1941 70th Anniversary of “Manson Lutheran Church”
Thanksgiving for the Past, Faith for the Future, Christ Forever.
May 5, 1871 The Manson Lutheran Church was organized in the home of John P. Skipper, with Rev. Hokan Olson as chairman and Mr. Pehr Pehrson (Peter Peterson) as secretary. “Those present united themselves as the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Manson congregation.”
May 15, 1871 Forty acres of land in Section 10, Township 89, Range 32 of Calhoun County (3-½ miles west of Manson) was purchased for the church and cemetery. However, during the first 13 years, the congregation held meetings and services in private homes or schoolhouses.


December 1873 The executive committee reported that Fort Dodge-Manson-Elfsborg had united and intended to call a teacher (“larare”).


January 1874 The first election of a pastor was held in Manson and student P. A. Pihlgren of Paxton, Illinois was, after proper ordination, called to be pastor of the congregation.


January 1884 After many long deliberations concerning the place for a church, it was decided it should be built in Manson itself. The lot at the corner of 12th Avenue and 6th Street was donated on the condition the congregation buy the two lots to the west for $50.


December 1884 Construction of the church was finished and Dr. Hasselquist, who preached on the text from Isaiah 55:3, “Hear, and your souls shall live,” consecrated it. The church, with foundation and interior equipment cost approximately $2,000.


1887 Land originally purchased for the church in 1871 was sold, with the exception of one acre set aside for the cemetery, for $9.00 an acre to Pehr Pehrson.


1896 The 25th Anniversary was celebrated.


1900 A basement and furnace was installed in the church. The basement consisted of a room for meetings, kitchen, and furnace room. The church area held about 200 people, and was furnished with an altar, pulpit, a tower and bell.


February 1906 Manson and Skaraborg congregations are joined in one pastorate.


1908 The parsonage was built for the approximate cost of $4,000. The upper story has four ordinary rooms and a bathroom; the lower story has four rooms and a kitchen; the basement has five rooms.


1910 An acre of land located near the parsonage was purchased for $400. The pastor used this area for his animals. A barn was built in 1912.


May 1911 The congregation celebrated is 40th Anniversary Festival, together with the annual district meeting.


1915 Approximately half of the membership lived in the country and were farmers. The rest lived in town and were largely so-called “retired farmers” who had brought their families to a place where they could rest.


July 1918 Rev. F. William Hanson preached his first sermon, just one day before the Germans started their last offensive on a 60-mile front in the great World War. These were times of anxiety and worry both in state and church. Great changes took place not only in the Manson Lutheran Church, but also in the church at large; referring to the language question, a new system of church finances, etc.


1921 The 50th Anniversary of the congregation was celebrated.


September 1931 The 60th Anniversary of the congregation was celebrated. The Luther League placed bookracks on the pews and the Ladies Aid Society donated a Baptismal Font to the church.


June 1941 The 70th Anniversary was celebrated.


October 1946 The Peter Johnson family donated the Hammond organ.


August 1951 Augustana Lutheran Church celebrated its 80th Anniversary. A book with extensive pictures and history data was published.


May 1956 The 85th Anniversary of Augustana Lutheran Church was held with a worship service. The Ladies Aid served a dinner for all members and friends of Augustana.


1957-1958 The Ladies Aid and Women’s Missionary Society unified and became the Church Women. The Lutheran Brotherhood, now called the Church Men, erected a memorial in the old cemetery located 3 miles west and ½ mile north of the Augustana Church.


September 1961 The Augustana Lutheran Church of Manson was faced with the decision of either improving the current church building or make immediate plans for constructing an edifice that would care for the needs for both the present and the future. The founders of this congregation sacrificed so their offspring could have a place of worship. Certainly, this generation should want to provide for the future generations. A special congregational meeting was held to undertake a campaign for raising money for a new church.


October 1961 The 90th Anniversary of the congregation was celebrated.


February 1969 The annual meetings of Augustana and Skaraborg were held under the uncertainty concerning Skaraborg’s future. At the Skaraborg annual meeting, the congregation voted to close and 36 members joined Augustana.


July 1970 Ground-breaking ceremonies were held at the new church site, located at Highway N65 and the corner of 7th Avenue.


1971 – 1972 The Centennial Celebration was observed in various ways.


June 1971 The new building was dedicated and the cornerstone laid.


April 1979 The last payment on the new church building was made. This was celebrated during the worship service on May 6, 1979.


June 1979 A devastating tornado hit the town of Manson, killing three people. Augustana Lutheran Church was spared, but three churches in town were destroyed. The United Church of Christ was invited to share our building, the Mennonite Church shared St. Thomas Catholic Church, and the United Methodist Church shared St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.


July 1996 The 125h Anniversary Celebration slogan was “Thanksgiving for the Past, Faith for the Future, Christ Forever.”


1884 – 1890 Reverend A. M. Broleen, Pastor

1890 – 1893 Reverend C. J. Maxwell, Pastor

1894 – 1904 Reverend C. E. Olson, Pastor

1906 – 1909 Reverend Fred. W. Hanson, Pastor

1910 – 1917 Reverend J. A. Mattson, Pastor

1918 – 1927 Reverend F. William Hanson, Pastor

1927 – 1942 Reverend S. F. Hammarlof, Pastor

1943 – 1945 Reverend Carl E. Benander, Pastor

1946 – 1957 Reverend C. W. Almen, Pastor

1958 Reverend Oscar Berquist, Interim Pastor

1958 – 1962 Reverend Ralph E. Hanson, Pastor

1963 Reverend Emor Englund, Interim Pastor

1964 – 1981 Reverend Cranston R. Gesell, Pastor

1981 Reverend Donald Sondral, Interim Pastor

1981 – 1985 Reverend Gregg Davison, Pastor

1985 – 1992 Reverend Peggy Rose, Pastor

1992 Reverend Connie Spitzack, Interim Pastor

1992 – 2007 Reverend Ralph Egbert, Pastor

2008 Reverend Mahlon Bekedam, Interim Pastor

2008 – Present Reverend Janelle L. Siffring, Pastor


Shared Pastorates

1873 – 1876 Fort Dodge-Elfsborg-Manson

1884 – 1904 Elfsborg-Manson

1906 – 1969 Skaraborg-Augustana Manson


Synod Affiliations

1871 – 1964 Augustana Synod (Swedish)

1964 – 1987 Lutheran Church in America

1987 – Present Evangelical Lutheran Church in America