Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in the Norse Community is excited to have you help us celebrate our 150 year Journey of Faith on June 9, 2019. Over the years, we have gathered many photos and we will be posting some of them here. To that end, we are asking all our members and friends and families to search out your own photos relating to Our Savior’s over time. Please send us photos and stories that we can use. You have a choice of delivery methods:

  1. Mail – 152 CR 4145 – Clifton, TX 76634
  2. E-Mailoslcnorse1869@gmail.com
  3. Facebook Message to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church at Norse Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/OSLCNorse/

Additionally, we are in the process of evaluating the possibility of publishing a history book to commemorate this occasion. Until then, here is a brief history to get you started.

Original Settlers ………………… Rev. Ole O. Estrem ……………. Rev. J.K. Rystad

1854 — The Norse Community began when a group of Norwegians arrived from east Texas, following the suggestion of Cleng Peerson. He was called “The Father of Norwegian Immigration to America,” and is buried in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.

1869 — The Reverend Ole O. Estrem formally organized Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on June 14, 1869, with over 230 charter members.

1871— One hundred eleven acres of land was purchased for $1.00 per acre. Plans were made to build a two-story stone parsonage on a slope southeast of the church.

1875 — The congregation decided to build a church and a contract was let to Gunarius Shefstad, for $470.67 Work progressed slowly because of difficult times.

1878 — The Rev. J.K. Rystad conducted the first sermon in the unfinished church. Rystad served Our Savior’s for 47 years.

1885 — Sanctuary was completed and a formal dedication was held in April. In December the upper district of the parish decided to build the Rock Church.

1886 — The congregation decided the original church would be called “Our Saviors” (Vor Frelsers Kirke) and the new stone church in the upper part of the district St. Olaf’s.

Confirmation Day June 1, 1890 ………………. brickwork added ………………….. pilasters added

1893 — The Parsonage was enlarged. Four rooms and a gallery were added.

1907 — The Church was enlarged, repaired, and brick-veneered, but the interior was not changed.

1915 — English spoken services were introduced.

1916 — A one room Church Hall was built by the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

1925 — English services increased in number until there was only one Norwegian service each month.

1926 — A new parsonage replaced the stone building.

1941 — Norwegian services were discontinued.

1949 — First Smorgasbord was held.

Smorgasbord hostesses in their bunads. (left: Sadie Hoel)

Smorgasbord of 1958

1954 — Our Savior’s Lutheran Church was named “Rural Church of Texas.”

1956 — The church was re-bricked and the walls were strengthened with pilasters.

1958 — The windows of the church were replaced with art glass windows made available by memorials/gifts to the church. The Concordia Hymn Book replaced the Lutheran Hymnary.

1959 — A brick Parish Hall replaced the 1916 Red Cross building.

1962 — Our Savior’s was awarded a Texas Historical Building Medallion.

1969 — Our Savior’s Lutheran Church celebrated 100 year anniversary.

1972 — The old farmland and parsonage were sold and a new brick parsonage was built closer to the church.

1975 — Norwegian-American Sesquicentennial Memorial Service at Cleng Peerson’s gravesite in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Cemetery.

top left: Parsonage in 1956 …………… bottom-left: cemetery …… right: King Olav V of Norway

1982 — King Olav V of Norway attended church to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Cleng Peerson, Father of Norwegian Immigration to America.

1991 — Women’s Group (Ladies Aid) donated a handmade quilt to the first Sunset Home Quilt Auction.

quilt ………. Patsy Squyres at the digital pipe organ ……….. Cemetery Map Pavilion

2000 — Church was re-roofed and the steeple received a new cross.

2001 — Parish hall was expanded by adding an archives room and classrooms, and by enlarging the kitchen. Newly formed Archival Task Force met on September 30, 2001. Dedication of marker commemorating the original Norwegian Settlers.

2005 — The congregation purchased a digital pipe organ for the church.

2008 — Archives Committee compiled a Cemetery map.

2013 — Cemetery map pavilion built.

2018 — 70th Anniversary of the First Smorgasbord

2019 — 150th Anniversary of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church to be celebrated on June 9, 2019.

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church continues in the faith journey of the founders of this congregation. As the grace of God is constant, may all members open their lives to Christ so the Spirit of God may work mightily in them.

Fourteen pastors have served our church and five sons of the congregation have been ordained into the ministry. Our current Pastor is Pastor Bill Metting.