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First Lutheran Church

Last updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2021


Last Service Attendees
Among those attending the last Easter Sunrise service at First Lutheran Church in Ossian were:
Front l-r: Layne and Olivia Kleppe
2nd row:Jerry Miller, Daniel Molokken, Bobbi Jo Molokken, Mabel Molokken, Edwin Molokken, Kadee Batterson, Stacy Batterson, Donna Barker, Bev Patterson, Marlys Oakland
3rd row: Rhonda Miller, Derrick Kleppe, Jeff Molokken, Dane Molokken, Bailey Monroe
4th row: Shirley Wolfs, Wayne Corlett, Lloyd Oakland, Bev Corlett, Pat Butikofer, Crystal Lysne, Lyla Molokken, Judy Ehler, Interim Pastor Ginny Olson, parish president Bruce Ehler, Dale Patterson, Gordon Oakland
5th row: First Lutheran Cemetery sexton Art Wolfs, Ed Molokken, Arlene Molokken, Dale Mork, Lynette Mork

It was a historic vote for a historic Norwegian Church. On Sunday, April 15, 2012, twenty-seven members of the First Lutheran Church, rural Ossian, Iowa, voted to dissolve their congregation. First Lutheran was founded in 1850 and is possibly the oldest Norwegian Lutheran Church west of the Mississippi River. The closing did not come easy because it took three votes to determine the church’s fate. It took a two-thirds majority vote to reach a decision. The first vote was split evenly. After each vote members of the parish were able to speak. It was a bittersweet moment for the members when the last paper ballot was counted. It was an ending which nobody wanted but due to financial constraints, dwindling number of members due to aging, and lack of young people to keep the church going, the decision was necessary. It was announced that some time in August the last service would be held in celebration of life honoring the history of the church. Church records show that First Lutheran by 1884 had conducted 538 baptisms. After the closing of the church, the church building was sold. The new owners remodeled and converted the building into their home to enjoy their retirement years.

SOURCE: THE FAYETTE COUNTY UNION, West Union, Iowa, Wednesday April 18, 2012, page B-7, Rich Holm, photographer - Contributor: Connie Ellis

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this page was last updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2021