September 24, 1929
September 24, 1929
The First Lutheran Church Will Celebrate 60th Anniversary, and Gives a Brief Sketch of its History.
By Rev. E.J. Earlandson, Pastor
The sixtieth anniversary of the First Lutheran church of Chariton will be celebrated with special events and services October 4, 5 and 6. Thus for over half a century this church has sought to serve this community with the preaching of the word of God.
First Lutheran Church was organized November 3, 1869, with the late Rev. M.F. Hokanson, then of Munterville, Iowa, presiding. There were thirty charter members at the time of whom only one is now living, Mrs. Augusta Johnson, who resides a few miles from town.
There being no resident pastor at first, services were conducted by visiting pastors and lay-preachers. The first regular pastor was the late Rev. M. Frvkman, a graduate of Augustana Seminary, then located in Paxton, Illinois. He was ordained to the ministry in June 1875. It was in this year also that property was secured and the old church was built. After serving his first charge until 1880, Rev. Frykman resigned and moved. In 1882 the next paste, the late Rev. A.J. Ostliu, then of Mayville, New York, accepted the call here with an annual salary of $400 and parsonage, which had just been built, a small building, only 20 by 26 feet. In 1884 he resigned and left.
A vacancy then occurred until 1886, when Rev. P.A. Edquist accepted a call and filled the pulpit here until his resignation in the summer of 1889. During the vacancy, which then occurred, various theological students served the church for longer and shorter periods until Rev. G. A. Swanburg received the call and became pastor on his ordination in June 1891. The young pastor entered upon his work here and to Rev. Swanburg falls the distinction of having served Fist Lutheran Church longer than any other pastor either before or after him. He served here until his resignation August 8, 1900, and is at present serving Trinity Lutheran Church, Wankegan, Illinois. Mr. Swanburg’s successor was the late Rev. J.P. Borg, who began his work here with the turn of the century, 1900. It was during the pastorate of Rev. Borg that the present inviting and serviceable church edifice was built at Eighth street and Roland avenue in the year 1903. the corner stone was laid on May 4, 1903 by the Rev. Dr. A. Northem, then president of the Iowa conference and at present superintendent of the Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa. In 1907 Rev. Borg tendered his resignation to the congregation and left.
On June 5, 1907, Rev. O.A. Elmquist was called and entered on his work here Reformation day, October 31 of the same year. After an energetic pastorate here of about two years, Rev. Elmquist resigned and left in April 1910. The next incumbent was Rev. S. C. Franzen, who served from May 1910 until the autumn of 1913. During his charge the present cotamodious parsonage was built and other improvements were made.
The third pastor to serve First Lutheran Church as his first charge was Rev. Frank R, Carlson, who was ordained in June 1914, and immediately began his work here. His term of service extended until 1916, when he resigned and left for Kewanee, Illinois. Rev. Carlson is at present serving Tabor Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.
For a few months Rev. J.O. Lindquist served the church during the year 1918, but left for duty as U.S. Army chaplain in which capacity he is still serving at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio.
Rev. C.A. Johnson served First Lutheran Church from 1918 until 1924, a period of six years. He is at present serving the Lutheran congregation at Attica, Indiana, and Danville, Illinois.
Rev. Carl Lundgren served this congregation form 1925 until May 13, 1928, when he moved to Sheffield Pennsylvania. During the summer of 1928, the congregation was served by Rev. E.J. Erlandson, who was then a theological student. On January 1, 1929, a pastoral call was issued to him to become pastor of the church on his ordination. Rev. E. J. Erlandson was ordained June 9, 1929, in connection with the Augustana Synod convention, held in Rockford Illinois, and his pastorate here August 4, 1929. Rev. Erlandson is the fourth pastor to serve this congregation as his first charge.
The Anniversary festivities on October 4,5 and 6 are fittingly planned as an observation of the passing of another decade in the history of the work laid down on this community by First Lutheran Church; and this congregation is ever ready and willing to serve this community in the future in helping individuals to live better lives—better because Christ-filled.