St. Paul Church kicks off sesquicentennial year

St. Paul Lutheran Church, located approximately 12 miles east of Vermillion at 31903 475th Ave., will kick off the year leading up to its Sesquicentennial Celebration during the worship service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 8. This service also will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the dedication of the current St. Paul Church building and its pipe organ.

The service will be conducted by the Rev. Tim Thies, interim pastor of St. Paul, and will include portions of the dedication service conducted on July 9, 1922.

A luncheon featuring homemade breads, a meat and cheese tray, a variety of salads and homemade pie and ice cream will follow the service.

Theme for the Sesquicentennial Celebration is "Forward in Faith." The Bible verse selected for the celebration is Psalm 122:1, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the House of the Lord!'"

The 150th anniversary celebration is scheduled for July 20 and 21, 2013.

A souvenir ornament commemorating the sesquicentennial features the exterior of St. Paul Church. The ornament is available for purchase at the church or by sending a letter to the 150th Anniversary Committee, c/o St. Paul Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 370, Elk Point, SD 57025. The cost is $12 each plus postage.

Dr. H.G. Stub of Minneapolis, MN, president of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, officiated at the dedication service in July 1922. He was assisted by the Rev. N. Boe, of Sioux Falls, district president. The Rev. A.J. Bergsaker was the pastor of St. Paul Church at that time.

Professor Henrik Gunnersen of Minneapolis presented a pipe organ concert during the three-day celebration of the dedication of both the church and the organ. The cost of the church was $85,000; the cost of the organ was $5,000.

St. Paul Church, the first Lutheran church in the Dakota Territory, was organized in August of 1863.

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