Tuesday, 18 May 1875
The history of the Pilot Knob Lutheran Church has its roots in the immigration of Scandinavian families to north central Iowa in the mid-nineteenth century. …
As the new community grew, so did the awareness that there must be a Church to serve the spiritual needs of the people. The Rev. J.M. Dahl, pioneer pastor to these parts and instrumental in starting a number of congregations, had been calling on the families of the area and ministering to their needs. The first group meetings and services were held in the homes, later in the schoolhouse.
The original name of the congregation was Ellington Lutheran Church, later changed to Pilot Knob. The exact date of origin is not certain. The records hold two dates, May 18, 1875, and October 6, 1875. The earlier date may well have been temporary, the later permanent. According to Pastor Dahl’s own handwriting, the congregation was organized on Tuesday, May 18, 1875, following a communion service conducted by himself at the home of Gunder Kivle. This is the farm home presently owned and occupied by the Irvin Hanson family. According to historical record there were seven Charter Member Families: Gunder Kivle, Torstien Lien, Ole Hove, Nels Olson, Nels Nelson, Gilbert Severson and Even Halvorson. — Historical Resume, PKLC’s Centennial, 1975, p. 8
A empty tomb 2000 years ago is the origin of the Church; a gathering of believers 134 years ago is the origin of our congregation. The day can only be a date for all of us. None of us were there, and only some direct descendants of those who were. But we are all linked, and not simply by membership to this church body, but The Church Body, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb and worthy to be called God’s sons and daughters. The group of families had much ahead of them—their congregation had even more. There would be no dedicated house of worship for another 26 years, stained-glass windows were 70 years away, a shattered and shorter steeple in 80 years, in-door plumbing in 90 years … and a fire at 125. Our heritage, in both Christ and those who met in Ellington township is strong and secure—may we, with God’s Grace, continue forward with the opportunities begun by God in 1875.