The Augustana Synod 6
74 THE AUGUSTANA SYNOD
3) That the President of the Synod appoint one of the brethren
to preach a missionary sermon at the next meeting of the Synod.
The home mission work of the Synod had thus been started. It
stands first, during the first half century of our Synod, among all its
activities. It will still continue to stand first. Through its home
mission work our Synod will gather the material and lay the founda-
tion for all the other work. We shall therefore choose to speak of
that work first.
Rev. E. Norelius has the distinction of being the first home mis-
sionary called by the first mission committee of the Augustana Synod
The second convention resolved that he be retained with a salary of
$400.00 a year, at least during the four remaining months of the
year, "if there be any hope of raising his salary." It seems that the
salary could not be raised, and so he was obliged to leave the field.
The third convention of the Synod reported that the President had
appointed Abr. Jacobson missionary at Montreal, with no expense
to the Board. The next report tells us that A. Jackson is on the field,
and that Rev. John Johnson had undertaken "the long, perilous, and
toilsome journey to our countrymen in Kansas, at an expense of
$39.00 to the Board." During the following years A. Jacobson,
G. Peters, and others are* giving more or less of their time to the
home mission field.
The Conferences are now beginning to send out missionaries on
their respective fields. In 1868 the Mississippi Conference sends
Rev. S. G. Larson to Kansas and Nebraska. New York had hitherto
proven a difficult field. It is reported in 1868 to have cost the Board
two thousand dollars besides over six hundred dollars from Foster-
There is a marked change in the management of the home mission
in 1870, when the original mission committee is superseded by the
Central Mission Board, consisting of four pastors and four laymen.
Each Conference is also given an auxiliary Board of two pastors and
two laymen. The Board of Deacons is also made a Mission Board
in each individual congregation. The Norwegians now separate from
the Synod and take up their work independently. With a Board in
each congregation and in each Conference, whose chief duty it was
to arouse and maintain interest in the great cause, the Synod takes
up the great task of gathering our countrymen within the fold of
775 MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES
our Church with renewed vigor. Each Conference President is the
chairman of a Mission Board, and feels a direct responsibility for the
work. These chairmen were in 1871: E. Norelius for Minnesota,
N. Th. Winquist for Illinois, H. Olson for Iowa, A. W. Dahlsten for
Kansas, and C. 0. Hultgren for New York. That same year it is
reported that P. A. Cederstam had been on the field in Minnesota
and S. P. A. Lindahl had been touring Iowa, Nebraska, Dakota,
IMMIGRANT HOME, NEW YORK.
76 THE A UG USTANA S YNOD
Kansas, and Missouri. He had preached 130 sermons, baptized 71
children, administered the Lord's Supper 20 times, organized 3 con-
gregations. Rev. J. Magny had been on the field in Minnesota,
Berggren in New York, S. G. Larson in Kansas and Nebraska.
Besides each pastor was expected to spend one month on the mission
field. The receipts for the year amounted to $3,415.99. The next
year thirty new congregations were received into the Synod.
In the evolution of the work it became necessary to give more
authority to the Conferences and place more responsibility upon them.
The field of the Synod is gradually limited to such territory as is not
included within the boundary of any Conference. While this has
taken the most promising field from the Synodical Board it has not
made its work any less important. It still remains for that Board
to see that in our onward march for Christ and our beloved Church
we neglect no field, however hard it may be and however distant from
our center it is located. In 1874 Eev. C. P. Rydholm carries our
banner into Colorado. In the meantime a new field is opening on
the Pacific coast. Eev. J. Auslund spent some time in San Francisco
in 1874 and preached to the countrymen there. Eev. Eydholm was
there in 1875. Eev. J. Telleen from Denver is there in 1882 and
organizes the Ebenezer church. He became its pastor the next } r ear
and pushed the work on the coast. About the same time the old
veteran Eev. P. Carlson from Carver goes to Washington and lays
down a second life's work there. He struggles alone for many a year,
until he is reenforced by G. A. Anderson, L. 0. Lindh, Skans, Hoikka,
and others. The field expands to the north into Canada, to the south
into Florida, to the east to Portland, Maine. The Pacific Conference
is organized in 1890. It would be in vain to attempt to follow in
detail the home mission work of the Augustana Synod during the
last decades. Volumes could be written. We wish that we could
mention the men who have given their lives to this work, and men
such as S. P. A. Lindahl, C. W. Foss, P. J. Brodine, P. Sjoblom, and
a host of others, who have served on the Board for many a year.
