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6/20/2007 – News

Volume 124, Number 20            Wednesday, June 20th, 2007


Devils Lake Outlet operating
Devils Lake water began flowing through the state’s outlet to Devils Lake on June 11. Currently the outlet is being run at a level of 50 cubic feet per second. The canal is filled with water and then the pumps are shut off and the gate is opened to allow the water to flow into the Sheyenne River. Sulfate levels in the river are being monitored closely to make certain the discharges are within allowable levels. (Photo by Deputy Sheriff Marvin Holweger)

Sheyenne church to observe centennial celebration
The First Lutheran Church in Sheyenne will celebrate its centennial June 30 and July 1. Plans for Saturday, June 30 include registration and fellowship in the afternoon, a light supper and a worship service. On Sunday, July 1 there will be worship, a noon meal and an afternoon program with birthday cake and coffee to follow.
Past and present members of the Sheyenne parish are invited. Speakers who have accepted invitiations include John Estrem, Ken Nyhusmoen, Barbra Salveson and Grace Bratrud Peleaux.
As one reviews the history of the church, one becomes aware of the fact that these early settlers of the Sheyenne community were young couples, or young men and women seeking to find a new home by filing on homestead claims in these prairie regions. But many of them were not content to just build houses and to begin homes. Having come from God-fearing Christian homes in Norway or elsewhere in the US, no sooner were they settled than they began looking for a church home.
There was interest in church, worship, Christian education and fellowship from the time the first settlers arrived, but since clusters of homesteads were more populous than frontier towns, churches tended to be built where farm families could reach the church site by walking or driving by horse and buggy. Hence, the first Lutheran churches in the Sheyenne area were Kvernes, rural Carrington, and Greenfield Lutheran (later its name became Grandfield).
The Norwegian Evangelical Synod Church was organized in 1900 by Pastor H.H. Frost with 41 communicant souls. Their church edifice was built in 1902. This is now known as the Grandfield Lutheran Church.
In 1907, several families were released from the Grandfield church to form a congregation in town. The group met at the home of L.B. Garnaas and formed the Trinity "Trefoldight" Norwegian Evangelical Congregation of Sheyenne. On April 7, 1907, there were 60 souls with E.T. Quam serving as pastor of both churches. He had been called in 1894 to serve Lunde (Near Woodworth), Kvernes, Harvey, Grandfield, Antiochia (near Churches Ferry) and Leeds. He had to resign in 1908 because of poor health.
From 1908-1909 H.P. Rud, a lay evangelist, served the congregation. On April 11, 1909, Rev. P.P. Hagen was installed as pastor of Trinity of Sheyenne, Warwick and Hamar.
Bids for constructing a church building were let in July 1909 and construction began shortly thereafter by Andrew Christofferson, a local contractor. The total cost of the building was $5,000. The first service was held June 5, 1910, by Rev. Hagen. He resigned a year later, but in the fall of 1911 Grandfield gave permission to allow Rev. Ole J. Hungness to have afternoon services on the mornings he served Grandfield. He also served the Kvernes and Lunde parishes. On July 17, 1910, women of the church served 300 people in tents for dinner and supper during the three-day dedication.
An article in The Sheyenne Star states "that during the ensuing years more and more discussions on the national level as well as local levels of the church were centered on Union of the Three Synods — Norwegian Lutheran Synod, Hauge Synod and United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America. It was with much rejoicing that on June 9, 1917, the Hauge Lutheran and Norwegian Lutheran Synods accepted an invitation to join with United Norwegian Lutheran Church to form the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In order to more easily affect a union on the local level where two congregations of different synods existed, as in Sheyenne, it was recommended at this conference that both pastors resign so a new pastor could be called; that all property of both churches be turned over to the newly formed church congregation of NELCA, and that members of both congregations were to vote on which house of worship was to be retained for that purpose."
In compliance with the above recommendations in 1920, both Pastors Foss and Hungness resigned, effective as soon as a suitable replacement could be found. Rev. Hungness stayed to serve the other churches. And so it was that Pastor John S. Sunde, who was serving the newly organized congregation in New Rockford, was asked to serve Sheyenne on a temporary basis. His ministry lasted about a year until October 1921. This was not on a parish basis however. Rev. Hungness again began serving Sheyenne on a temporary basis holding services every third Sunday. From this time, the English language was used in instruction of confirmands and at alternate worship services.
