A Brief History

The Free Lutheran Church of Roseau History
(as recorded by Clara Johnson)

Thanks be to our loving God and Savior for His love, help and guidance through the years since our humble beginning.

A small group of faithful believers left the Moe Lutheran Church in 1966.  Erling Huglen was the pastor at that time.  They started meeting in homes to make plans for a new Church.  It was decided to purchase the Hetteen lot for $1,000; located on 2nd street N.E. in the Village of Roseau.  The German Lutheran Church was purchased for $2000 and it was moved by Otis Norman.  Extensive remodeling began and the first worship service was held August 28th, 1966, with a student pastor, Larry Severson, leading the service.  Larry served through 1967.

The first joint council meeting with Spruce, Norland and Rose was held Feb 3rd, 1967.  A Letter of Call was made to Pastor Edwin Kjos to serve our parish.  He accepted the call on July 1st, 1967.  He remained with us until June 1970.

June 11th, 1967, the parsonage was purchased in Karlstad, MN and moved to Roseau on the lot next to the church building.

These times were difficult for the struggling congregation. We started with nothing.  The Catholic Church in Roseau donated their old pews, and numerous fund raisers were held. We had a food stand at the fair – what work, but it kept us going.  In the fall we had a soup and bake sale in the city auditorium.

Seminarian Michael Brandt served our parish June 1970 to April 1971. In April of 1971, a Letter of Call was sent to Pastor Jerome Nikunen.  His ministry with us spanned some 10 years.  Our church mortgage was burned during a special service Jan 21st, 1973.  Pastor Herbert Franz was the guest speaker.

During this time, we had Jay Eberth as a seminary student helper the summer of 1977 and Martin Horne during the summer of 1981.

Pastor Larry Severson accepted a Letter of Call in 1981 to fill the vacancy created by Pastor Nikunen’s departure.  Brian Davidson, as a student helper, assisted during the summer of 1983.  Pastor Dan Giles and family assisted us the summer of 1984 until March of 1985.

Pastor Forrest Swenson was our assistant pastor during 1985 to 1988.

Striving for growth and evangelism, Roseau and Norland decided they would move forward with calling a new pastor.  Rose and Spruce would continue to be served by Pastor Larry Severson.  Roseau and Norland extended a Letter of Call to Pastor Rueben Unseth.  He accepted and served us from 1989 until 1994.

Construction on our present church building along Highway 11 east of Roseau began in 1992.  The theme for our church dedication was “Building for Eternity”.  On August 1, 1993, the Roseau Congregation held its Dedication Service.  It was a very special day for everyone.  Many of our former pastors were present.  To God we give all glory and praise for our many blessings.

Pastor Rodney Stueland served us from July 1995 to September 1999.

Pastor Roy Johnson served as pastor from July 2000 to November 2002.  June 11, 2002 was the big flood in Roseau.  Our church building provided a place for many people to stay during this tragic time.  Pews and tables were used for beds.  Congregation members and The Red Cross provided food.  We were thankful we could help people – what a blessing.

Pastor Wally Jackson ministered to us from June 2003 until his sudden death on February 25th, 2005.  Ron Bruebakken (Seminary student) filled in from May 31, 2005 until September 2005.  Pastor (Seminary intern) Dean Iverson served with us from January 2006 until July 2006.

….additional info coming…..