The De Smet Christian & Missionary Alliance Church on the corner of Second Street and Loftus Avenue Sunday celebrates their 50th anniversary with two special services and a dinner for current and former church members and their guests.
Known as “the church that Pa (Charles Ingalls) helped build,” the pioneer church was originally home to the First Congregational Church, with Charles and Caroline Ingalls as charter members.
By early 1967, Congregational members had outgrown the building and were attending services in their newly built church on Highway 14 west of De Smet.
A classified ad was placed in the May 11, 1967, edition of The De Smet News advertising the frame church at a reasonable price to be moved or torn down.
A prayer group had been meeting in De Smet at the home of Roland and Frances Anderson. After seeing the ad, Mr. Anderson and Glenn Iverson, representing the prayer group, made a proposal to purchase the building on its present site with help from the C&MA district superintendent Leo Berreth.
By the next week, a short story was printed in The News with details of an offer that had been made by the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination to purchase the church.
In need of church pews, Berreth knew of some available in Jamestown, N.D., and had them delivered by cattle truck before the first service was held on June 11, 1967.
The pulpit was supplied by the district for the first few Sundays, with the Rev. Carl Taylor, a missionary from Brazil home on furlough, serving as interim pastor for most of the summer.
By September, the Rev. Larry Johnson arrived in De Smet with his family to become the first C&MA pastor.
Succeeding pastors include the Rev. David Baynes, Dr. Jim Tieszen, the Rev. Kerry Ascher, the Rev. Dan Niebeling, the Rev. Dale Harris and the current pastor, the Rev. Marty Reynhout.
Officially organized and incorporated in 1970 with 20 charter members, Betty Iverson is the only member of this original group still active in the church today. Five generations of her family have been involved in the church during its 50 years of existence.
The public is invited to attend the 10:15 a.m. service, with C&MA north central district superintendent Dr. Don Wiggins as guest speaker, and the 2:30 p.m. celebration service with video greetings from former pastors and the president of the C&MA.
Posted on 09-06-2017
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