In another article in The Sheyenne Star as of April 19, 1923 joint worship services of both the Norwegian Synod and the United Norwegian Lutheran Church were held April 15, 1923 with Rev. I.D. Ylvisaker, North Dakota District President of United NLCA presiding. The article states, "For many years a spirit of cooperation and fellowship had been growing between members of the two Norwegian Lutheran congregations in town, and they have become more and more convinced that there ought to be a closer union between them therefore the two congregations met formally to organize themselves into a single body.
The two congregations decided to unite under the new name of ‘The First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sheyenne.’ A constitution was adopted, the same as in general use in the church, officers elected for the new organization, and they decided to retain the larger church edifice for use."
Subsequently, services were held alternately in the two churches with Pastors Foss and Hungness preaching alternately and in the English or Norwegian languages. Even Sunday School was reorganized with teachers from both congregations. Every effort was made to affect a peaceful union.
In 1924, Pastor Theo J. Lund, who was at that time serving New Rockford, Heimdal and Esmond, agreed to serve First Lutheran on a temporary basis. He continued to serve every third Sunday until 1937, when he retired from the ministry.
Because New Rockford had no church edifice, but was meeting temporarily in the courthouse, in 1926, the Norwegian Synod Church was sold to a group called First Lutheran in New Rockford, and they moved the small church there to become their first house of worship.
Pastor Hungness also retired in 1937 and the area churches called Pastor Milton T. Bratrud to serve the First Lutheran, Kvernes, Grandfield, Eden and Antelope Valley congregations.
In 1941, a building in Brantford was purchased and moved to be used as a parish hall. Pastor G. W. Mathre came in May 1945 when Pastor Bratrud resigned to go to Mechinick. After Rev. Mathre came, the "Oefstedahl House" was purchased for the parsonage. In May, 1949, Pastor Mathre took a call to Oslo, Minnesota and Pastor Hans V. Thoresen was called. During his pastorate, joint Advent and Lenten services with Grace were held.
When Pastor Thoresen resigned to go to West Fargo, Pastor Fredrichs Kramins was called, and during his ministry Kvernes left the Sheyenne Parish to form a parish with Stavanger. Also, the church was remodeled to plans drawn by Pastor Kramins. After Pastor Kramins resigned in 1957, Rev. Aldine Anderson served as interim pastor until Pastor Robert M. Salveson was called from the seminary in 1958. He served until 1963.
In 1963, Pastor S.O. Kvaale began his pastorate and it was when he was serving that the long plan for additions were made. In 1965, the new kitchen, bathrooms, three education rooms and a furnace room were added to the north side of the parish hall. Dedication was held in March 1966 with Pastor Kramins returning for the dedication.
Pastor Wayne Eitland was called to serve in 1967 when Pastor Kvaale resigned. During this time, Christmons were made to decorate the Christmas tree.
Pastor Eitland resigned in 1970 and Pastor John C. Estrem was called as pastor. During his pastorate, the age of communion was lowered to fifth grade. Communion was held during the major and minor festivals and seasons and the first Sundays of the month. Confirmation instruction was three years with the rite of confirmation being the junior year of high school and the Lutheran Book of Worship was introduced and used.
An internship program was begun in 1979 with Steven Frock serving as the first intern. From the very beginning, women’s groups have been very active in fund-raising and caring for the church.
In February of 1982, John Estrem was pastor and Karl Speiker was intern. It was noted at the council meeting that water and sewer for the city of Sheyenne was to go up to $13 each month. A note was to be included in the quarterly statement to each member that costs for the church were high. Roof leaks were repaired and ceiling fans were installed in July of 1982. A church history book was sent to the museum at the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies at NDSU in Fargo.
Craig Nelson was the 1982-83 intern. John Benson was ordained at Antelope Valley on July 31, 1983. A ballot vote was taken to change the Constitution of the American Lutheran Church to allow for the formation of a new Lutheran Church. The vote was 13 to 3 to approve such a change. This change came about in 1987 when the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America was formed.
Jeff Tarras was the intern in 1983-84. It was decided in 1983 to make a parking lot behind the church. In 1984, carpet was installed in the church aisle, altar and narthex. A fireproof safe was given to the church. A wheelchair ramp was built in 1984.
Mary Hinkle was the 1984-85 intern. A gift of two new front doors was given to the church. Pastor Estrem left in September to answer a call to LaMoure. Pastor Ed Rosenthal was at Sheyenne until June of 1986. Members have given freely to improve the church over the years. In 1986 a copy machine was donated to be placed in the pastor’s home and a new lectern for the church was given. The old lectern was made by Pastor Mathre in 1946 and it is still in use in 2007. A sign of the times came when it was necessary to begin locking the door of the church. Any members who needs a key can have one.
