Title: Western North Dakota District of the American Lutheran Church Records
Collection Number: Mss 10285
Quantity: 1.5 ft.
Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Western North Dakota District of the American Lutheran Church Records as a gift from the District Council on September 17, 1982. This collection was processed and the inventory prepared by Karen Mund, Grace Wanttaja, and Kari Rombs Kohlhoff in October 1988.
Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: The District Council has dedicated such copyrights as it possesses in this collection to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the researcher.
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.
Transfer: Two black and white photos of the 1969 Minot Flood were transferred to the Photo Archives.
Related Material: Eastern North Dakota District of the ALC Records, 30 ft., 1916-1984, Mss 10445.
Merger plans of the American Lutheran Church (ALC), Evangelical Lutheran Church, and United Evangelical Lutheran Church began prior to 1950 and were finalized in 1960 when the three merged into the American Lutheran Church. The Dakota District of pre-merger ALC, to which North Dakota belonged, was officially closed on December 31, 1960 and two districts were formed, Eastern and Western.
The planning committee of the Western North Dakota District of the ALC met in 1959 and 1960 to make recommendations for the budgets and operational procedures of new districts. St. John's Lutheran Church of Dickinson, North Dakota, hosted the constituting convention of the Western District on June 26-27, 1960. The constitution, as it appeared in the Handbook of the American Lutheran Church, 1960 edition, pages 101-111, was adopted.
The Western District was divided into four conferences, Bismarck, Minot, Williston, and Bottineau; the area covered all counties west of Jamestown including Bottineau, McHenry, Sheridan, Kidder, Logan, and McIntosh. Later a rearrangement changed the conferences to: Williston, Western Prairie, Dickinson, Souris River, and Bismarck. The purpose of the Western District, as stated in its constitution, was to be a working unit of the American Lutheran Church and a fellowship of congregations to which the Gospel of Reconciliation had been given. The Western District dedicated itself to bearing witness to the Christian faith in fulness and purity, and extending that faith.
The first convention of the Western District was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, June 12-14, 1961. Rev. Elmo Agrimson, Bismarck, was president; Rev. John Kammer, Beulah, vice-president; Rev. Peter C. Hinrichs, Dickinson, secretary; and George Johnson, Minot, treasurer. The Western District in 1961 had 67,729 baptized members, 44,152 confirmed members, and 107 parish pastors. By 1982, baptized membership was 69,965, confirmed 52,995, and there were 130 parish pastors. Service programs and charities continued by the Western District included Bible camps, campus ministry, Oak Grove High School, Dakota Academy, Luther League, Lutheran Social Service, Home of Mercy, Svee Home, seminaries, nursing homes, resource centers, and Charles Hall Home.
The Western North Dakota District provided inspiration and leadership for its member congregations in accomplishing the work assigned to them. The Western District also served as a segment of the American Lutheran Church for the purpose of planning, promoting and executing the program work of the church.
Sources: Eastern North Dakota District of the ALC Records, 1916-1984, 30 ft., Mss 10445.
Reishus, Martha. Steeples Rise on the Prairie, 1959.
Western North Dakota District of the ALC Records, 1938-1982, 1 ½ ft., Mss 10285.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Western North Dakota District of the ALC Records date from 1938-1982. This collection documents the administration of the Western District in the merger of congregations, boundary divisions, pastoral assignments, annual conventions, and involvement with social and religious issues. The Records of the Western District are organized into: minutes, 1938-1970, 19 folders; annual reports, 1962-1975, 9 folders; convention reports, 1970-1982, 11 folders; and subject files, 1950-1974, 6 folders.
Minutes for the Western North Dakota District date from 1938 to 1970 and measure 19 folders. Minutes included are executive, constituting, council, and convention. The minutes are arranged chronologically.
Annual reports date from 1962 to 1975 and measure 9 folders. The files consist of reports by or concerning district president's, nominating committee, treasurers,
Brotherhood, American Lutheran Church Women, Luther Welfare Society, youth committee, stewardship, and conventions. Arrangement of the annual reports is chronological.
Convention reports date from 1970 to 1982 and measure 11 folders. Included in the convention reports are correspondence, clippings, District records, a proposed budget, District committee calls, a church and pastor roster, and resolutions. Subjects of interest include communications and mission support, service and mission in America, media staff involvement, and election of officers. The convention reports are arranged chronologically.
Subject files date from 1950 to 1974 and measure 6 folders. Four folders contain committee files: executive, parish education, and planning. "A Decade of Heritage" by O. Leonard Orvedal gives statistics on the American Lutheran Church from 1950-1960. The Dakota Lutheran Academy file consists of correspondence and legal documents pertaining to its liquidation. Arrangement of the subject files is alphabetical by keyword.
1. Minutes 1938-1939
2. Minutes 1940-1942
3. Minutes 1944-1946
4. Minutes 1947-1948
5. Minutes 1950-1952
6. Minutes 1953-1954
7. Minutes 1956-1957
8. Minutes 1958-1959
9. Minutes, Constituting Convention 1958-1960
10. Minutes, Constituting Convention 1958-1960
11. Minutes, Constituting Convention 1960-1962
12. Minutes, Council 1969-1973
13. Minutes, Council 1971-1973
14. Minutes, Council 1973-1974
15. Minutes, Council 1974-1977
16. Minutes, Council 1978-1980
17. Minutes, Executive 1960-1964
18. Minutes, Executive 1963-1966
19. Minutes, Executive 1967-1970
20. Annual Report 1962
21. Annual Report 1964
22. Annual Report 1966-1967
23. Annual Report 1968-1969
24. Annual Report 1970
25. Annual Report 1971
26. Annual Report 1972
27. Annual Report 1973
28. Annual Report 1975
1. Convention Report 1970
2. Convention Report 1971
3. Convention Report 1972
4. Convention Report 1973
5. Convention Report 1976
6. Convention Report 1977
7. Convention Report 1978
8. Convention Report 1979
9. Convention Report 1980
10. Convention Report 1981
11. Convention Report 1982
12. Dakota Lutheran Academy 1965-1966
13. "Decade of Heritage", O. L. Orvedal 1950-1960
14. Executive Committee 1965-1969
15. Executive Committee 1974
16. Parish Education Committee 1961-1973
17. Planning Committee 1959-1960
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