Mona Lutheran Centennial August 14, 15

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Thursday, August 12, 1976
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Mona Lutheran Centennial August 14, 15

Our Savior's Lutheran congregation at Mona is observing its Centennial August 14, 15. It was organized September 29, 1876 in Mona's first schoolhouse. It has been an independent congregation prior to that of the St. Ansgar Norwegian Lutheran church from 1853 to 1859, then from 1859 part of the Six Mile Grove congregation.

The first pastors at Mona were the Rev. C.L. Clausen, who brought Lutheranism to this area; the Rev. J. Olsen and the Rev. B.B Gjeldaker up until and through 1881.

The pioneer organizers of the congregation were Pete Knutson, Ole Peterson, Martin Hanson, Knut Strand, O. Hofland, B. Bottum, P. K. Everson, I. K. Everson, T. Reirson, H. Lysaker and Gustav Carlson. Of these early pioneers there is only one direct descendant still a member of the Mona congregation and he is Raymond Carlson. His wife, Verdie is secretary of the Centennial committee who wrote the Centennial history book with the help of her committee.

When these pioneers saw the need of a house of worship they purchased land in the southwest part of Mona from J. P. and Mary Farley for one dollar. The trustees were P. K. Everson, M. Peterson and M. O. Olson. However, their deed wasn't recorded until 1884 at the Mitchell County Courthouse.

In 1882 they erected their present 94-year old church at a cost of $5,000 while the Rev. Muller Eggen was pastor. He served the congregation from 1882 to 1905.

Sixteen pastors have served the congregation through the years (100). Pastors since 1905 have been P. A. Dietrickson, N.N. Esser, A. Elmer Moe, G. Storoasli, C.S. Vang, O. M. Langehough (who served there for 19 years), T. G. Torvik, Stanley V. Gjervik, S. O. Stenson, Stanley Klemesrud, Einar Unseth and the present pastor is the Rev. Gaylord Grant since 1975.

The only son of the congregation to be ordained as pastor at Mona was the Rev. Odean Tieman on June 15, 1941. He died in May, 1976.

A daughter of the congregation, Dorothy Bonnallie, was commissioned as missionary in July 1955 and served in Japan.

In 1910 38 families withdrew from Mona and organized Our Savior's church in Lyle, and in 1951 a new constitution was adopted jointly by the Mona, Our Savior's and Six Mile Grove and were known as Trinity Lutheran Parish all served by the same pastor.

A ladies mission society was organized at the home of Mrs. Jacob Jensen in Lyle October 1, 1871. First officers were: President, Mrs. Maria Hanson; secretary, Mrs. Stena Myhre; treasurer, Mrs. Caroline Osmunson, setting their dues at 10 cents, and lunches in those days were bread and butter, head cheese, sauces, rollapulsa, cake and cookies. They voted in 1884 to have both a mission and a church fund and began working towards purchasing a church bell and a dinner was held to raise funds. This same bell is calling worshipers to weekly services. Many worthwhile projects have been accomplished by the ladles society both abroad and locally. As early as 1879 they sent money to Madagascar to free a slave child. In 1898 their whole years collection was given towards St. Olaf hospital in Austin, Minn, and later they furnished one room at the hospital.

Main concern of the ALCW as it is now known, is its work towards missions and it also helps in the upkeep of church building. This faithful group In the past five years has spent many hours making over 500 quilts which have been given to World Relief and other causes.

Their present officers are: President, Mrs. Raymond Carlson; vice president, Mrs. Rhoda Schroeder; secretary, Mrs. LuVern Roberts; church treasurer, Mrs. Almo Jahr; mission treasurer, Mrs. Leland Haugen; stewardship secretary, Mrs. LeRoy Johnson; education secretary, Mrs. Wayne Hanson.

They also have a Sunday school which was organized back In 1877 with Ole Peterson the first superintendent. Gladys Steene took over the position in 1921 and served until 1930 and then again from 1940 to 1960. Helen Nelson took over then and has been the superintendent since. Teachers are Mmes. Raymond Carlson, Wayne Fossey, Wayne Hanson, Loren Meyer, Beverly Monniere, and Helen Nelson. They also have an active Parish Luther League which was organized In 1946 by the Rev. J. Torvik and their present officers are: President, Marilyn Jahr; vice president, Monica Johnson. Advisors are Mr. and Mrs. Loren Meyer. They sponsor Easter breakfasts, sent money to establish a chapel in Mexico, funds to purchase a pastor's car in Japan and presently sponsor an 11 year old boy in the Philippines which is a combined Trinity Parish L.L. project.

