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History of the Church

Our history here at Eksjo really begins in Sweden, where economic, religious and social issues caused thousands of Swedes to emigrate to the United States. Many of these Swedes settled in Minnesota, and in 1860 the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod was formed by 36 Swedish congregations in the midwest. In the fall of 1871 the synod sent Pastor J. Magny to our area to form a congregation. So, on October 16, 1871 seven families, one young woman and ten young men met at the home of O.B. Anderson and adopted a constitution forming "The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Eksjo" (Oak Lake). Articles of Incorporation were filed on June 11, 1872. The first elected trustees were Olof Anderson, John Teg and Anders Hedlund. The first Deacons were Nelson, C.O. Danielson and C. Erickson. The first confirmation class began in the fall of 1873 and was confirmed by Pastor Magny in March of 1876. For the first five years families took turns hosting worship services in their homes. In 1878 the first church was built. It's dimensions were 24 feet wide, 30 feet long and 12 feet high. At that time our congregation numbered 100 confirmed members and 150 children, and was being served by our first resident pastor, J.P. Mattson. In 1879 a decision was made to build a parsonage just west of the church. In 1884 the congregation voted to share a pastor with the newly-formed Strandvik congregation, and in 1885 the two congregations called P.P. Hedenstrom. At this time the church building was enlarged to accommodate the growing congregation. It's length was extended by 10 feet, and 14-foot balcony was built. Currently, Eksjo Lutheran Church is a member of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) . It is a part of the Gloria Dei Parish made up of Houglum Lutheran Church, Strandvik Lutheran Church and Eksjo. More then 400 souls are buried in the Eksjo Lutheran Church cemetery. The present congregation numbers include 358 baptized members and 262 confirmed. The Rev. Randall (Randy) Whitehead is the pastor.

Mailing Address: P O Box 327, Lake Park, MN 56554