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Scarville Lutheran Church

Scarville Lutheran Church History



Lime Creek Altar

1860 – The congregation at Lime Creek organized.


1869 - October 24 – The Lime Creek Congregation was incorporated and recorded.


1887 – The Rev. T. A. Torgerson served the people who lived 6-7 miles southwest of Lime Creek in the area later known as Scarville, Iowa, until this year.


1896 – Beginning at this time, services for the group were held at more regular intervals after the Rev. A. M. Torgerson became assistant pastor to his father in 1894.


1899 – Plat of the town of Scarville filed when a railroad was planned from Belle Plaine, IA, to Fox Lake, MN.


Immanuel Lutheran Church

1901 – Immanuel Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church was built in Scarville.


1906 – The Rev. T. A. Torgerson served Norwegian Lutheran churches throughout the region until his death in this year.


1907 - May 31 – Articles of Incorporation adopted for Immanuel Church.


1917 – The Merger of three Norwegian church bodies, the United Church, the Norwegian Synod, Hauge’s Synod into the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America.


Rev. Emil Hansen

1918 – The Norwegian Synod was reorganized at Lime Creek. A minority of the Immanuel Lutheran Church congregation formed the Scarville church [see Secretary Minutes]. Scarville Evangelical Lutheran Church was formally organized on July 18 with the Rev. Emil Hansen as pastor. The Constitution and Articles of Incorporation adopted on December 30.


1919 – Cornerstone of the church building was laid on April 27. New church dedicated to the worship and glory of the Triune God on October 26, by Pastor Bjug Harstad, president of the Norwegian Synod.




Rev. Justin A. Petersen

 1925 – The Rev. Emil Hansen took a call to Mayville, North Dakota. He was succeeded by the Rev. Justin A. Petersen who was installed on May 15. During the winter, the congregation purchased the C. L. Suby house (built in 1907) in Scarville to use for a parsonage.


1927 - fall – Congregation opened a Christian Day School. First teacher: Miss Laura Ingebritson.


1928 - July 1-2 – The congregation celebrated its tenth anniversary with the Rev. Emil Hansen preaching at the morning festival service.


1936 – It was decided to have an equal number of English and Norwegian services.


1942 – Christian Day School closed due to lack of children of school age. In May, Pastor Petersen resigned due to ill health.


1943 - June 20 – Pastor Petersen recalled and resumed his ministry.


Scarville 25th Anniversary1944, March 30 – The twenty-fifth anniversary was held, with special festivities in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The parsonage was re-shingled.


1947 – The church was re-shingled.


1948 - October 10 – Special service held commemorating extensive remodeling of the church.


Rev. Theodore A. Aaberg

1949 – In the spring, an electric organ was purchased and dedicated by Prof. Alfred Fremder of Bethany Lutheran College. Pastor Petersen resigned on June 26. He was succeeded by the Rev. Theodore A. Aaberg the same summer. A bell, manufactured in Norway, was donated by T. S. Brustad and installed during the winter.




1950s – The Dorcas Society was formed. The Scarville LYS began joint meetings with the Center LYS.


1951 – The parsonage was extensively remodeled.


After 100 Years

1953 – The thirty-fifth anniversary was celebrated on October 18 with the Rev. Justin A. Petersen preaching the sermon. After One Hundred Years published featuring the churches of the ELS.


1954 – Church grounds landscaped.


1956 – A new front entrance was built. Water was brought to the church from a new well owned jointly with other residents in Scarville. Rest rooms were placed in the church basement in space formerly used for an entrance. A mother’s room was made upstairs.


1958 – In the fall the congregation reopened its Christian Day School. The cemetery was enlarged by the gift of additional land by the Dale estate.


1964 – New parking lot paved on the north side of the church.


1965 - An automatic fire alarm system was installed throughout the building in order to meet requirements of the State Fire Marshal’s office for the Day School. Parking curbs were installed.


1967 – A new hot water heating system was installed. The kitchen was extensively remodeled. The church basement was redecorated.

