Racine County ALHN

Danish Evangelical Lutheran Emous Church

As published in "The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties" (Chicago: 1879), p. 398

The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Emous Church - The congregation was organized August 22, 1851, with twenty-four members, mostly from Norway. Rev. O. Andrewson was the fist minister. The church edifice was built the same year, and located on State street between LaSalle and Marquette. In 1855, the church was enlarged, and a Sunday school organized. During the years 1860-63, a painful division of opinion agitated the society, and becoming involved, the church building was sold. For some time the congregation was without religious services. August 10, 1863, thirteen members of the congregation reunited, and bought back the church, at a cost of $525, and the congregation was reorganized as a part of the Norwegian Synod. Its name was the Scandinavian Lutheran Church of Racine, which is still the name of the congregation. The society, as at present organized, is free, having no connection with any Synod in this country, but holding its position as a daughter of the Church of Denmark. The membership numbers 260 communicants, the majority of whom are Danes. The old house of worship was sold in 1876, and a new and handsome brick church edifice, after the Gothic style of architecture, erected on Chippicotton street, at a cost of about $9,000. Just beside the church is a parsonage, valued at about $3,000. In 1872, a complaint was made by some of the members of the congregation, against the present Priest, Rev. Dan, for preaching false doctrines. They claimed he was not a Lutheran, but a Grundtigian Priest, and could not be Pastor for a true Lutheran congregation. They were sustained by many Norwegian and German Synods, and, the year after, they filed their complaint with the Circuit Court, claiming that they were the only true Lutheran congregation, and that they, as such, had the only right to the possession of the Church property. As the majority of the Church members sustained the pastor, who also obtained certificates from Denmark, which set forth that his doctrines were preached by many bishops and priests in the Church of Denmark, who never condemned them as false or heretical. Grundtrig himself was a Bishop and Priest in said Church for over sixty years, and was respected by all deferential parties as a church father. The Court decided that the Church property be held by the majority. The minority then erected a chapel in another place on State street, and called a Pastor from the Norwegian Conference, to which body they belong as a congregation. The new Emous Church was dedicated January 27, 1878, on which occasion many Danish ministers and other friends, from near and abroad, were present. As a congregation they believe in the Holy Catholic (not Roman) Church, with the Apostolic creed as the foundation of faith, and the Holy Scriptures as the only infallible rule for all preaching in the Church, and the two Holy Sacraments, as necessary means of salvation. The service, liturgy and ceremonies are in accordance with the Church of Denmark (after its Ritual and Book of Altar), Rev. Dan, the present minister, was formerly a missionary in Egypt and the Holy Land. He was ordained July 6, 1871, since which time he has occupied the pulpit of this Church. Connected with the Church is a flourishing Sunday school. Every summer, during the vacation of the public schools, there has been a Danish school, the instructions being mostly of a religious character. In April, 1878, a regular day school was established, with R. Nielsen as teacher. The school rooms are located in the basement of the church. The average attendance is 40 scholars.

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