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Norway Lutheran Church holding summer service

By Staff | Jul 26, 2013

One time every summer, worshippers gather at Norway Lutheran Church near Denbigh to carry on a special tradition.

The church, which closed down in 1997, still holds two services a year, one in the summer and one at Christmas time.

The historic church will be holding its summer service on August 4 at 4 p.m. to be followed by an outdoor potluck supper.

Vera Nelson, the secretary/treasurer of the Norway Lutheran Church Trust, said the crowds are traditionally very good for the service.

“We usually have a very good turnout,” she said. “We have guest pastors from the area. We try to have different ones every year. That helps draw different crowds.”

Another draw of the service is the historic aspect of the church, which was built in 1907.

Early pioneer settlers established the church in 1884, building a wooden structure. But by 1907, the parish had outgrown the building and a new church was built out of Denbigh brick, provided by the Denbigh Brick Company.

“They hauled brick by horse and wagon and built the present-day church,” Nelson said.

Former parishioner Leonard Markusen will return to play the pump organ, which is over 100 years old.

“He’s a former member and former organist,” Nelson said. “He comes back every year and really enjoys it. We get to visit, too.”

The church still has its original fixtures and hasn’t needed any major renovations, a testament to the quality of the Denbigh brick.

Pastor Bonnie Weaver will perform the service this year. Weaver, who is the pastor at Cando and Bisbee churches, said the service is generally very traditional.

“I think the enthusiasm of the congregation in the area is very cool,” she said. “They’re very liturgical and old fashioned in what they want in a service and it kind of matches the history of the church.”

Weaver was asked to preside over the service after members of the church’s trust were in attendance at a wedding at the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot in the summer of 2012.

“They asked me right away so I’ve been planning it for months,” she said.

The church has been maintained by the 5-member Norway Lutheran Church Trust, which ran the church since its congregation grew too small to keep it open.

“We’ve been able to maintain by donations and memorials,” Nelson said.

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