The first structure served us well until 1917, while Reverend Otterstad was Pastor. It was decided that the church building no longer met the needs of our growing membership, and pledges were started for a new building. That resulted in the 2nd church structure, built in 1917-1918, and which by 1926 had been damaged by fire but repaired for worship again. In the 1930’s, the Great Depression took hold.
On 29 October 1929, known as Black Tuesday, the New York stock market crashed, ruining millions of investors. These were difficult years of a failing economy. People stopped buying unnecessary goods, and many businesses failed. The impact was severe in the West. Unemployment reached nearly 33% in some western states. Many families had to swallow their pride and wait in long lines for handouts of bread or other foods. Some lost their farms when they could not meet mortgage payments. Churches tried to help out when they could with soup kitchens and clothing, but the church income from tithes and weekly offerings also suffered. Our church often could not pay Reverend Hagen his salary, even with the Ladies’ Aide financial help. Pastor Hagen had a family of 6 to support, and eventually had to take work elsewhere where the economy was in better shape than here in North Idaho.
When Reverend Hagen left, it was decided that we merge with the Bonners Ferry Lutheran Church, and share their Pastor. Reverend Gabrielson moved down to our parsonage, and served us and two other churches from 1933-1940.
Reverend G. Gabrielson 1933
Both Pastor and Mrs. Gabrielson were talented musicians, and formed choirs in all the churches they served. The church grew substantially, especially when the war ended.
It was right after Reverend Gabrielsson arrived that the German Lutheran Church had to close, and he welcomed them warmly into the Norwegian Congregation.
On the next page is a bulletin which shows the hectic schedule for this one pastor who had several churches for so long.