Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

History of the First Baptist Church
The Danish Baptist Church
Newell, Buena Vista County, Iowa

The Danish Baptist church was organized October 1, 1884. Rev. Hans Nelson, the first pastor, organized the church with nine members, four of whom are still living in Newell.  The meetings were held in the old brick schoolhouse until about 1890, when they built their first church, a small frame building.  About 1903 this was remodeled and enlarged into the present building.  They also own a parsonage which was purchased three years ago.


Mr. Nels Christiansen was the first deacon of the church, and together with Mr. Paul Winther constitute the present deacons.  Other officers of the church are:  P. Christiansen, secretary, and N. L. Peterson, treasurer.


They have a large Sunday school with an enrollment of about one hundred, and a membership of over forty in the Young People's society, of which Will Frandson is president.  There is a Ladies Society with Mrs. N. Jensen as president and also a Young Ladies society, called "Farther Lights Society," of which Miss Bertha Kjarsgaard is president.


The membership of the church numbers one hundred and two.  Rev. L. Thompson is the present pastor.  The society is planning to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary in the fall of 1909.


Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole.  "Newell."  Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa.  Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 173.




The First Baptist Church in Newell was organized in 1884 as the "Newell Baptist Church" but was familiarly known to people in the area as the "Danish Baptist Church."  The congregation was mostly made up of Danish immigrants, and until 1925, services were conducted in Danish.  It was disbanded in 1969 because of a declining membership and difficulty in obtaining a permanent pastor.