- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 7 (1921-1922) /
14

(1908-1925) [MARC]
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from, one would naturally expect them, as soon as
possible, to form congregations here and establish a place
of worship in their midst. This was done. Nearly every
Scandinavian in the vicinity joined in. The leaders
were persons of singular piety, having been touched by
the religious awakening that passed over parts of
Sweden at or about the time the immigration to this
country started. In some degree it took root here. The
pastors, that congregations formed of these poor, widely
scattered settlers could secure, were not learned men.
Of the seven or eight preachers who ministered to the
Swedish speaking Lutheran congregations in this state
prior to 1865, not one was a university graduate or had
taken a full theological course. Several had not even
attended an academy or the equivalent of a high school.

But their lack of learning was more then made up
in the sincere solicitude for the spiritual upbuilding of
their little flocks. Their zeal and simple faith never
flagged. Some of these ministers were men of great
natural talent and leadership, who made the most of
their opportunities, and, I dare say, acquired, in the
course of years, a fund of knowledge that would have
put many a university graduate to shame. These men
would gladly put up with the greatest deprivations and
hardships in order to serve their people, and were
always ready to share the last dime with one in need.
They were so wholly consecrated to their work that they
took no thought of their own case or even their own
family’s needs. This is illustrated by the account given
by the first minister in the East and West Union
settlement, For some years he had no stated salary. He
said that he received with thanks whatever people saw
fit to give. That this was meager is shown by these

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