Arendahl Congregation was formed in 1857 by Norwegian settlers and was a part of the Hauge Synode. The Hauge Synode was considered the “Low Church” vs the Norske Synode was considered the “High Church” or followers of the State Church of Norway, and had some influence from the German Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri. The Augustana Synode was anti-missouri or anti-slavery and had its roots in a similar background as the Hauge Synode.
In the course of its history, the church has been a part of several different synods. After being a part of the Hauge Norwegian Lutheran Synod in the early years, the church changed to the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 1917. This would later become the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and in 1960 it joined with like churches to from the American Lutheran Church. 1988 Arendahl Lutheran Church became a member of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Rev. Arne Boyum was the founder and first the pastor from 1857 until 1913. Ordained by by Elling Eielsen in Wisconsin prior to his coming to the Arendahl area. His descendants still worship here.
They worshiped in homes until 1859 when a log structure was built on land that is presently part of the Arendahl Cemetery. This house of worship became the first Norwegian Lutheran Church to be built in Minnesota. Because of rapid increase in church membership another church was built in 1863 at the site of the present church. The present church was built in 1899.
Although membership at Arendahl Church has changed with the changes taking place in the rural community, it still continues to be a church steeped in tradition and committed to the Gospel.
Arendahl Cemetery records: