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Johnson, Melvin J. / Remembrances from a life membership, 1903-1993, at Norway Luthern Church

Remembrances. . . from a life membership 1903-1993 at Norway Lutheran Church,   pp. 1-9 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 5

for future members. He then was ready to move on. I told him, "I applaud
you for your attitude, Pastor, but
Norway is different."
Throughout our visit that afternoon I told him that he impressed me as a
man that wants a challenge. I related to
him the geographical location of our church area. I told him about the Town
of Norway with its beautiful lakes
and surroundings, the people who were constantly moving out of the city for
country living. "Norway
Congregation would forever move forward if we get proper leadership,"
I told him, "The only way you can leave
Norway is to retire as the work for the Lord will never get done at Norway."
I encouraged him to accept the
challenge, and they returned back to Iowa that night. I do not have the dates,
but some time later on a Sunday
afternoon, about 2:00 p.m., I received a telephone call from the Burlington
telegraph office addressed to the
Norway and Vernon Congregations stating that the Rev. Charles T. Paulson
will accept the call to be their Pastor.
Memories, Memories, what a day of rejoicing! Our prayers had been answered.
I telephoned our District President
the following Monday morning after Rev. Paulson had accepted our call. I
asked him if he knew Rev. Paulson and
he said that he did. I told him that he had accepted our call to be Pastor
for our congregations. He told me that
Pastor Paulson was not his choice, but that he would make us a good pastor.
Rev. Paulson was installed at
Norway as its pastor on September 4, 1949.
Rev. Paulson had a wonderful personality for meeting people, and was a man
with a lot of ambition and
determination. His ambition to go forward for the Lord's work and his dynamic
sermons caused the church to be
filled to capacity. The Sunday School was also filled to capacity.
Thte Bulding Cnpim t*oa thr tf r Arnn Anirina R  lnhrpnlinictr-,nt Wnrwnv
waq rerganized on
November 28, 1949. There was no question but to build. Where to build and
what type of church to build were the
questions. Many congregational meetings were held as to site, type, and size
of the building.
The land the church and fellowship hall now stand on was owned by Severt
Johnson. He told us if we wanted to
I.uil -A __ 1 "#
Ui Le1ftiS Land, he would give us the land. Mr. and Mrs. Massmi-an owned
Uth corner lot where h ' U.U, w
lived. The Congregation later purchased this property from Massman's, moved
the house to another location, and
annexed the land to the church property. On January 7, 1952 a final decision
was made to build on the Severt
Johnson property. The next project was to find out the type of church building
would be practical for a 100-year
old congregation.
After a lot of traveling and consulting with several architects, a church
building was found on the north side of
Milwaukee that we all agreed would adapt itself to Norway. We found out that
the architect of the building was
Edgar A. Steubenrach of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. As Secretary of the Building
Committee, I contacted him and
asked him to meet with our Committee and submit plans and various designs
of churches he had built. Mr.
Steubenrach agreed to meet with us and presented various plans. A plan we
agreed upon was a fellowship hall
with Sunday School rooms and church attached. He gave us an estimated cost
of around $400,000. Although the
Congregation had already $40,000 in its building fund treasury, we didn't
want to create that large of a debt on the
An agreement between the Building Comnmittee and architect was to leave the
plans intact for the church and
educational unit. However, at this time he should only draw plans and specifications
for the educational unit.
When this project was completed and paid for, we would build the church.
Louis Axlelson made a motion to have
a Congregational meeting November 2, 1952 give final approval of the plans,
accept bids and award contracts.
This would give us Sunday School rooms, and the fellowship hall could temporarily
be used for church service.
The archfitect prepared plans and specifications for any and all bidders.
Bids were advertised in Western Buil~der,
Dodge Reports and the local papers. Bids were opened on October 31, 1952,
and read aloud by the Secretary of the
Building Committee: Four bids for the general contract w~ith low bidder Cecil
Mehring of Waterford at
$134,736.89. Five bids for electrical contract with low bidder Bakke Electric
Co. of Waterford at $11,373.00.
Two bids for plumbing with low bidder Reinemann_ of Burlington at $11,079.00.
Six bids for heating with the low
bidder Bon Heating Co. of Milwaukee at $9,765.00. All alternates were cared
for between the architect and the
Building Committee.

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