A Second Immanuel Lutheran Church

Immanuel Lutheran Church

As we ventured toward Minot for a book signing event in 2014, we decided we would try to sneak in some shooting time at a few different locations along the drive, but this particular place was not a place we knew about beforehand — we just happened to drive right by it, on highway 30 in Albert Township, just north of Maddock, North Dakota and couldn’t pass up such a picturesque church. The best places are always the places we discover by accident.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

This is the former Immanuel Lutheran Church. Founded in 1887 and closed “in God’s Service, July 1st, 2001.” It’s pretty clear how they got the bell out.

Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church

The church was locked up tight so we couldn’t go inside, but a visitor to our Facebook page says a lot was removed from inside after this church closed.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

This was a very windy and cold November day. Two days later, the first significant snowfall of the season hit a large portion of the state.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

This church is featured in our hardcover coffee table book, Churches of the High Plains, which, by the way, makes an excellent gift. 🙂

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Someone definitely took great care to design a great roadside monument for passing travelers to enjoy, including a photo of the church in brighter days, and the bell.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

This is the second church to wear the name Immanuel Lutheran Church. See the comment from Beth Ulring in the comment section below for the tragic story about the first Immanuel Lutheran Church and a lightning strike that claimed the lives of several men.

Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Immanuel Lutheran Church

There are some pretty old headstones in the cemetery — pioneers who rest in peace at this quiet spot on the prairie.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, © 2016 Sonic Tremor Media

20 Comments on “A Second Immanuel Lutheran Church

  1. Beautiful photos! Reminds me of home…I would love to go back to North Dakota and see my old haunts.

  2. Great photos of a really nice building and cemetery site. I am glad to see that the roof seems to be in good condition. Please, everyone, spread the word to never, ever use a steel wire brush to clean a grave marker. A scrubbing brush that won’t hurt your skin, and a bit of very mild detergent in water, and a very thorough rinse with clean water, is great, and insures that the marker can survive long after we are gone. Thanks. -John Gallardo

  3. been by this one a few times…remember it looking better in the late 90 ‘when I was looking for and buying old cars in this area

  4. When my grandmother was just five years old, tragedy struck in the original Immanuel Lutheran Church vestibule. On Sunday, June 23, 1898, during their Sunday worship service, her father and other men went out to secure the horses. When they returned, lightning struck the bell steeple and travelled to the men below. Many of the men were hurt or killed. Her father was one of those that lost his life that day. My grandmother often remembered how her father was carried lifeless from the vestibule to a church pew, and how quickly life could change.

    The first Immanuel Lutheran church was destroyed by a storm in 1916. The present building was built in 1917. Services were conducted in the Norwegian language until 1930.

    • Thank you for sharing this oral history. I believe this is the church my grandfather was baptized in, so I appreciate having such details handed down.

  5. Drive by this church quite often. Sad to see some of our beautiful old churches deteriorating.

  6. This was my mother’s home church. My mother, father, grandmother, grandfather and some uncles are buried there. My wife and I stopped by this church while on vacation this summer. To bad it has become so run down.

  7. My aunt and uncle were married in this church about 1950. I was the ring bearer – 6 years old!

  8. Thank you for sharing these beautiful old places. I so miss North and South Dakota

  9. Your photos make me want to visit these spots and see if poetry comes to me there.
    I love the red steps contrasted to the black and white of the rest. Great photos, as always.
    My brother recently discovered your books through ND Living magazine. I will be ordering.

  10. Y quite possibly the most interesting page I’ve ever visited. Keep up the good work.

  11. Troy, if you’re in the Minot area and have the time, you’re not far from Turtle Lake. If you get there, check out the North St. Olaf Lutheran Church which is not far from what was the Wolf farm, north of Turtle Lake on Hwy 41 ( I think ). Then there is New Home #4 Township school (or what’s left of it). Three miles south of ND 200 on County 29 (also called the Red Trail).

  12. how interesting, and sad, that as time has passed these old buildings will be torn down. but there is History that needs to be passed on, saved, remembered, and you are helping do that..

    • Building, like people, too often become unknown when they are gone. Thanks to folks like you who record photographically parts of the history of these structures. Keep up your good and valuable work.

  13. Thanks Troy. Like the Oceans that it is often compared to, the High Northern Plains will, in time, eventually devour everything made by the hand of man. I see the gravestones are in Norwegian.

  14. In the close-up of the monument, not that under “July” is a stone that appears to be a Native American hammer.

    • Fascinating. I looked again, and yes, what someone probably thought was just another rock looks like an old rock hammerhead!

  15. The altars from Emmanual and Klara SW of Maddock) churches were donated to nursing homes, where they still see worshipers.

  16. My mother, Ruth Adeline (Rangen) Mckibbin was baptized (1928), confirmed, and married (1949) in this Immanuel Lutheran Church. She was laid to rest in the church cemetery in 2018, next to her husband of 64 years, Maurice A. Mckibbin (1924-2013)and two of her sons Brian 1950 (infant) and Mark 1951-.
    Her grandfather, her mother’s father, John Ploium, was one of the men killed by the Sunday lightning strike in June, 1898.

  17. My father-in-law, Joseph A. Rangen was born in Maddock and baptized and confirmed in Immanuel. He was a brother of Adeline Rangen McKibbon (mentioned in the comment above). Joe became a Lutheran pastor and served churches from Massachusetts to California, Oregon to Florida and many other places. On one trip to Maddock for a family reunion we were able to go inside Immanuel where Joe was able to preach from the pulpit for a few minutes and his sister, Mary Ann Rangen Swanson, played the piano. That’s a great memory. Thanks for posting your wonderful images.

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