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Oulu Baptist Church - Iron River, Wis.

The Oulu Baptist Church was organized Oct. 18, 1895, by Swedish people who had come to homestead the land. There were 15 charter members. Six others joined shortly after the organization took place.

Niles Erickson, who was present at the time of organization served as pastor for many years without salary. In 1896 land was purchased and a church building erected. A Sunday School and Ladies' organization began in 1897. In December 1903 the membership is listed as 25.

The church was without a pastor for many years. In 1927 I. Cedric Peterson was student pastor. During his ministry many confessed Christ and became members.

C. J. Granlund took charge after Peterson left and in 1932 Wicklund served for a time, then Tellgren. In his time many were saved and joined the church. Pastor Griffith of Iron River offered his services until 1939 when Backlund became pastor and served to 1941. Then Rev. Ault served until 1944, when Rev. Frank May became pastor and served until 1948. Hartley Osterlund was pastor 1948-1950.

Students from Bethel College were used in the summers until 1952, when Edgar Berglund became pastor, who later was ordained by the church. The Washington School was purchased in 1953 and remodeled. A few years after a parsonage was built, a Sunday School bus bought, and several organizations like the Women's Missionary Society, Young People's groups and Boy's Brigade came into being.

In 1960 Rev. Berglund resigned and Rev. Morris Motley accepted the leadership. Presently there are 12 classes held in the Sunday School, a Daily Vacation Bible School is held each summer as well as participation in Bible Camps. A building fund is in progress and the spirit of growth and effectiveness promises good for the days ahead. With the Lord's help the church anticipates to serve Him and the community with honor and humility.

Notes from Axel R. Anderson and Mrs. George Gortsch.

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. 60-61.

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