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Felch Baptist Church, Felch, Mich.

The first immigrants from Finland came to Felch about 1882. They were mainly from Purmo and Jeppo. Among others were John Sundquist, John Backlund, and Matt Backlund with their wives. The ladies organized and began to hold gospel services. They sang the old pilgrim songs and Mrs. John Sundquist read selections from Charles H. Spurgeon's sermons.

A few years went by and then a lay preacher from Iron Mountain, John O. Blixt, found his way to Felch. Many were saved under his preaching, among others Eric Johnson. At that time Rev. Matts Esselstrom served the church in Negaunee, Michigan, and he came to Felch and preached effectively to the saving of many souls.

On October 14, 1900, nine persons organized the Baptist Church of Felch. They were: Mrs. John Backlund, Mrs. John Sundquist, John Kasen, Victor Sjoblom, John Mattson, Mr. and Mrs. Matt Backlund, and Mr. and Mrs. Gust Backlund. Of these one charter member is living: Gust Backlund.

Besides the laymen who have faithfully served the church, the following ministers have served: Rev. Edward Flemming, the summer of 1903. Axel Edwards visited the church several summers and became pastor from 1914 to 1917 also 1925-1927. Andrew Myhrman came to Felch as a teacher of the high school and also served as pastor of the church for a time. His brother, Herman Myhrman, served for some time until August 1920. Rev. P. Ockerstrom served the church from August 1937 to January 1939, also 1947-48. Miss Esther Englund served the church two years.

Since 1948 Rev. Arthur Ellison of Iron Mountain, Michigan, served the church by preaching one Sunday afternoon and one Thursday night each month. Rev. A. Selin of Norway, Michigan, also preached once a month.

Rev. Clyde Matthews served the church 1955-1957, and Rev. Fred Miller 1957 to the present time. Many students from Bethel Seminary and other schools have been engaged during the summer months.

In the entire history of the church about one hundred members have belonged to the church. This figure does not tell much, but God has blessed the community life through the Felch Baptist Church and only God knows the full extent of its influence. Whatever the future may hold, we rely upon the promises of the ever faithful Lord of Heaven and Earth.

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. 35-36.

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