Mission Covenant Church, Odebolt, Iowa

The Mission Covenant Church

An early view of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church and parsonage.
Photo courtesy of B.Horak

Notice:  We have been trying to determine what happened to the records and photos from the Mission Covenant Church in Odebolt.  Records in the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at the Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois has some records. These microfilms may be searched in person or a search may be requested for a fee. See https://augustana.pastperfectonline.com/archive/01568837-C9AB-4E0B-B253-174362303244 for more information.   Sac County - Evangelical Covenant Church  (aka Mission Covenant Church), Odebolt, Iowa
If you have any information, please contact us at

Early Settlers Organized the Evangelical Mission Church
Swedish Families Started This New Religious Movement

("Fifty Years of Progress";  The Odebolt Chronicle, Vol. 51, Number 31, Thursday, August 25, 1938) 

The beginning of this religious movement was made by several families coming from Central Sweden between the years of 1882 to 1887.  These people were converted to a free spiritual life from the Lutheran State Church in Sweden.

On January 5, 1888, these families organized a church as a Mission Union to have meetings and preaching among the Swedish people at that time, but even before this time, as early as 1882, these religious minded Swedish settlers held meetings and religious services in homes and halls. [and in some country school houses.]

A committee was appointed to secure subscriptions for a meeting place and the church was constructed in the summer of 1888 with the parsonage being built in the year 1892.

INSERT by web editor: 
The Chronicle, March 16, 1888
Work will be commenced on the foundation of the Swedish Evangelical Mission Union church as soon as the frost gets out of the group. The church will cost about $1700 when completed, and will be located on the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets, one block south of the Methodist church. About $1,400 has been subscribed already.

The church was organized with the following families as members; Mr. and Mrs. John Erickson, Mr. and Mrs. John M. Larson, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Lindskoog, Mr. and Mission Covenant ChurchMrs. Swan Linquist, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gran, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. B. Lindberg, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. N.P. Nelson, Mr. and Mrs. C.O. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Gust Segerstrom, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Carlson, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Kullberg and Mr. Ed Eckman.  (Note:  The Odebolt Centennial book, 1977, also lists Mr. and Mrs. Gust Anderson.)

The original name of the church was the Swedish Evangelical Mission Union and the Swedish language was used entirely.  Shortly after the World War (W.W.I) the name was changed to the Evangelical Mission Church, omitting the word "Swedish" from the name.  From that time on, part of the services were held in the American language, especially in the Sunday school, young people's meetings and Sunday evening services.

For the first 15 years after organizing the church, many young men and women came annually from Sweden, and for their sake it was necessary to keep the services in a tongue they could understand.  In recent years, however, very few Swedes have come to settle in this community so the language question became less important every year.

Twelve ministers have served the church in the following order:  August Peterson, J. J. Johnson,[click for biography] Oscar Wenstrand, A. J. Johnson, Oscar F. Dahlberg, Oscar Johnson, C. J. Algott, J. O. Lonnquist, Fred Hall, Edmund V. Carlson, H. A. Faugerstrom and A. Eldon Palmquist.

Only seven of the original charter members are now living.  They are Mr. and Mrs. John M. Larson,  and Mrs. Alfred Kullberg of Odebolt;  Mrs. and Mrs. C. O. Johnson and Mrs. C. A. Carlson of Arthur; and Mrs. Anna G. Lindskoog of Turlock, Calif.

The membership of the church at present time is 55 net, counting the children under confirmation age. (in 1938)


The Odebolt Chronicle, Page 6, January 8, 1948
The annual business meeting of the Mission Covenant church was hald Jan. 1, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Dinner was served at noon and the meeting continued in the afternoon.

It was decided to herafter use the name Mission Covenant Church instead of Evangelical Mission Church which has been the official name.

..... Election of officers resulted in the following:
Eldon Linman, chairman; R.O. Lindskoog, vice chairman; Edmund Lundell, secretary; Lloyd Gotberg, vice secretary; Wayne Lindskoog treasurer; R.O. Lindskoog, vice treasurer; P.O. Hedberg, trustee for four years; R.O. Lindskoog, Reuben Hokanson and A.W. Dahlstrom, decons; Mrs. J.D. Cornish, Mrs. J. B. Johnson, and Emma Jacobson, deaconesses; A.W. Dahlstrom, Lloyd Gotberg, Junior Hokanson and Charles Hokanson, ushers; Pauline Berg, Sunday school superintendent; R. O. Lindskoog, vice Sunday school superintendent; Florece Hedberg, pianist and Roger Linman, vice pianist.

Note:  According to the Odebolt Centennial book of 1977, the name of the church was changed to The Odebolt Covenant Church.  Pastors since 1938 were:  Herman Anderson, C. Emory Anderson, C. Norman Ericson, Edward Moberg, Sverre Skurdal, Paul Nelson, T.W. Danielson, and Carl Isaacson from 1973.

From Kiron Kountry, by Glenn Gustafson
Churches - "Another church was located a short distance from the Baptist church in Hayes township in the south east quadrant of section 13.  It served the needs of those farmers who followed the tenets of the Mission Covenant church organization.  Historical records indicate that it had a rather short life in its rural setting but continued in a new setting in the town of Odebolt.  No further history of this church is recorded here."

See photos of many early members of this congregation by clicking the links below.

1914 Mission Covenant Church Members

1917 Mission Covenant Church Congregation

Circa 1928 and 1930 Confirmation Photos

Cradle Roll and Membership Certificates

[Home]  [History]

[Copyright Notice]