There is an active Brotherhood which meets monthly. Activities include serving the Mother-Daughter banquets and annual summer church picnic and outdoor service in the park, oyster stews, an active dartball team, and it also assists in the sponsorship of young people in Bible camp.

Before the church acquired an organ, B. Hanson was the song leader. He served as "Klokker", who led the congregation singing with a runing fork. The first pianist was Millie Tufton and during these 100 years they have had 15 organists. Present organist is Lianna Jahr and Nancy Jahr is assistant. Serving the longest as organist was the late Mrs. Irene Larson for 27 years. They also have had a mixed choir for many years and the present director is Michael Coyle.

A total of 750 have been confirmed at Mona and the first class was in 1884, five boys and ten girls by the Rev. J, Muller Eggen and the first class walked to St. Ansgar for their instructions. The first church cemetery land east of Otranto known as Oak Lane was purchased from Jurgine Rustad for $1. Later land was purchased south of Mona from William Calne for $400. It was plotted in 1894 and is known as the Pleasant Hill cemetery.

Twenty nine young men of the congregation served their country in World War I and all returned safely except Elmer Hofland.

The early mission festivals were something that meant a big full day with the huge crowds coming from area churches for the forenoon and afternoon services and the dinners served by the ladies of church.

During the Rev. Stanley Klemesrud's pastorate, the congregation voted in 1960 to help sponsor a missionary, Del Rumme In Japan, who has served for 15 years.

The present council members are chairman, Almo Jahr; financial secretary, Rudy Haugland (who has held this office for over 25 years); and trustees, LeRoy Johnson and John Haugen; deacons, Norris Anderson and Odell Haugen.

The Centennial committee which has worked so diligently in making preparations for this occasion are: Raymond Carlson, chairman; Mrs. Raymond Carlson, secretary; Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Golberg and Mr. and Mrs. Odell Haugen, and the Rev. Gaylord Grant.

The congregation extends a welcome and hope you find it possible to come and enjoy its Centennial festivities with them.

The Rev. Gaylord Grant family
Present pastor of the Mona Lutheran church is the Rev. Gaylord Grant. He is pictured here with his family. Back row left to right: Michael, Daniel, David and his wife, Debbie. Front row: Tom, Mrs. Gloria Grant, Rev. Gaylord Grant and Tim

Mona Lutheran Church Council
Pictured here are the present members of the Mona Lutheran church council. Back row left to right: Leroy Johnson, Norris Anderson, John Haugen and Odell Haugen. Front row: Almo Jahr and Rudy Haugland.

Centennial Committee Of Mona Lutheran
Mona Lutheran church Centennial committee members are pictured here. Back row left to right: Raymond Carlson, chairman; Odell Haugen, treasurer; Harvey Golberg and the Rev. G. Grant. Front row: Mrs. Raymond Carlson, secretary, who wrote the history for the Centennial book; Mrs. Odell Haugen and Mrs. Harvey Golberg.

Mona Lutheran Sunday School Teachers
Sunday school teachers at Mona Lutheran church at the present time are shown here as follows: Back row left to right: Mrs. Raymond Carlson, Mrs. Wayne Fossey, Mrs. Wayne Hanson and Mrs. Loren Meyer. Front row: Helen Nelson and Mrs. Beverly Monniere.

ALCW Officers Of Mona Lutheran
Pictured here are ALCW officers of Mona Lutheran church Back row left to right: Mrs. Leland Haugen, Mrs. Wayne Hanson, Mrs. Almo Jahr and Mrs. Leroy Johnson. Front row: Mrs. Raymond Carlson, Mrs. Rhoda Schroeder and Mrs. LuVerne Roberts.

Members Of Mona Lutheran Church Choir
Mona Lutheran church choir members are as follows: Front row left to right Gloria Hanson, Mrs. Loren Meyer, Linda Johnson, Nancy Jahr and Mrs. Raymond Carlson. Second row left to right Paul Hanson, Scott Meyer, Mrs. Wayne Hanson, Marilyn Jahr, Mrs. Gaylord Grant and Mrs. Algie Slindee. Back row left to right: Tom Grant, Lowell Meyer, Tim Grant, Almo Jahr and Loren Meyer.
(All photos by Harlis Anderson)

Organist At Mona Lutheran Church
Lianna Jahr is organist of the Mona Lutheran church, and is shown here at the church organ.