Saron Evangelical Free Church

Many of the early pioneers who settled in Sverdrup Township came from Norway and Sweden.  Realizing a need for a church home for their families, the Saron Evangelical Free Church was organized in March of 1895 with Peder Wuflestad as chairman.  The church was first named "Sarons Frimeneghed".  Charter members were:

Mr. and Mrs. Lars Johnson

Betsey Johnson

Margaret Johnson

Nicholas Johnson

Mr. and Mrs. Waldemar Klubben

Per Lideen

Mr. and Mrs. Swen Loge

Arne Luckassen

Hans Lunde

Mr. and Mrs. Peder Wuflestad

Swen Wuflestad

Krag Wuflestad

Kristian Wuflestad

Mr. and Mrs. Tonnes Vatne

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Lund

Karl Lende

In April of 1896, S.M. Andrewson was called to serve as their first pastor.  Meetings were held in the homes and also upstairs in a granary on the Lars Johnson farm.  In 1903 the church was built and later a barn was added to shelter the members' horses during services.

At one time, flax, wheat, and potatoes were raised on a rented plot to help meet church expenses.  Potatoes were sold for 45 a bushel.

Ludvig Lunde was called as pastor in 1916 and served in that capacity 25 years.  During this time he was instrumental in starting the Cooperstown Bible Camp.  The first camp service was held June 21, 1925.

Pastor Lunde traveled extensively in evangelistic meetings.  He also held street meetings in neighboring towns using a "Gospel Wagon" built for this purpose by Hans Seldahl.

In 1951 the name of the church was changed to Saron Evangelical Free Church.

The Norwegian language was used in all services for several years.  In 1934 they began conducting their services in English every other Sunday and soon all services were in English.

The church building was remodeled in 1918 and a basement was added at that time.  In 1956 the sanctuary was redecorated and all new windows were installed.  A new foyer was added in 1973.

Pastors who have served this church are:

S.M. Andrewson

Swen Wuflestad

Krag Wuflestad

H.F. Josephson

Ludvig Lunde

Roy Newlin

Irving Standley

Richard Hess

Edward Kimball

Bruce Chapman

Howard Matson

S. Kenneth Nelson

Keith McNeil. 

 

The present pastor is Rev. LaDon Rydberg who also serves the Bethlehem Free Church and Christian Fellowship Church.

Chairman of the present board Allan Stokka
Vice-chairman Keith Anderson
Elders Algot Erickson,
Bert Johnson,
Sidney Erickson
Trustees Monroe Wuflestad,
Keith Anderson,
Mark Johnson
Financial secretary Kermit Ueland
Secretary Phyllis Johnson
Treasurer Ernest Erickson
Sunday School superintendent Joyce Erickson
Bible Camp representative Luella Stokka.

 

In the past years at the Saron church there has been seven ordinations, 25 Bible instruction classes with 192 graduates.  Nine young men have gone out in full time Christian service.  Three missionaries have gone out to China, South America, and the mountains of Kentucky.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 160

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