Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Richland Lutheran Church
Thornton, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, September 13, 2003

Thornton church to observe 120th anniversary Sunday

THORNTON The Rev. George ORVICK, past president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), will preach at the 120th anniversary celebration of Richland Lutheran Church in Thornton at a 2 p.m. festival service Sunday.

ORVICK, the ELS president for 30 years until his retirement in 2002, is a son of the congregation.

The ELS (formerly the Norwegian Synod) traces its beginning to Lime Creek in 1918, and is based in Mankato, Minn.

The Richland congregation was begun by mostly Danish families in 1881. For almost 50 years, the church stood two miles south of Thornton, where the cemetery still is located. In 1929, the church was moved into town, placed on a full basement and remodeled.

Although the church was not a member of the Norwegian Synod for many years, it always was served by Norwegian Synod pastors. When the three major Norwegian Lutheran church bodies merged in 1917, the congregation did not join the merged church but continued to receive pastors from the minority group that today is the ELS.

It is the only ELS church which was founded as a Danish Lutheran congregation.

"Our celebration is really a celebration of the Lutheran commitment to Jesus and the Bible. The history of this congregation is a great example that loyalty to family and nationality can and should be overcome by loyalty to the word of God," said the church's current pastor, the Rev. Jerry GERNANDER.

A former pastor of the congregation, the Rev. John MOLDSTAD Sr., will preach at the church's Sunday morning service.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2011



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