NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID
RG4417.AM: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (Swedeburg, Neb.)
Swedeburg, Saunders County, Neb.: Lutheran church
Size: 1 reel of microfilm
The origins of the town of Swedeburg and this church developed through the work of Pastor S.G. Larson who, in 1869, was instrumental in getting Swedish immigrants to settle in Saunders County. The towns of Swedeburg, Mead, and Malmo formed soon after. In the beginning, the residents met in their homes on Sundays for worship services and Sunday School. Rev. Larson served as pastor for these three communities traveling from Mead to Malmo to Swedeburg to conduct services.
On April 22, 1870, at the home of Olaf Olson, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Swedeburg Congregation was organized. Services were still conducted in members’ homes until 1873 when the first church was completed at a cost of $400.00. In 1876 the Waldenstrom Movement which was a doctrinal dispute originating in Sweden reached Swedeburg and caused a split in the congregation. As a result, about half of the membership formed the covenant church. Similar splits occurred elsewhere in Saunders County. Despite this schism, the church continued to grow. By 1879 a second church was built which was more spacious and ornate. In 1889 the present parsonage was built at cost of $3,000.
By 1915 a decision had been reached to split this congregation geographically. New churches were built at Ceresco and Swedeburg. The latter was completed in 1916 at a cost of $20,000. In 1940 the official name of the congregation was changed to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Also, the Augustana Constitution was adopted that year. In 1963 the congregation became part of the Lutheran Church of America and adopted its constitution.
In 1970 Grace Lutheran Church celebrated its one hundredth anniversary.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
This collection consists of one reel of microfilm containing records of the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Swedeburg, Nebraska, arranged in two series: 1) Church Records, 1870-1956 and undated; and 2) Printed Matter, 1895-1970.
Series 1 is composed of two volumes and three folders. Volume 1 is a Record of Ministerial Acts such as baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc. Volume 2 is a church register which contains each member’s name and baptism. Folders 1-3 contain incomplete records of church transfers, financial statements, and miscellany. Portions of this series are in Swedish. Series 2 consists of one folder of printed matter. Of particular interest is a booklet commemorating the church’s centennial anniversary.
This collection was loaned for microfilming on May 5, 1978.
Series 1 – Church records, 1870-1956, n.d.
- Records of Ministerial Acts, 1886-1936
- Church Register, 1870-1943
- Church Transfers, 1887-1956, n.d.
- Financial Statements, 1917-1919, 1924 and 1926
Series 2 – Printed Matter, 1895-1970
- Church 40th Anniversary Booklet, 1910 (In Swedish)
Church Centennial Booklet, 1970
Thanksgiving Service Program, 1920
Weekly Church Bulletin, 1948
Church Certificates, 1895 and 1899
Evangelical Church in Nebraska
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nebraska
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church (Swedeburg, Neb.)
Lutheran Church in Nebraska
Saunders County (Neb.) — Churches
Scandinavians in Nebraska
Swedeburg (Neb.) — Churches
Swedes in Nebraska
Revised 07-20-2009 TMM