The Old Church on Walnut Street: A Story of Immigrants and Evangelicals
by Chris Price
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In the late 1800s, Norwegian immigrants began flooding into the Red River Valley. As they moved into the Grand Forks area, they brought their Old World folkways and religious practices. On the corner of Third and Walnut, Norwegian Lutherans built a small sanctuary to house their services.
The building mirrored the simple worship of the Hauge Synod, the organization to which this congregation belonged. After merging with two other Norwegian church- es in town, the old Trini Lutheran structure passed into the hands of the Grand Forks Church of God, a congregation that echoed the revival fires of the Second Great Awakening. This is the story of a church building and the two assemblies that utilized it over a 100-year period.
“The Old Church on Walnut Street: A Story of Immigrants and Evangelicals, provides a general context of Grand Forks’ early history with an emphasis on its physical and cultural development. He focuses on one of the city’s earliest church buildings and the two congregations that worshipped there. It is both homage to a building that served Grand Forks for nearly a century, and an invitation to embrace the ever-changing nature of all neighborhoods.”
Bret Weber, Grand Forks City Council
Chris Price teaches history at Colby Community College, where he has served on the faculty since 2013. He holds an MA in history from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and a Doctor of Arts in history from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He currently lives in Northwest Kansas with his wife and two daughters.
If you like this book, might also be interested in David Haeselin’s Haunted by Waters The Future of Memory and the Red River Flood of 1997 (2017) also from The Digital Press. Check it out here!