But our limited space does not allow it. God knows of their work
and will reward it.
We must, however, mention one more field. Hundreds of our
countrymen from the States and from the mother country had flocked
to the gold fields of Alaska. In the summer of 1900 Dr. S. P. A.
ITS MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES 77
Lindahl was sent out to explore this distant field. He visited Dawson,
Nome, Bayam Creek, Douglas Island, Skagway, and other points.
On his recommendation the work was taken up on Douglas Island with
Juneau and S'kagway as auxiliary stations. Mr. Holmberg, a student
from Augustana, was sent out. He was succeeded by Rev. J. N".
Sundqvist and he again by Eev. J. A. Levin. We have now a beau-
tiful little church at Douglas.
During the first thirty-five years of its history our Synod expended
for home mission work, including the Utah mission, $96,309,98; for
foreign missions, $30,342.90. During the last fifteen years of the
half century the expenditures for home missions amounted to $160,-
468.30; for foreign missions, $154,550.19. This gives for the fifty
years, $256,778.28 for home missions, $184,893.09 for foreign mis-
sions, or a total of $441,671.37 for missions. During the last thirty
years only a fractional part of the money given by our people for
home missions has come to the treasurer of the Synodical Mission
Board; the most has been expended on the fields of the respective
Conferences. Thus in 1878 these Conferences expended for their work
$3,499.93; in 1888, $11,073.72; in 1898, $22,348.65; in 1908, $48,-
900.66. If the increase were uniform, it means that the Conferences
have during the last thirty years expended for their own missions
$596,120.50. Previous to thirty years ago the Conferences did not
spend much money directly. Adding the money spent by the Synod
during these fifty years to that spent by the Conferences during the
last thirty years, it gives us a total approximate expenditure for
home mission work of $852,896.70 for the first half century of our
history. No one can measure the results of this work. Still allow
us to give just a few figures. At the organization of our Synod, there
were reported 49 Swedish and Norwegian congregations with a mem-
bership of 4,967 communicants. Ten years later the Swedish churches
alone numbered 16,376 communicants. Another ten years and the
Synod reported 39,979 communicants. In 1890 the number was
78,295; in 1900, 118,149; in 1908, 163,473 communicants, with an
entire membership of 254,645. During the fifty years of her history
the Swedish Lutheran Church of this country has organized on an
average each year 21 congregations, built 18 churches, increased by
5,000 members, added $153,300.00 to the value of its church property
and $35,000.00 to the financial value of its institutions.
THE AUGUST AN A SYNOD
The field, however, has grown much faster. Thirty years ago it
was hinted that the home mission work of the Illinois Conference
would soon he finished; now Chicago alone has 150,000 Swedes.
About the same time it was reported that the territory of the Minne-
sota Conference numbered about 13,000 Swedish people; now the
Twin Cities alone number 100,000. Our work is but begun. We
have a little over a quarter of a million in the churches of the Augus-
tana Synod out of two million Swedish-Americans, or one out of
every eight. It remains to organize, to work, and to pray as never
before : "Thy kingdom come !"
The Utah Mission.
The Mormon missionaries, sadly enough, had been quite successful
in their proselytizing efforts among the people of Scandinavia. Thou-
sands of misguided souls from these countries were found in Utah.
Some were still loyal to the pagan errors into which they had apos-
tatized ; others had lost faith in all religion ; others, again, had plunged
into the grossest superstition. Could something be done for the saving
of these benighted souls?
Dr. J. Telleen inspected the field in 1881, and reported his obser-
vations in our church paper. The wretched conditions of these our
countrymen touched a chord in the
hearts of our people as nothing be-
fore had -done. The convention of
the Synod resolved in God's name
to take up the work and sent out
Mr. S. M. Hill. He organized the
congregation at Salt Lake City.
The Mission Board realized from
the beginning that only through
school work would it be possible to
reach the rising generation. Mr.
Hill and later Eev. J. A. Krantz
carried on very successful school
work with telling results; but
when the American public school
was established it became difficult
IMMIGRANT HOME, BOSTON, MASS. to compete with it along educa-
ITS MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES 79
tional lines, and our schools like those of other denominations de-
clined. When Mr. S. M. Hill resigned, no less than six calls were
issued by the Board, and each and all declined. Eev. H. 0. Lindeblad,
Eev. L. G. Abrahamson, and E. Edman labored on the field during
the vacancy that ensued.
Eev. J. A. Krantz, ordained on a call from the Mission Board in
1885, labored six years on the field. He was assisted by Mrs. Hilda
Carlson, whose husband, Eev. A. B. Carlson, had died on the mission
field in India, also by Mr. Bernard Anderson, who conducted a very
successful school at Salt Lake City. Eev. E. Hedeen was for a time
at Provo and Eev. G. A. Stenborg at Mt. Pleasant. When Eev. Krantz
resigned, Eev. F. A. Linder was transferred from Ogden to Salt Lake
City. Eev. A. P. Martin followed Hedeen and Stenborg as missionary
at Provo and Mt. Pleasant. At the convention of the Synod in 1893
it was reported that all the missionaries had resigned. Mr. A. J.
Westerlund was stationed at Ogden for some time. Two students,
J. A. Mattson and E. J. Peterson, served during the vacancy. Of the
thirty candidates ordained in 1894 two had accepted calls to Utah,
Eev. Peter Peterson to Ogden and Eev. A. Gunberg to Provo. Sick-
ness compelled the former to leave the field after one year; the latter
remained for many years, preaching not only at Provo and Santaquin,
but at Ogden and other places. He was assisted by a deaconess from
Omaha. Eev. P. E. Aslev succeeded Eev. A. P. Martin at Salt Lake
City, and he again was succeeded by Eev. Emanuel Eydberg. Eev.
0. A. Elmquist finally took up the work at Ogden and labored for
several years there. It is a well known fact that this has been our
hardest mission field. It is a field peculiar to itself. The work was
first classed as foreign mission work, inasmuch as the Mormons had
apostatized from the Christian religion. Later it was coordinated
with the foreign mission as a branch of "yttre missionen," and still
later it was designated as home mission. After nearly thirty years
of great financial expenditure, hard work, prayers, and tears, the
results, if measured by the number of church members, is small in-
deed. But the result cannot be measured in that way. Individuals
have been won for Christ, although conditions were such that they
could not affiliate with the Church. Large numbers have been taught
in our Sunday-schools and in our confirmation classes, who after-
Avards moved to other places. The work has not been in vain. The
80 THE AUGUSTAN A SYNOD
Great Day will show results; the men, who during long, weary years
stood alone and disheartened on that dismal field, shall "come re-
joicing, bringing in their sheaves." The Utah District has now a
communicant membership of 464 and a total membership of 791.
The value of its church property is $55,350.00.
The Immigrant and Sailor Mission.
The early pioneers had learned by experience what a great blessing
an immigrant mission would be. Where they stood some years before,
friendless and homeless, strangers in a strange land, they well knew
that others were standing now. The pastors, who were stationed in our
seaport towns, became, by the very nature of their home mission work,
immigrant and sailor missionaries. The need of the sailor mission
in the city of New York was early brought to the attention of Evan-
geliska Foster] andsstiftel sen, and in 1874 the President of the Synod
could report that this missionary organization had sent Eev. P. J.
Sward to -Brooklyn and C. F. Johansson to Boston. Their work
was most closely connected with our Synod from the beginning, and
both these men early united with it. The churches in these cities and
other seaport towns have done mission work of this kind from the
very beginning. The Synod appropriated money for this work to
these churches from time to time. Thus in 1879 $400.00 was appro-
priated for the church in Brooklyn; Eev. E. A. Fogelstrom, then city,
immigrant, and sailor missionary of that place, reported that as
many as three to four hundred immigrants arrived in a single day.
Philadelphia received two hundred dollars a year for its sailor mis-
sion for a number of years. Eev. C. E. Lindberg and Eev. C. J. Petri
preached to the sailors there every Sunday afternoon. In 1880 two
hundred dollars was appropriated for the work in Castle Garden, and
five hundred dollars for the work in other seaport towns, especially
for literature. Later the Synod decided to station a missionary at
New York. It is not a part of this paper to speak of the Immigrant
Home; that will no doubt be done when the institutions of our
Church are pictured. Yet we cannot forego to mention that the
immigrant mission was long hampered by the want of a home. Our
immigrants were long cared for in the General Council Home, and
the Mission Board of that Lutheran body for a number of years ap-
propriated money for part of the salary of our immigrant missionary.
