Ypsilanti Lutheran Church

In 1904, a colony of Norwegian Lutherans from Iowa and Minnesota moved to Ypsislanti, North Dakota and surrounding communities to establish new homes, largely due to the Homestead Acts. When they arrived in Ypsilanti, they discovered that there was no Lutheran Church.

During the first summer, the Reverend Wiprud, a retired minister who was then a land agent, preached a few Norwegian services. The places of worship in those days were the old schoolhouse, the Ted Doughty home, and in other homes.


In 1905, Rev. Foss held services in a new barn on the Ole Brunsvold farm, two miles east of Montpelier. At this time, the James River Valley Congregation was organized. This included families from the Montpelier and Ypsilanti communities. The Norwegian language was used until 1909. In 1913, the James River Valley Congregation was disbanded and two congregations were organized.

In 1917, Gilbert Jorve and Clinton Gibson presented the congregation with two lots for a building site. Sever Spilde was the contractor. The interior of the building was not completed until 1924, with Amos Jacobson doing some of the work. In 1929, R.B. Kotts, contractor, and Albert Wibstad, painter, completed the basement.

Organizations associated with the church included:

  • Sunday School
  • Women's Missionary Federation (later, American Lutheran Church Women)
  • Choir (junior and adult)
  • Lutheran Daughters of the Reformation
  • Cradle Roll Mothers Club
  • Parish Brotherhood (later, Lutheran Brotherhood)
  • Dorcas and Sunshine Circles
  • Boy Scouts
  • Luther League