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Est 1858

Writing the early history of the West UnionLutheran Church is similiar to writing the history of the early Swedish Settlers in the area.  The settlement was first called the Oscar Settlement around 1851 when the first Swedes arrived.  By 1854 the name was changed to the Union Settlement.

Peter Carlson had been going door to door in the area selling books and bibles as early as the fall of 1847.  In May of 1858 he was ordained in Chicago, came back to the Union Settlement and organized East Union and West Union Congregations.

In 1858 under the leadership of Mr C. A. Hedengran a meeting house church was erected at a cost of $252.50 and dedicated on August 13, 1858.  Seven years later more land was purchased at the site of West Union making a total of 20 acres.  In 1866 a new frame church was built there.

The first Sunday School classes were held in the homes of the parents in 1877.  A parsonage was built in 1866 at a cost of $1200.  And in 1904 the Luther League Hall was built.  The present pipe organ was installed in 1910.  It has been lovingly restored and is one of only a few remaining of it's type.  In 1921 the West Union Band was organized and a new band stand was dedicated in 1937 for their performances.  A fire destroyed the parsonage in 1943 and a new one was started that year.  However because of a shortage of materials during World War II it was not completed until May 25, 1947.  Almost 4 years later.  A new Parish Hall with a church office and education rooms in the basement was constructed in 1960.  The interior of the church was remodeled and rededicated in July 30, 1972.

For 45 yrs East and West Union shared a pastor.  In 1997 Pastor Krueger retired after serving the dual congregations for 27 yrs.  Relying on faith during this time of change the churches moved in the direction of once again dividing.  With strong faith and a commitment to their church family the congregation came together and completed a total renovation of the parsonage and proceeded to call a Pastor of their own.

Handicapp accessiblity became an issue and a fund was started to renovate the hall to allow access to the bathrooms located in the basement.  After years of struggling with the stairs in the hall built in 1960, it was moved off site and a new one-level hall was built in 2002(?).  Shortly after this project was complete inspections showed the foundation of the church itself to be severly decayed and rotting.  Another huge project was undertaken to totally rebuilt the church floor and install a solid foundation.  This was completed and celebrated on September 2005.

There have been a lot of changes over the last 150+ years.  Faces change, styles change, people change, but through all the ages our faith is in God who never changes.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ gave birth to this new pioneer church on these wilderness prairies.  The same God and Father has watched over and blessed this church for the past 150 years.  The challenge for the current and future members of West Union is to continue to be strong in faith, faithful to the traditions of the past and open to the Spirit of God as he leads us on the path ahead.



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