Cottonwood County MN Churches- Baptist

Baptist Church, Windom


The First Baptist church of Windom was organized on July 6, 1890, by Rev. J. M. Thurston, a retired minister living at Windom The charter members of this society were as follow: Rev. Jesse M. Thurston and wife, Polly, Lucius M. Thurston, Irving J. Thurston (sons of Rev. J. M. Thurston), Sarah J. Thurston (adopted daughter of Rev. Thurston), Etta L. Dyer, Hattie N. Dyer, Mrs. (G. L.) Annie E. Macomber, Mrs. (C. F.) Henrietta Warren, Peter A. Ruhberg and wife, Metta, Mrs. Sarah Richmond, Mrs. (T. C.) Elmira Richmond, Mrs. Sarah J. Root, Mrs. Anna Stark. The present membership of this Baptist church is one hundred and fifty-four. There have been three hundred and seventy-six belonging to the church rolls.

A frame building, located on the corner of Fourth avenue and Eleventh street, was erected in 1891, costing five thousand dollars. This denomination has another strong church at Westbrook and a Danish Baptist church at Storden, this county.

The pastors who have served at Windom are as follow: Revs. J. C. Mower, July I, 1890, to July, 1891; C. D. Belden, November 1, 1891, to November, 1892; W. S. Black, July 1, 1893, to July 1, 1894; G. W. Stone, November 1, 1894, to March, 1900; H. A. Erickson, May 13, 1900, to August 1, 1902; J. M. Pegeily, June 1, 1903, to October 15, 1905; H. A. Stoughton, November 1, 1905, to April 15, 1912; F. E. lams, May 15, 1912, to August 31, 1914; William Phillips, March 31, 1915, to March 21, 1916. Rev. F. D. Holden is the present pastor.

Prior to the formation of this church there had been an organization, but, owing to removals at the time of the grasshopper scourge, it disbanded, some of its members later uniting with the present church. The old "First"' church was organized in 1872, by its first and only pastor, M. C. Cummins, in the village school house where services were afterward held.

Much of the early prosperity of the present church was due to the efforts of the Rev. J. M. Thurston in assisting the pastors. The church grew in nine years to one hundred and fifty-three members, but soon, there was a great migration of members westward, which so weakened the church that it did not again reach its former numbers for about fifteen years, or following the Smith-Gilmore evangelistic campaign in the winter of 1914-15. The author is indebted to the church clerk, H. A. Staughton, for the above facts.

Immanuel Baptist church, at Westbrook, was organized in 1909 by Revs. August Brohlm, C. Henningsen, B. Jacobson and N. L. Christiansen. The charter members were inclusive of the following: P. W. Ludnigsen, Mrs. Annie Ludnigsen, Mrs. Ida Ludnigsen, William A. Ludnigsen, Mrs. Sine Ludnigsen, Mrs. Laura Nelson, Ole Christiansen, Mrs. Ole Christiansen, Jens C. Christiansen, Mrs. Jens C. Christiansen. Carl Petersen, Mrs. Carl Petersen, Hans C. Hansell, Mrs. Hans C. Hansen, Mr. and Mrs. Axel Carlsen, N. C. Christensen, Walter Larsen, Mrs. Walter Larsen, F. G. Davis, Mrs. F. G. Davis. The present Sunday school superintendent is F. W. Ludnigsen and the enrollment is one hundred and thirty scholars. In 1902 a twenty-five hundred-dollar church was erected. The first pastor was Rev. C. A. Ehrhardt.

In January, 1899, Rev. M. A. Summers, the district missionary, in company with the pastor of the Windom Baptist church, visited a few families in the Westbrook vicinity. Later on, the Rev. Byers, of the Danish Baptist church, held meetings in the various homes. The first direct work looking toward the formation of a Danish Baptist church was begun by Missionary Summers in the school house west of town in August, 1900, which, after some interruption, was resumed on December 16, 1900.

On one occasion Mr. Summers went to the school house, only to find it occupied by another minister, both having made appointments for the same time and place without being aware of such circumstance.. Rev. Summers and his people withdrew to the railroad depot, where, through the kindness of agent Bell, the first service inside the town proper was held. For some time services were held in the Silliman hall. The desire for a church began to take root and found expression in the efforts put forth to secure that end. During the summer months Rev. R. O. Farel, the pulpit supply, gave much time to the securing of pledges for the building. Much credit is due W. Hubbell for his timely and munificent gift which made possible the early construction of the church. In December the church extended a call to Rev. C. A. Ehrhardt to become its first pastor and he accepted.

The Danish Baptists here purchased a good building from the Calvary Baptists of Westbrook, who carried on this work for about one year, when they sold the building, which was enlarged and a basement put beneath it. These changes and improvements cost the society about $4,374. The building is a good frame structure, with cement basement under the entire building. It is the largest public audience room in Westbrook. The services are all in the English language, except twice a month.

The first pastor was Rev. N. H. Byers, from May, 1910, to September; 1914, since which time Rev. Amandus L, N. Sornsen has been the pastor in charge.