As of January 1984, First Lutheran had 194 baptized members and 139 confirmed members. The numbers in 1986 were 206 baptized members and 140 confirmed members.
When Pastor Rosenthal left Pastors Alan and Phyllis Wolkenhauer arrived. During this time there were no interns. It was at this time a newsletter was sent out every other month.
In May of 1987 a directory for the four churches in the Sheyenne Lutheran Parish was compiled. A gift of a TV, VCR, floodlights for the two stained glass windows behind the altar and a stand for the TV and VCR were given to the church. Pastors Wolkenhauer accepted a call from Grace and Augustana Lutheran Churches to pastor them also. A joint ministry of the six churches was formed and is now called the Sheyenne Lutheran Parish.
Dan Garnaas was ordained. In March of 1991, Wolkenhauers left to accept a call to Olewein, Iowa. Pastor Kevin Wojahn accepted the call to Sheyenne for the summer months. In August of that year, a call was sent to Neil Lindorff of Albert Lee, Minn. His first service was October 13. Pastoral Assistant Fred Schmidt conducted some services before Pastor Lindorff came and will stay on to help the church. He stayed until November 1994 when he moved to Minot.
The Community Ministry Committee was formed in July, 1991 to study and discuss issues that affect the five congregations of Sheyenne Lutheran Parish and Grace Lutheran and, in turn, make suggestions and/or recommendations to the parish board. Each congregation is to be represented by its council president or representative. The CMC shall have the power to select and schedule interim and emergency pulpit supply as needed.
A new oval shaped window was installed in the steeple in September of 1992. The steeple and church exterior were painted. The church had 127 members in September 1993. Antelope Valley Lutheran Church closed in May of 1994. Some of the members affiliated with First Lutheran. More changes came in 1994. The Minnewaukan-Oberon parish was without a minister. It had an intern that Pastor Lindorff supervised for one year. In November Pastoral Assistant Fred Schmidt left so a married couple, interns Brian and Terrie Peterson came. He was the intern for the Sheyenne Parish and Terrie was the intern for Minnewaukan-Oberon.
The church constitution and by-laws were put on a computer disc in 1995. A change made to the constitution in 1996 was to make the pastor and financial secretary voting members of the 14-member council. In September of 1996 Interns Marty and Angela Zimman arrived. Marty was the intern for Sheyenne and Angela was the intern for Minnewaukan-Oberon. At this time, work had begun on joining Oberon’s Calvary Lutheran Chruch with Eden, First Lutheran, Grace, and Grandfield into one parish and into one area ministry under the auspices of the Carrington Conference, Eastern ND Synod, ELCA to be voted on January 5, 1997. This new ministry was named Sheyenne-Oberon Area Ministry or SOAM for short. Worship was also conducted at the Maddock Memorial Home and the New Rockford Heritage House at this time. The confirmed membership at the end of 1995 was 146.
Corey Bjertness was ordained in Edinburg in 1997.
The windows on the east end of the south wall in the parish hall had rotted and were replaced with siding, insulation and a bulletin board, keeping the original frame in place.
In December 1996, the parish hall and kitchen were shingled.
The intern program continued with Allen Wagner arriving in August 1997.
Lisa Faleide, pastoral assistant, and Todd Olson, both from the Maddock area helped with various duties of the church in 1998 and 1999.
In September of 1999 Jeff Spencer became intern and the intern in 2000 was Joseph Javorsky.
In 2001 a new furnace was installed in the church. Intern Tony Pagotto came from Pennsylvania. During the year there were 50 Sunday worship services with an average attendance of 48.
Jolene Knudson-Hanse was the intern in 2002. She grew up near Larimore. In May of 2003 new hymnals, "With One Voice" were put in service to accompany the red hymnals. Air conditioning was also installed. In 2003 average church attendance was 41 members. During the winter of 2003 fire consumed Eden Lutheran Church.
New Rockford didn’t have a pastor in 2003-2004 so their confirmation class joined Sheyenne. A new SOAM directory was compiled that included photos and information on all members.
Pastor Neil Lindorff moved to Minnesota in May and Priscilla Hukki took over as interim intern. She left at the end of September. Interim Pastor Jim Gustafson and his wife, Jayne, came in October. They moved into the Grace parsonage which will from now be used as the parish pastor’s home. First Lutheran parsonage was sold in June of 2006 to Elvis Jr. and Tara Thumb. The ownership history of the parsonage began with the five churches of Sheyenne, Grandfield, Kverness, Eden and West Antelope Valley.
In September of 2005, First Lutheran had 102 members. Starting in January of 2006, First Lutheran and Grace Lutheran met alternately at 11 a.m. Calvary and Grandfield did the same at 9:30 a.m.
Discussion continues about a possible merger with Grace Lutheran. There is much left to be decided upon before this can be accomplished. A call was issued to Pastor Sharron Lucas in April, 2006. She arrived in July. Pastor James Gustafson and Jayne moved to Climax, Minn. The Eddy County VFW Auxiliary 3696 presented a new US Flag to the church.The interior of the church was painted in January of 2007.