Scarville stained-glass


1968 – New stained-glass windows were installed in the church. Church aisle was carpeted by the Ladies Aid. Sidewalks outside the church were installed by the Lutheran Youth Society (LYS) under direction of Bert A. Songstad.  Rev. Milton OttoThe fiftieth anniversary was celebrated on July 7. Pastor Aaberg accepted the call to the Norseland-Norwegian Grove parish near St. Peter, Minnesota, in August. The Rev. Milton Otto served as interim pastor.




Rev. Paul Haugen

1970 – The Rev. Paul Haugen was installed at the Scarville-Center parish. New Conn organ purchased for the church.


1971 – The church was re-shingled.


1972 - September 17 – Rules and Regulations adopted for Scarville Lutheran Cemetery.


1973 – Signe Gran resigned as church organist after 26-27 years.


1974 – The parsonage roof was re-shingled by Scarville member Bert Songstad. It was decided to try individual cups for communion while continuing to use the common cup.


Rev. Carl Wosje

1976 – New pastor’s study was built. Addition to the basement made.


1977 – Pastor Haugen took a call to Belview, Minnesota. He was succeeded by the Rev. Carl Wosje who was installed on May 8. The northwest porch of the parsonage was made into a laundry room. Concrete was poured for the east porch.


Rev. John S. Dukleth

1981 – Pastor Wosje took a call to Port Orchard, Washington. Insulation blown into the church attic.


1982 – Steel siding was put on the parsonage and other repairs accomplished.


1983 – The Rev. John S. Dukleth was ordained and installed at the Scarville-Center parish on July 8. Plexiglas installed on all stained-glass windows.


1984 – A Minolta copier machine with metal stand was purchased by both Scarville and Center Churches. A new air conditioner for pastor's study was donated by Arnold Faugstad, and Dale Helgeland agreed to repaint the entire church exterior, including the study and block foundation.


1985 – Slab of concrete poured for basketball court.


1986 – New pews purchased for the church along with new carpet for the entire upstairs, entry, and baby room. Twelve casement windows under the stained-glass windows replaced and the outside walls were insulated and re-paneled four feet below the new windows by Karl Bloedel Construction.




1987 – Suspended ceiling and new lighting installed in the main basement through a gift from Selmer Brustad. A new outdoor announcement board was given in memory of Agnes Songstad from the Songstad family. New playground equipment added.


1988 – New furnace purchased for the church.


Rev. Daniel A. Basel

1989 – Pastor Dukleth took a call to Luverne, Minnesota. He was succeeded by the Rev. Daniel A. Basel who was ordained and installed at the Scarville-Center parish on July 9.


1990 – 3' x 160' sidewalk poured in front of church. Basement windows were replaced by Karl Bloedel Construction and insulation added to exterior of church. Scarville-Center church directory published.


1991 – Laminated steel siding added to the church, church re-shingled, and steeple repair done by Karl Bloedel Construction. Toshiba copier purchased.


Rev. Thomas L. Rank

1992 – Pastor Basel took a call to Deschler, Ohio.


1993 – The Rev. Thomas L. Rank was installed at Center. The seventy-fifth anniversary of Scarville Synod Lutheran Church was celebrated on August 15.

Scarville 75th Anniversary


1994 – Dagne Aadsen honored for 27 years as organist. Cornerstone emptied due to prior damage of documents.


1996 – Eighty new Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary books received replacing the old Norwegian Lutheran Hymnary published in 1913. New organ purchased for the church. Four new windows installed in parsonage, flooring replaced, and cabinet added.


1997 – Dewey Kruger speakers purchased for the new organ.


Scarville new school building

1998 - New school building was attached to the south wing of the Scarville Lutheran Church. Tornado in the outskirts of Scarville caused some damage to the church.


1999 – All-School Reunion held at the new school. New copier machine purchased.




2001 – Former Scarville member Signe Olson donated approximately one acre of land west of the church for the church and school.


2002 – Scarville-Center church directory published. New well drilled for the church and school. Landscaping done to new section of land. The Bethany Lutheran College Choir gave a concert on May 25.


2004 – Pastor’s office remodeled with the addition of new windows, carpet, shelving, and light fixtures.


2005 – New desk and cupboards built in the sacristy. In the spring, Scarville-Center Lutheran Church website posted on the Internet.


2016 basement remodelled by Karl Bloedel Construction.


2007 – Kitchen completely remodeled.