Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

History of the Scandinavian Free Mission Church

Alta, Buena Vista County, Iowa


The Scandinavian Free Mission church of Alta was organized on the 7th day of August, 1880.  Prior to the organization of the congregation services had been held in the homes of some of the families which affiliated with the church after organization, and in public places.  During the same year a church was built and dedicated that fall.  The first board of trustees and incorporators of the society include the names of A. P. Anderson, E. F. Christian, Martin Christianson and August Swanson.


The church was organized through the efforts of Christian Corneliussen, Alfred Kindwall and Joseph Sanderson, all three of whom had been members of the Lutheran church, but who had left the church in the movement which was quite extensive during that time, both in the United States and in Europe.


The church is organized with no creed but with absolute freedom in the worship of God.  All Scandinavian speaking people, Swedes, Danes and Norwegians, are among the members although the services are conducted in the main in the Swedish language.  At times the church has had a pastor, but for the main part of the time since its organization there has been a leader selected from the congregation who has had charge of the services.  Traveling exhorters also conduct services at stated intervals.


At the present time there are ten families counted in the membership of the church, with thirty communicants.  The official board at this time is as follows:  A. R. Anderson, president; Jacob Wegerslev, secretary and treasurer; and John Nelson, Nels Haar and August Peterson, board of trustees.


Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole.  "Alta." Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa.  Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 157.