Radio club funds
Darwin Brokke, right, chief executive officer of the Citizens Community Credit Union of Devils Lake presents a check for $500 to Mark Motis, representing the Benson County Amateur Radio Club. This donation will help purchase an antenna trailer, screwdriver antenna, base and antenna tower. The equipment will be available for use during emergencies.

Receives degree
Minnewaukan native Pastor Jeff Wallace of Gregory, SD earned an Associate of Theology Degree at the Yankton College School of Theology. He is the pastor of Union Congregational Church in Gregory.
Members of the Wallace family are pictured. Left to right are John, Sarah, Pastor Jeff and Renata Wallace.

Students have roles in production of Peter Pan
The Lake Region School for the Performing Arts presented a production of "Peter Pan" Friday, June 15 at the Robert Fawcett Auditorium in Devils Lake. Six students from the Leeds School participated. They are Andrew Follman, Evan Follman, Arnikka Thompson, Grace Nybo, Katelyn Nelsen and Julissa McGarvey.
Auditions were held that Monday morning and those selected to perform went into rehearsal from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. that day. The same rehearsal schedule was followed through Thursday.
Some students held more than one role in the production, portraying up to three different characters. Andrew Follman was Chief Big Little Panther and Skylights the pirate; Evan Follman was Terry, one of the Lost Boys; Arnikka Thompson was Princess Tiger Lilly and Noodler the pirate; Grace Nybo was Starfish the mermaid, Pan’s shadow and a pirate; Katelyn Nelsen was Moonglow the mermaid, the Crocodile and a pirate; and Julissa McGarvey portrayed Michael Darling.
The production was directed by Miki Noltimier, Bridget Noltimier and Mariah Cote.

Pictured, back row, left to right, are Andrew Follman as Chief Big Little Panther, Evan Follman as Terry, a Lost Boy and Arnikka Thompson as Princess Tiger Lilly. Front row, left to right, are Grace Nybo as Starfish the mermaid and Katelyn Nelsen as Moonglow the mermaid.

Julissa McGarvey was cast as Michael Darling in the production.

Volleyball students
The fourth annual volleyball camp for kids was held at the Maddock School under the direction of coaches JoLynn Jacobson and Bridget Lunde. Twenty-four girls in grades 3-6 attended from Maddock, New Rockford, Carrington, Leeds and Spiritwood. Left to right, front row, are Hannah Pierson, Taylor Foss, Emily Sears, Hannah Heinz, Tess Scott, Grace Woodstead, Kaylee Lybeck, Haley Hewitt, Kyia Roberts and Grace Nybo. Middle row: coach Lunde, Kendra Woodstead, Jamie Buckmier, Renae Lauinger, Courtney Lauinger, Ahna Demester, Morgan Hewitt and Kristi Medalen. Back row: coach Jacobson, Ashley Risovi, Hailey Kallenbach, Alyssa Armentrout, Kaylee Tollerud, Alexis Gigstad, Kayla Melaas and Megan Olson. High school volleyball player Jillian Maddock also helped with the camp.

Auxiliary makes visit
Ruth Wallin, left, and Bernice Aanderud, right, (both in Auxiliary uniforms) represented the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 123 of Maddock at the kindergarten class at the Maddock School. Each student was presented a US Flag and a poppy. Left to right, standing, are Ruth Wallin, Kadin Neppl, Jude Lawson, Brady Kallenbach, Abigail Grossman, Marissa Lunde, Kenzie Randle, Bernice Aanderud and Talissa Aabrekke. Seated are Charity Dosch, Connor Arnold, Samuel Hill, Jay Garcia and Gannon Griffin.

