Historic Church of Saint Peter

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Events and Announcements St Peter’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1901 by Local Norwegian and Swedish people.

It was first thought of as a Norwegian Lutheran Church since there was one more Norwegian founding member than Swedish and it became St. Petri Norsk Evaneliske Lutherske Menighed. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church was organized in 1901 by Pastor Erick Ayneson Erickson in the home of Jacob Simmons. The following families were charter members: Andrew Olson, Gilbert Olson, John Jensen, Rasmus Anderson, Chris Berg, Tom Orr and Ole Joyce. The name of the church was changed to the present name in 1947 when a new constitution was adopted.

The first pastor to serve the Clinton community as far as can be determined was Rev Peder Isberg. He served as pastor in Stanwood, Washington from 1892 to 1893 after which Pastor T. C. Foss took over the pastorate. From 1894 to 1911 Pastor Isberg worked as a carpenter in Stanwood, and it was no doubt during the years from 1894 to 1901 he served the Clinton community. Peder Isberg, as his name sounds and would ironically seem to imply, came drifting down Puget Sound to reach this island. Some of the charter members told later members that he would row to Clinton from Stanwood and would make the trip at any day or night. He always carried a big quilt and would walk up the hill with it wrapped around his naturally huge body. This caused the children to stand in awe and wonder at this strange and unusual looking character.

On August 17, 1904 Chris and Martha Berg deeded the present property on which the church now stands. Shortly after this, construction of the church was started. Andrew Olson was in charge of much of the construction work. Lumber and supplies were brought across the sound on a rowboat.

In 1908 the ground was cleared around the church. Also around this time offerings were started. Prior to this money had been raised by subscriptions. The amount paid toward the pastor’s salary was $75.00 per year. An organ was purchased for the church and a concert was presented to raise money for the project. At this time it was decided to start using the English language with occasional Norwegian services. On February 9, 1909 the congregation was incorporated at a cost of $25.00. Together with Lone Lake Lutheran Church, the congregation called Pastor E. J. Sandvig who served from 1909 to 1911. He conducted services three Sunday’s per month and was to receive $75.00 per year. Two years later the cemetery was incorporated at a cost of $5.45.

Between 1911 and 1947 St. Peter’s had several part time pastors and at one point had a student at Columbia College that was in charge of services. During these years the church had several renovations including the moving of the bell tower and entrance from the Northwest Corner of the building to the Center. In 1947 Pastor Leon Holm became the first full-time resident pastor. The need for a parsonage became urgent and so a parsonage was purchased for $7100. A loan of $6000 was received from Home Mission Board. The deed made by Chris and Martha Berg in 1904 was changed by court action to give St. Peter’s Lutheran Church clear title to the property and the term of the church as a corporation was made perpetual. The amount of the pastor’s salary was increased to $1600.00 per year.

In 1954, Trinity Lutheran Church at Freeland, a newly organized congregation, became part of our parish.

Because of crowded conditions and constant bulkhead repairs, the parsonage was sold in 1957. Two lots on Humphrey Road were purchased for $1200 from Otto Forde, and a new parsonage was built. From 1957 to present there have been many projects to improve the St. Peter’s, including the addition of a storage room, classrooms in the basement, bathroom and kitchen upgrades and the church roof being rebuilt.

The central mission of St. Peter’s is service to the Clinton community and beyond in the praise God and to proclaim the good news of life and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ by: recognizing and responding to human need; inviting people of all origins into a community of faith; nurturing people with word and sacrament; and empowering people to live out their faith with others.

When you enter the church you are presented with a picture of Christ standing looking with compassion at Thomas with his outstretched hands.

TO BE CONTINUED

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