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Lakeside Baptist Church - Wentworth, Wis.

The modest beginning of the Lakeside Baptist' Church goes back to 1905, when Sunday School classes were held in a nearby school house. Mr. Axel Dahlin began this work and had charge of these Sunday School Classes, and also conducted Sunday afternoon services. Occasionally ministers would travel here to conduct worship services also. Among them was Missionary Andrew Blomquist of Cook, Minnesota to whom probably can be given most credit for laying the foundation on which the church was later organized. This continued for a few years until 1918 when it was decided to construct a church building, with a gift of $25 starting the movement. However, in 1920, when the half-way point in actual building was at hand, a strong wind of tornado proportions completely demolished the structure. Undaunted, the men started again to build and in 1922 this church was completed.

It was in January, 1921 that the Lakeside Baptist Church was officially organized by 18 charter members. Andrew Blomquist was elected chairman pro. tem. John Strom of Larsmont, Minnesota acted as secretpry.

In the summer of 1924, Missionary Lloyd Hunter of Canada and Miss Ellen Mattson of Kelsey, Minnesota, came and had charge of the services in the church. Through their work many souls were saved and added to the church. In 1926, Mr. Herman Mattson of Kelsey, Minnesota, served the church as pastor. During the years of 1927 and 28, Rev. Cedric Peterson conducted a very effective ministry. In the summer of 1929, Rev. Eric Sjolund pastored the church and during the winter months Rev. Lundgren of the Ogden Ave. Baptist Church and Mr. Henry Peters, both of Superior, Wisconsin, conducted services on Sunday afternoons alternately. In the summer of 1930, Henry Heartberg, a student from Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, served the church. The following winter Missionary Ida Erickson of this community had charge of all the meetings.

The other pastors and leaders were as follows: Mr. Alvin Reuhman, the summer of 1931, with Albert Esselstrom in charge during the winter. In 1932, Rev. R. Applequist, also pastoring in Superior, Wisconsin. In 1932-1934, Rev. Carl Wicklund who also served the Baptist Churches of Oulu and Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin. 1934-1935 Rev. Bror Lundgren; 1936 Rev. Aymond Anderson; 1937-1938 Rev. Bruce Fleming; 1939 Rev. Sidney Larson; 1940 Rev. Arden Finke. The last five all were student pastors from Bethel College and Seminary. In 1940 Rev. Nathan Esselstrom pastored the church and in 1941 Rev. Roger Rendahl.

In October 1941, Rev. Frank May was called pastor of the church. That fall the building of the parsonage was begun and in one year was completed and dedicated in October of 1942.

In 1946 Rev. Hartley Osterlund became pastor and served until August 1952.

In the fall of 1952 Rev. Emmett Johnson accepted the pastorate and by 1954 the church attendance doubled and more space was needed for Bible School and youth activities.

The church group then embarked on a building program to construct a fellowship center, consisting of classrooms, furnace room, lavatories and a well-equipped kitchen. This structure was completed 17 months later. This was the first stage in a long range building program.

The date when a sanctuary would adjoin the newly constructed fellowship center seemed a remote possibility. However, by late 1956 it became apparent that the old church had served its purpose and plans then were set forth to complete the church plant at once. The sanctuary was completed and dedicated on March 16, 1958. The fellowship center and the church sanctuary were constructed almost entirely by members and friends of the community, with financial aid from the Wickstrom Memorial Fund of the Baptist Mission Union.

In March 1958, Rev. Clifford Holm became our pastor and served until March 26, 1961.

Rev. John Yonkers, a graduate of Bethel Seminary, became pastor in May 1961.

The living charter members are Mr. August Wick, Mrs. Herman Hogdahl and Mrs. Ingrid Granroth, all who still attend services regularly. Also Mrs. Ruth Gardner of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Mrs. Norma Fisher of Anoka, Minnesota.

Published in Sixty Years of Christian Stewardship 1901-1961. Prepared in commemoration of the Sixtieth anniversary of The Baptist Mission Union of America. 1961, p. 40-43.

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