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Published July 21, 2013, 02:51 PM

SD Lutheran church celebrating 150th anniversary

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota church that bills itself as the first Norwegian Lutheran Church in the Dakota Territory is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

By: Associated Press, Associated Press

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota church that bills itself as the first Norwegian Lutheran Church in the Dakota Territory is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The St. Paul Lutheran Church in Elk Point was founded in 1863. The parish was originally known as the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.

The far southeastern South Dakota church has been served by 20 pastors. Rev. J. J. Nesse was the first resident pastor.

Church spokesman Glenn Olson tells KCAU-TV (http://bit.ly/18wNbnT) that the celebration is exciting at a time when the changing face of agriculture and population shifts make it difficult for rural churches to survive.

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