When the first Norwegian settlers arrived in the area, many joined the Canton Norwegian Lutheran congregations. The congregation was so wide spread that it was necessary to divide it into districts. The Lands area constituted the south district, which in 1872 separated from the Canton congregation. Church services were first held in the homes of members but in 1872 final steps were taken to build a church which was completed later that year. In 1879, a prairie fire turned the building to ashes. The second Lands church was built and ready for services in 1881. In 1890, the parsonage was built and the Moe general store and post office were constructed north of the church. In 1901 the congregation had outgrown the church and a third Lands church was constructed. in 1902 a tornado toppled the steeple of the new church, blew out its windows and damaged the structure. In 1952 the new brick church was dedicated.
After the tornado in 1902, the Lands building was repaired and all three congregations used the church while the other two church buildings were rebuilt. In 1919 Lands, Romsdal, and Trinity congregations joined to form the Moe Lutheran Parish. Each congregation maintains its own church and one pastor serves all three congregations. Moe Parish Park was developed and dedicated in 1946.
Information reprinted from the Moe Parish Cookbook (1992)
The first meeting to organize what was to become Romsdal Lutheran Church was held on August 1872. During the 1800's members talked of building a church but with the hard times it was not considered possible. In 1890 an offer of land was made if the church were named Romsdal, the name of the giver's home in Norway. The congregation accepted and the church was built in Norway Township. The building was first used for worship at Christmas 1890 and dedicated on July 10, 1892. By 1902 membership had grown and the congregation considered adding onto the church. The plans were quickly set aside when the church was destroyed by a tornado on June 23, 1902. In 1903 a new building was completed and this building serves the congregation today. During the 1920's a basement was added and electric lights were installed, powered by a Delco generating plant.
Trinity Lutheran Church traces its roots back to 1869 when evangelists began visiting homes of the first Norwegian settlers in the area. In 1872 the efforts of the evangelists bore fruit when the Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation of Lincoln County was organized. It was established in two districts, the north district around Canton and the south district whose families lived near Patty Slough. In 1875 the Patty Slough district built a church on donated land. This is where the present Trinity Church stands today, eleven miles south Canton in Norway Township. To accommodate a growing membership the Patty Slough congregation constructed a new and larger church in 1893. In 1895 the district withdrew from the Canton district and became an independent congregation. The new name chosen was the Norwegian Lutheran Trinity Church. In 1902 a tornado caused considerable damage and the church was leveled. The organ, bell, and baptismal font were salvaged and put in the new church when it was ready for use in 1904.
Moe Lutheran Parish