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Manuscripts by Subject - Religion - #10285

Title: Western North Dakota District of the American Lutheran Church

Collection Number: 10285

Dates: 1938-1982

Quantity: 1.5 feet

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.

Abstract: The 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.

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. Convention Reports and a catalog for the Dakota Lutheran Academy were transferred to publications.

Related Collection: 
MSS 10445 Eastern North Dakota District of the ALC Records


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 fullness 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.

MSS 10285 Western North Dakota District of the ALC Records
MSS 10445 Eastern North Dakota District of the ALC Records
Reishus, Martha. Steeples Rise on the Prairie, 1959.



Box 1:
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

Annual Reports

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

Subject Files

Box 2:
1 Dakota Lutheran Academy 1963-1966
2 "Decade of Heritage", O. L. Orvedal 1950-1960
3 Executive Committee 1965-1969
4 Executive Committee 1974
5 Parish Education Committee 1961-1973
6 Planning Committee 1959-1960

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