The Heart of our Church lies in our History
On February 4, 1903, a small group of members of the Bay View Lutheran Church congregation living in the community of Hainesville withdrew to form the Hainesville Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1904, a half acre of land, north of the Hainesville school lot, was purchased from Eli Haines for $30.00. Plans began for the building of the church. The building was to be attractive, built to rigid specifications and built with a minimum outlay of cash. Trees were felled in members woods, huge timbers floating in the bay were gathered and donated and hewed for beams and frame and lumber sawed and transported to the site for the builders. Everyone helped where they could, donating their work and offering cash where possible. Soon the beautiful building became a reality. It might be added that the shingles covering the four gable ends and steeple were hand carved by several of the men.
Meanwhile, services were conducted in the small building known as the Bedehus (Prayer House) with visiting pastors and laymen taking part. The congregation at the time consisted of eleven families, each of whom contributed labor and money toward building their church.
Trees in members’ woods were donated and hewed for beams and frame. The shingles on the four gable ends were hand carved by church men. The workers had the building far enough advanced by 1906 to hold services there. On June 18, 1909, the new church was dedicated without debt. Church services were held in Norwegian until 1938. In 1920, the former Bedehus was annexed to the rear of the church and remodeled for use as a kitchen.
Throughout the years, church members and organizations, memorials and friends have provided many improvements to the church. Members serve as caretakers to maintain the building and grounds. Every summer, members and friends enjoy church social events, which often includes a fish boil.
We have been blessed with so many memorials and gifts to enhance the beauty of our church. The many, many memorial gifts received over the years are truly appreciated.
As we consider the past as indicated by the preceding history, we are made aware of the many blessings God has given to us as a congregation. For His Love given to us in Word and Sacrament, we are truly grateful.
As we look to the future we pray for continued Blessings if it is His will that we continue as a congregation. It is our hope that in all that has been done or whatever we do in the future, all will be done to the Glory of God.
~Mrs. Thomas (Sophie) Larsen, Historian