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)
February. I have a complete Norvegian costume and have had the honor to pray the Norwegian table prayer at each table before the meal. I love to speak the Norwegian language when possible. The original Building Committee that was appointed in 1942, had dwindled down to three. Some resigned for personal reasons, some became disinterested, and some left for physical reasons. According to my Secretary records, in March 1960 the Church Council appointed a new Building Committee consisting of Allan Jones, Loris Roed, Chester Alaxson, William Larson and Melvin J. Johnson. Allan Jones was elected President and Melvin J. Johnson was elected Secretary. On March 31, 1960, the Congregation appointed three additional members to the Building Committee -- John L. Malchine, George Vogel, and George Delikat. In the fall of 1962 the Congregation voted to call V. Truman Jordahl as our interim pastor. "me onies".. . We were in the midst of planning for our new church when Pastor Paulson at Sunday Church -seice told me he .wished to talk to me. It seemed that we were both busy. He set the time for 8:00 a.m. on Friday. January 11, at his office in the church. I made preparations to be there on time. As I was about to leave my home, I got a telephone call from Esther Clausen, a member of our congregation. She told me to be prepared for a shock, as her husband Roland was on a rescue call to Norway parsonage. Pastor Paulson had left his house to go about 200 feet to his mail box to put some mail in. On returning back to his house (the weather was about 10 degrees below 0), he got a massive heart attack and died instantly. "Memories"... You would like to forget, but you never will. Life must go on. The Building Committee and the Congregation were just in the process of going forvard to build the final stage of our project -- the Church, the house of worship, where our beloved Pastor Paulson would preach the first sermon from its pulpit. The Lord saw it differently. He took him unto himself. As a result, I believe there became a greater determination to go forward to build as Pastor wanted it, such as we have it today. Many congregational meetings were held to determine where to build the church and what type of design. There were many different opinions that came forth, and that was good. It is always good that every individual has a chance to express their opinion. Some felt a modern church separate from the Unit on the Massman property would be ideal. Others felt we should remain with the original plan with the church attached. Votes were taken and finally the original attached plan prevailed. According to my Secretary records dated January 20, 1962, Eugene Gunderson made a motion to have new plans made for attaching the Gothic Church. It was seconded by William Larson. Results of the ballot were 103 yes and 54 no. At the same meeting, a motion was made by Melvin J. Johnson that the architect be instructed to draw plans for a Gothic church attached to the present unit at floor level, less offices and with an alternate to remove all ground from under the church for possible future use. My memory is so clear of what happened that day that I feel credit must be given to those that deserve it. After I completed my motion and explained the need to excavate the ground from under the church, a Mrs. Amanda (John) Stalbaum (Bless her memory as she is not with us any more.), addressed the Congregation. She stated, "Melvin is right. I understand all our 12 Sunday School rooms are in use. It won't be long before we will be looking for additional rooms." The vote was 103 yes, 15 no. On June 3, 1963 the Building Committee instructed the architect to draw plans and prepare specifications with alternates as approved by the Congregation. Advertising for bids was to be placed in Western Builder and Dodge .Reports, and local newspaper. Bids were opened on July 10, 1963 in the fellowship hall. Bids were opened and read aloud by the Secretary. Low bidder for general contract was Magill and Welkos of Elkorn at $141,000. The electrical low bid by Bakke Electric Co. was $11,450. The low bid for plumbing and heating was Steinke Hardware of Waterford at $16,338. As soon as all contracts were signed, bonds approved and all legal work cared for, construction was to start. -7-
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