United Lutheran Chester’s final sermon
Wed, 01/25/2023 - 2:48pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Service for Chester United Lutheran Church Jan. 29, 2023 8:30 a.m.
CHESTER - It is an all too common occurence in today’s world. A once-thriving parish loses numbers and eventually has to close.
That is what is happening to United Lutheran Church in Chester. Its last service is this Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8:30 a.m. The current pastor is Jimmy Sidebottom.
According to Chester’s 2008 history book:
The Lutheran congregation first met in Moe’s Hall, which was located one building southeast of the current Cray Insurance business (or, for the oldtimers, the upstairs of the Borderline Pizza seating area).
(The former J&S Liquidator building on the northeast corner of Highway 63 and Minnesota St.)
Later, services were held in the Henry Stevensen home, beginning on May 9, 1940. In anticipation of eventually having a church building, the Lutherans purchased the D.I. Nichols home in September 1940. It was used as a Sunday school until the rest of the church was constructed.
In 1941, the congregation built a basement, in which members worshipped in for about 13 years. In 1950, the parish purchased the West LeRoy Church and tore it down to use its lumber. In 1951, laminated beams were purchased, which determined the church style. Architects for the building project were Bob Bartlet and Joe Burgess of Cresco.
Construction began in May 1953, with Archie Uglum as president of the building committee. A great deal of volunteer labor was used by members and friends. The church edifice is 32x50 feet with a fireproof exterior. The stained glass art windows are from the LeRoy church. The seating capacity is about 200.
In 1955, the Bethlehem and Chester churches merged to form the United Lutheran Church.
A new Wurlitzer organ was purchased in September 1957.
The church sponsored Cub Pack #178 for a short time in 1968.
For many years, the congregation shared its pastor with Saetersdal. Pastor Dan Christensen of Maple Leaf served the congregation for several years. Sidebottom is the most recent pastor.