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)
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 Congregation. 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. -5-
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