THE FIRST CHURCH
Construction began in August 1878.
Located at 415 Third Street North (included some of the railroad crossing property).
The building was first used for the Children’s Christmas Program in December 1879.
Destroyed by the Fargo Fire on June 7, 1893. The big church bell remained along with considerable amount of building stones, which were used for the new building.
THE SECOND CHURCH
The congregation used the Swedish Lutheran Church building while erecting the new church.
A new site was purchased on the corner of 4th Avenue and 4th Street North (the site of the Western Newspaper building).
Construction was in full swing by August of 1893.
The cornerstone was laid in September 1893.
By the end of October 1894, the church was ready for use.
This new church cost approximately $4500.
In 1912, the congregation was feeling growing pains: the church was too small, poorly ventilated and difficult to heat; a committee was formed and a building fund was started.
The second builiding was sold in the spring of 1916 to the Western Newspaper Union. It was torn down by the company.
THE PRESENT CHURCH
In June 1913, a building site was purchased at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 4th Street North for $5500.
The present church was designed by Gilbert & Haxby architects. Construction on the new church began in 1916. The cornerstone was laid July 16, 1916.
Services were held at Aaker’s Business College during construction.
Late in the fall, services were held in the basement of the new church.
The new church was dedicated in the Spring of 1917.
The cost of the new church was $30,000 (of which $13,000 was debt).
In 1957, the congregation fought urban renewal plans to move the church from its site. The arguments were successful and the church property was accepted as being part of urban renewal.
In 1902, the Parsonage at 701 4th Street North was purchased. It was sold in 1913.
In 1914, a new parsonage was built adjacent to the church (where the Education Building now stands). This home served as the parsonage until 1953.
To make room for additional Sunday School space, a new parsonage was purchased at 1220 1st Street North for $22,000. This home was destroyed in the 1957 tornado.
A new parsonage was built at 40 14th Avenue North for $29,850. This home served as the parsonage from 1957 – 1978.
The first pastor called to Pontoppidan was the Rev. C.T. Wold serving from 1877 – 1883. His salary was set at $400 per year and three offerings. Rev. Wold served Pontoppidan and the Moland congregation (near the Buffalo River).
Rev. Christian T. Wold 1877 – 1883
Rev. John H. Brono 1883 – 1903
Rev. Simon Romsdahl 1903 – 1910
Rev. Ender E. Gynild 1910 – 1913
Rev. Edward Berntsen 1913 – 1920
Rev. Hans J. Urdahl 1920 – 1933
Rev. Christian Olson 1933 – 1943
Rev. Rudolph Larson 1943 – 1953
Rev. Donald Ronning 1953 – 1968
Rev. Paul Almquist 1967 – 1977
Rev. Dale Vitalis 1978 – 1985
Rev. Gordon Berntson 1986 – 1992
Rev. Ken Nyhusmoen 1992 – 1994
Rev. Doug Klungtvedt 1994 – 2017
Rev. Nancy Monke 2018 – 2022
Rev. Iver Sonnack 1947 – 1948
Rev P.A. Stromen 1958 – 1961
Rev. Gaylen Ose 1961 – 1962
Rev. Donald Johnson 1964 – 1965
Rev. Otto Schaible 1966 – 1967
Rev. Arden Norum 1968 – 1975
Rev. Sam Almlie 1972 – 1974
Rev. Norm Anderson 1975 – 1982
Rev. Mark Asleson 1983 – 1986
Rev. Doug Klungtvedt 1987 – 1994
Rev. Linda Matz Easterling 1995 – 2001
Rev. Gordon Berntson 2001 – 2005
The following 25 people were the official charter members:
Peter Kyllo | Hans Knudsen | M. Mortenson
L. Mortenson | Karinius Haugen | H. Anderson
John Jestsen | Sven Johnson | Wm. Wedeen
G. Johnson | M. Strandvold | Lars Pedersen
John Hult | Svan Johnson | O.C. Beck
K. Olsen | A.S. Anderson | Chr. Berg
John Bergquist | Ole Haaden | C. Bjerkean
N. Pederson | Conrad Gron | P. Mikarlsen
During the 1920’s, as the congregation grew, the problem of transitioning from Norwegian to English services arose. First, the evening services were changed over to English, then the Sunday morning services were divided. Once the Sunday morning services were changed to English only, Norwegian services were still held in the church basement until 1942.
In 1939, weekly bulletins were introduced.
In 1953, 2 morning services were introduced.
In 1955, Pastor Ronning began broadcasting worship services on KFNW radio.
In 1963, the Lutheran Free Church became a member of the American Lutheran Church after several years of debate.
In 1988, Pontoppidan merged with the ELCA.
In 1984, Pontoppidan began videotaping church services for cable television.
The Contemporary Service was started in 1987.
The Constitution was updated in 1997.
In 2001, began giving Communion 2 times a month.
In July 2002, Pontoppidan’s first Christian Education Director was hired.
By 1883 there was a Temperance Society, a Young People’s Society and a Girls’ Society (Pigeforening), which later became the Dorcas Mission Society.
Circle meetings began in 1943.
The Ladies Aid and Dorcas Mission Society were reorganized into the Women of the Church in 1960. The name was later changed to American Lutheran Church Women. In 1988, it was changed to Women of the ELCA (WELCA).
In 1990, People Enjoying People (PEP) Club was formed.
In 1991, SALT Club was formed for people 18 – 50 years old.
Honey-Do’s formed to address facility repairs through fellowship
YOUTH AND EDUCATION
Sunday School and Vacation Bible School started in 1878.
In 1943, Pontoppidan began hosting Boy Scout Troops.
The parsonage next to the church was remodeled for Sunday School in 1953.
In 1958, the Parish Education Building was dedicated.
Members of Pontoppidan began writing their own Sunday School curriculum in 1989. In 1993, the church held an October seminar to demonstrate the curriculum to area churches.
In 1991, the Children’s Choir was divided into Musical Magic and Pont-Tunes.
The Youth Board was formed in 1995 to serve youth grades 7-12.
In 1999, Bridgetown Daycare was opened in the former Chamber of Commerce Building.
In 2001, Alpha! classes and Class 101 were started
In the Fall of 2002, WINGS (Witnesses for Christ In Love! God’s Children Grow! Service for the Lord!) and Head to the Heart Confirmation program started.