in the area from 1882-1884.  The first meeting was held in 1883 in Amund Gilbertson's log house near the Sheyenne River.  Ten families were represented at this meeting.  They chose the name NESS because a number of the new settlers came from a place by that name in Norway.  Families at the first meeting were:

Gulbrand Auren

Ole Hagen Fekjer

Amund Gilbertson

Thor Hagen

Ole Kristofferson

Andrew Larson

Arne Luckason

Ole Skrien

Arne Thompson

Iver Thompson

These families met in various homes until the Bolkan schoolhouse was built when services were held there.

The Ness church was built in 1898 while Rev. O.K. Quamme was pastor.  The Norse language was used almost exclusively until the 1920's.  In 1929 a basement was constructed with Melvin Seim supervising the work, members donating labor.  In 1949 the church was wired for electricity and an oil furnace installed in 1955.  In 1959 glass-block windows replaced the original ones in the church proper, hall and balcony.

In 1908 the congregation joined the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, which in 1917 became the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America and is now the American Lutheran Church.

The Ness congregation was part of a parish in the early days that included the Union church east of Hannaford and the Lund church north of Luverne.  In later years Ness was part of a parish that included Blabon, St. Petri and Lund churches.

In 1968, because of changing conditions, the members voted to dissolve with most members transferring to the Trinity congregation at Cooperstown.

Upon its dissolution a cemetery association was formed to maintain the cemetery and preserve the church building for the association's meetings, and other occasional services.  One such service was in 1981 when the Halvorson family met here to celebrate their centennial anniversary of coming here in 1881.  The church was filled for the Sunday service.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 156

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