Zion-Sarpsborg celebrates 100 years [UPDATED]Published 10:52am Friday, August 5, 2011 Updated 10:52am Friday, August 5, 2011
Celebrating 100 years is much more than remembering the past, said the Rev. Mark Johnson. On Sunday he and members of the congregation, past and present, will celebrate the centennial of Zion-Sarpsborg Lutheran Church in Dalton.
“This is a time to look back and reflect, but also a time to see what God has in store for the future,” said Johnson.
In 1909, Dalton residents felt that the town needed a house of worship where all the people of different religious affiliations, might gather to worship. State Sen. Ole Sageng was appointed to draw up a constitution and another committee was formed to begin raising funds.
The Society realized that no effective work could be accomplished without a house of worship. In 1911, a board of directors was elected, and plans were begun to build a church building. Construction began in 1911 and the building was completed and dedicated in 1915.
In 1934 the Society was changed to Zion Lutheran Church and in 1937 joined with Kvam, Sarpsborg and Tordenskjold congregations, with the Lutheran Free Church. Zion has been affiliated with the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations since 1963.
After fire destroyed Sarpsborg Church in 1986, members of that congregation formally joined Zion, in 1989, and the name was changed to Zion-Sarpsborg Free Lutheran Church.
Zion-Sarpsborg’s 100th anniversary celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday with the morning worship service, followed by a noon meal.
The celebration service begins at 1 p.m. The Rev. Richard Gunderson, assistant to the AFLC president, will be the guest speaker. There will be greetings from former pastors, and special music from former and present members, including the Narrow Road Rejoicers.
An anniversary book which includes the history of both Zion and Sarpsborg will be available. Proceeds from book sales will go to missions.
“We want to keep being a light of Christ for this area,” said Johnson who is assisted by Associate Pastor Brett Boe.
Johnson’s father, Wendell, served as pastor at Zion-Sarpsborg from 1969 to 1976. The family moved to the Twin Cities area where Johnson graduated from high school. He has served as pastor at the church in Dalton since 2005. Boe, who joined Zion- Sarpsborg as associate pastor a year ago, is a native of Illinois.
The theme at the church this year is “Founded on Christ, Forward in faith.”
You are invited to come and be a part of this special day, Sunday, at Zion-Sarpsborg. If you have questions, you can call 218-589-8909.