New Rockford theater to present The Ark
Show sponsor Bank Forward and the Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts will present the regional premiere of the Off-Broadway show, The Ark, a musical comedy version of the story of Noah and his family. The show will open Thursday, June 21 at 8 p.m. at The Opera House in New Rockford.
The Opera House will be transformed into the ark and the audience members are referred to as Noah’s animals. From the time the audience walks into the ark, it takes on a direct role in this saga where a rigid father, self-absorbed husbands, neglected wives and rebellious sons are all woven into the story line. The cast of eight: Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives will give a glimpse of what life on a ship with thousands of animals might have been like. Authors Michael McLean and Kevin Kelly have created a show with poignant lyrics and riveting music inspired by such musical genres as gospel, blues, honky-tonk and rock.
"I think people are going to love this show. It has the making of being the all-time, best-attended show we’ve ever done. The show is a family show and with all the rain we have had the theme is perfect!" says Deb Belquist, managing director of the Arts Center. "I like the fact that the show is brand new and that we continue to be on the cutting edge of new theatre works."
The 20 performances of The Ark run Tuesday through Sunday, from June 21 to July 15 at 8 p.m. with the Sunday performances at 2:30 p.m. Exact dates and times can be found at or by calling the ticket box office. Tickets can be reserved by calling 701-947-2174.

Members of the cast of The Ark are pictured. Left to right are Meagan Jury, Tyson Rost, Jadi Engels, Isaac Engels, Brian McGraw, Rachel Markestad, Luke Burton and Erin Markestad. Not pictured are members of the orchestra: Delaine Meehan, T.R. Edlund, Chris Ellingson and Amanda Skiften.

4-H winners
The District 4-H Communication Arts competition was held June 5 at the Leeds School. 4-H’ers from Benson, Ramsey, Rolette, Towner, Cavalier and Nelson Counties competed. Volunteer judges were Carol Braaten, Jean Meyer and Pricilla Backstrom. Left to right, back row, are Ben Backstrom, grand champion teen team commercial and honorable mention teen dramatic presentation; Preston Gilderhus, grand champion teen team commercial; and Kristine Keller, honorable mention teen team commercial. Front row: Katie Rice, grand champion preteen interpretive reading, humerous; and Janna Rice, honorable mention teen team commercial and honorable mention teen short takes.

Maddock FFA members attend annual convention at NDSU
Nineteen members of the Maddock A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter attended the annual state FFA convention held in Fargo June 4-8 on the NDSU Campus. Receiving the State FFA Degree, the highest degree bestowed by the North Dakota FFA Association were Anne Backstrom, Jordan Backstrom and Isaac Engels. Jordan Backstorm, Paul Rice and Michelle Olson were official chapter delegates at the convention.
The Dairy Foods Team of Michelle Olson, Paul Rice, Kimberly Randle and Courtney Foss received a gold award and were the third high team in the state. Anne Backstrom was second high and received a gold award in the State Demonstration contest. Participating in the State Food Science Team were Kaidi Kenner, Alexis Buckmier, Anne Backstrom, Beau Buehler and Levi Slater. Andy Backstrom received a high silver award in the 10th grade Ag Mechanics Contest. Jordan Backstrom received a gold award in the Advanced Ag Mechanics Contest with Beau Buehler and Levi Slater receiving bronze awards. Beau Buehler was a contestant in the State FFA Interview Judging. Members of the State FFA Quiz Contest were Kimberly Randle, Kaidi Kenner and Alexis Buckmier. Janna Rice received a gold award and was 12th high individual in the Horse Judging Contest.
Participating in the State Band were John and Tyler Sears, Noah Engels and Jon D. Schmid. Kaidi Kenner, Anne Backstrom, Alexis Buckmier and Erin Leier were members of the State FFA Choir.
John T. Rice was selected the state winner in the grain production proficiency event and Jordan Backstrom was selected the state winner in the state swine production proficiency contest. Paul Rice was the District 3 winner in the state wildlife production proficiency event.
Arlo Schmid of Maddock and Dennis Johnson of Devils Lake were nominated by the Maddock A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter for the Honorary State FFA Degree, which was given to them at the Thursday night session of the convention.

Members of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock are shown at the state convention. Left to right, front row, are J.D. Schmid, Levi Slater, John Sears, Kimberly Randle, Tyler Sears, Alexis Buckmier,Courtney Foss, Andy Backstrom, Erin Leier, Michelle Olson, Anne Backstrom and Kaidi Kenner. Back row Jordan Backstrom, Paul Rice, Noah Engels and Beau Buehler.

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