The following is a brief outline of "Prairie Faith, Pioneering People: A History of the Lutheran Church in South Dakota",

Donald J. Sneen, Editor, South Dakota District, American Lutheran Church, 1981. Specific identifications were made for Day County

area. The book is available through many libraries.


Care was made to assure accuracy but no warranties are offered. The data is presented here for genealogical purposes in hopes of

helping people locate their ancestors. Information transcribed by Karen Kambestad.


Individuals and non-profit organizations for their private use may freely copy this file. Any other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires the written approval of the file's author. This file is part of the SDGENWEB Archives.


Brief outline of items included in this book


Pastors for Day County:


1. Rev. T. A. Gunnarson - organized and served in 14 congregations throughout Day, Marshall, Roberts, and Spink Counties, that



1892.Butler Lutheran Church, Butler, Day County


1889-1892 Ebenzer Church, Butler, Day County


1893.Falnes Church, Lynn Township, Day County


Organized: June 6, 1893 Palestine Lutheran, NE of Veblen, Marshall County


August 2, 1893 Bethel Lutheran, SE of Veblen, Marshall County


June 9, 1894 Bethania, Rosholt, Marshall County


July 5, 1894 Norway Lutheran, N of Sisseton, Roberts County



Fall 1894 Bergen Lutheran, Sargent County, ND


March 19, 1895 Trondhjem, SW Rosholt, Marshall County


January 6, 1898 Nidaros, Hammer, Marshall County


Rev. Gunnarson also organized the first Ladies Aid at Palestine on March 19,1894, which raised $600 to build that church.


Rev. Gunnarson homesteaded in 1893, 6 miles east of Veblen and lived there until his death.



1.Rev. Lorentz A. Kjelaas - organized and served Day and Roberts Counties from 1885 to 1907 for the following churches:


1.- 1907 Saron, NE of Roslyn, Day County


2.- 1907 Skudesnes, E. of Pierpont, Day County


Zoar, Pickerel Lake, Day County


Goodwill, Sisseton, Roberts County


Hope, Sisseton, Roberts County


Bethel, W. of Peever, Roberts County


1.Rev. Knudt N. Rudie - organized and served Day, Marshall and Roberts Counties from 1896-1918 for the following



1896 Nidaros, Veblen, Marshall County


1906 Ferkingstad, Hammer, Marshall County


1911 Scandia, New Effington, Marshall County


1.Goodwill, Sisseton, Roberts County


1918 Lakeview, NE of Sisseton, Roberts County


1918 Saron, NW of Sisseton, Roberts County


South Dakota Achievements:


June 12, 1917 - 1st state to organize Women Missionary Federation, Vermilion


Circuit by Mrs. Nils Boe.


September 1891 - 1st District convention of the Dakota District of the Iowa


Synod was held in Webster, Day County


Dakota Territory Settlements:




1.July 1859, 1st recorded settlement was located 1 1/1 miles from Meckling, SD by Ole Olson Gjeitli and Halvor


2.1861 Pastor Abraham Jacobsen of Augustan Synod of the Lutheran Church was the first missionary.


1st Service held in log home of Mikkel Larson Rokne, Meckling, SD.


1st Confirmation service in home of Peter Nelson, Vermilion Priarie, SD.


1st Funeral for Bottolf Larson Lunde, Oct 13 1861, Meckling, SD


1st Marriage, Christen Jordalen and Anna Tveito, 1861, no license but permission of the territorial governor.


3.August 12, 1863 first church organized 2 miles southwest of Elk Point by Kjell P. Ronne, The Norwegian Evangelical

Lutheran Congregation on the Brule Creek.


Rev. J. Krohn of Chicago served as pastor and 1st resident pastor was Rev. Emil Christensen, September 1867.




1.1867 first recorded immigrants arrive

2.1870, Pastor S.P.A. Lindahl of Woodhull, IL, of the Augustana Synod performs 1st service.

3.1871, Ahlsborg, Union County and Dalesburg, North of Vermilion, Clay County organized.

4.1st resident Pastor, Carl S. Beckstrom, Dalesburg.




1.1874, two settlements organized: Swan Lake (Viborg), Turner County and Denmark (Badger) Kingsbury and Hamlin


2.March 8, 1875, organized the first church with Rev. Hans Z. Hvid, Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran, Swan Lake.




1.1876, 1st settlement was Black Hills, Harding County followed in 1878 with Poinsett and Lake Norden, Hamlin County.

2.Circuit rider missionaries held devotionals in homes until 1888, when Pastor Nils Pietila organized the Apostolic Lutheran

Church, Lead, SD.

3.1st resident pastor, Rev. Henry Tanner, May 1889 for the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Black Hills (known

today as First Lutheran).