The Minot Church of Minot, North Dakota celebrated its centennial anniversary on Sept. 19—100 years to the day since its opening.
The theme of the Minot Centennial celebration was Almost Home. Former pastor Allen Myers used the theme as the title of his sermon. Noon and evening meals were provided, as well as children’s programs and an afternoon sacred musical concert. Since North Dakota has the greatest per capita influx of immigrants in the United States, songs were sung in several languages.
Pastor Robert Carlson, with his centennial committees, arranged for a large white tent to be set up behind the church for meals and fellowship. KXMC television was on hand to record the centennial celebration.
Visitors and former members enjoyed touring the heritage room, where memorabilia showed how God had led throughout the years.
Highlights from history
Martineus Ruskjer came to Minot around 1913 as a Bible instructor and colporteur. In 1914 Pastor E. L. Stewart followed with a tent meeting and officially organized the church into a tent tabernacle on Sept. 19, 1915, with 17 charter members. In November the church made a down payment of $300 on a lot for their tent.
Excerpts from the 75th anniversary brochure read, “Since the new church was close to the Mouse River, baptisms took place by walking a short distance to nature’s baptismal font, and the candidates went down into the water like our Saviour did so many years ago.”
They had an “overwhelming task of providing not only a church plant, but also a church school. This seemed a financial impossibility but was deemed a dire necessity for the children involved. By November of 1916 they had a church indebtedness of $1,300, a coal bill of $35.68, taxes of $48, and a light bill of $5, all of which was of deep concern.”
A teacher was hired for $45 per month and they moved forward in faith. “Then came 1929, the year of the crash…It was voted that the church women, who outnumbered the men, raise money to help pay the tax bill by sewing, selling whole wheat bread, or by selling books. It was later decided to defer payment on the taxes and use the money to repair the leaking roof.” Because of the depression, it took 10 years to pay off the $1,300 mortgage.
Then in December 1989, “when wind chills reached 78 degrees below zero, the new year brought excessively warm and dry conditions to the Minot area. The senior members of the church recalled, with foreboding, the depression of the 1930s. Nevertheless, the Minot Seventh-day Adventist Church had much to be thankful for…and they share their joy with you.”