The History of St. Stephen's

St. Stephen's English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Built in 1927

This information is incomplete. Hopefully, more information will be added in the future.


The following text is taken from the program/bulletin titled "St. Stephen's English Lutheran Church on the Occasion of the Celebration of Its 45th Anniversary and the Dedication of its new House of Worship, Sunday, July 31st, 1927."

A Synoptical History of St. Stephen's

On January 20, 1882, a small group of men met in the Court House in St. Paul; adopted a constitution modeled after the one of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Congregation of 1874.

Rev. W. A. Martensen was its first pastor; serving from July, 1882 to January, 1893. During his incumbency new by-laws were adopted and the name was changed to Danish Evangelical Lutheran St. Stephen's Free Congregation.

Rev. G. Christiansen was called in February, 1885, and remained until September of the same year. Then Pastor H. Nielsen served for a short time.

Pastor Adam Dan was called December, 1885. During his service the congregation was incorporated. Pastor Dan remained until June, 1893.

Pastor P. Jensen was called July, 1893. Pastor J. C. Peterson accepted the call September, 1896, remained until the Fall of 1897.

Pastor Thomas Nielsen accepted the call shortly after and remained until October, 1901.

Pastor Anderson then served from January, 1903 to October, 1904. During his ministry, English services were started. Rev. H. G. Stub was called in November, 1904 and in April, 1906, Pastor S. T. Reque accepted the call temporarily.

Rev. N. Ylvisaker accepted the call in May, 1909.

In February, 1911, Rev. B. A. Johnson was installed. It was during his service that it was voted that all church records should be kept in the English language. He resigned September, 1917.

Rev. J. O. Dreng was called in October, 1917, and served until December 31, 1922.

Rev. O. P. Stensland acepted the call October 23, 1923, remaining until October 7, 1925. During his ministry a new Constitution was adopted and the name changed to read St. Stephen's English Evangelical Lutheran Church.

On Easter Sunday, April 4, 1926, Rev. O. Qualen, our present pastor, was installed by Rev. C. J. Eastvold, President of the Southern Minnesota District.

After all necessary preparations the ground for the new church edifice was broken, October 31st, 1926, Prof. Benson of St. Olaf College giving the address for the occasion.

On January 16th, 1927, the corner stone was laid, Rev. C. J. Eastvold, President of the Southern Minnesota District, delivered the sermon for the event, and Rev. O. Qualen officiated at the laying of the corner stone.

Today, July 31, 1927, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the congregation, and dedicate this house of worship to the glory of God, and with gratitude to the Lord of Hosts for his manifold blessings.