ITS MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES
The building now owned at No. 5 Water st., New York, was long
rented, and when it could no longer be so rented it was bought. We
have therefore a suitable home, conveniently located for our work.
In Boston we have an Immigrant and Seaman Home, and the pastors
C. W. Andeer and Rubert Swanson have served there as missionaries.
Many throughout the length and breadth of our land will gratefully
remember the helpful services of A. Eodell, E. Schuck, and A. B.
Lilja in New York. No one doubts the importance of this work.
We only regret that we have not been able to do more for the sailor.
The Church should extend to him a warm helping hand, when he
comes into port after his long and wearisome voyage, subject as he
is to all the vile temptations of the seaport city. The immigrant
comes to stay; he should be made to feel at home. The seaman
comes for a short visit; he should be entertained in a manner that
tends to his edification. He needs the gospel; he needs counsel; he
needs a home; he needs rest. He needs to feel that on the distant
shore, to which his perilous calling has brought him, there are men
and women, churches and individuals vitally interested in his welfare.
The Foreign Mission.
No church can afford to neglect her solemn duty to the heathen.
The pastors who founded the Swedish Lutheran Zion of America had
taken a great interest in the foreign mission work as
carried on by the people of Sweden. They brought this
interest for the saving of the heathen with them into the
wilds of America and transplanted it here. Already at
the third convention of our Synod, held in Vasa, 1862,
a resolution was passed requesting every congregation
to hold foreign missionary services and take up contri-
butions for the saving of the heathen. In 1865 there
were 750 dollars in Uni-
ted States bonds for this
work. The next conven-
tion appropriated two
hundred dollars for the
sion, for Fosterlandsstif-
telsen's mission in Africa, TH E NEW AUGUSTANA CHURCH AT SAMAI.KOT, INDIA.
THE AUGUSTANA SYNOD
and for the Swedish mission in India, respectively. A foreign mis-
sion committee was also appointed. The Synod continued to make
appropriations from time to time for these and other missions.
The Mission in India.
In 1867 our Synod together with other Lutheran synods in America
organized the General Council. The Pennsylvania Ministerium, the
Lutheran mother synod of America, had previously been a part of
the General Synod with its foreign mission field in southern India.
When the Ministerium severed its connection with that body it re-
ceived a part of that field. This mission field it brought with it into
the Council. Our Synod, as a part of the General Council, became
jointly responsible with the other synods for the saving of the heathen
of that field. When one of our own men, Eev. A. B. Carlson, went
to India, labored and died there, it brought the work closer to our
hearts than it had ever been before. In 1889 the Synod recommended
Charlotte Swenson, 1870 1908. Betty Nil
Rev. E. Edman, M. D. Rev. O. O. Eckardt.
M. D. Rev. H. E. Isaacson.
Rev. O. L. Larson. Rev. A. B. Carlson,
Missionaries in India.
ITS MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES 83
Eev. E. Edman, M. D., to the Board; he was called and accepted.
The next year the Synod sent all its foreign mission funds to India
The pioneer in the Zenana work on the field, Miss Charlotte Swen-
son, was from our Synod. S'he went to India twice, died and is
buried there. Eev. H. E. Isaacson and wife are the pioneers among
the Swedish missionaries on the field at present. Others are Eev. and
Mrs. 0. 0. Eckardt, Eev. and Mrs. 0. L. Larson, Miss Wahlberg, the
nurse, and Dr. Betty Nilsson. The contributions from the Synod have
steadily increased until they are now the largest among all the synods
of the General Council. In 1907 they were larger by over eight
thousand dollars than in 1904, or $15,575.21.
A very extensive school work is carried on, largely by native teach-
ers. We have now three lady medical missionaries on the field, and
will soon have a well-equipped hospital. The gospel is increasingly
manifesting its power to save. The following are the statistics of the
mission two years ago :
Number of congregations, 241 ; number of church members, 13,513 ;
number of communicants 7,036; number of missionaries, 16; number
of native helpers, 314; number of pupils in mission schools, 5,735.
The Porto Rico Mission.
When the Spanish-American war closed in 1898, which liberated
beautiful Porto Eico from the misrule of tyrannical Spain, and
Americans flocked thither, there was a student from Augustana Col-
lege among them. This student, Mr. G. S. Swensson, engaged in
mission work, although commissioned by no board. He established
Sunday-schools and preached the gospel to the benighted people of
the island. His work was reported to the Mission Board of the
General Council. The Board did not shirk the new responsibility
thus unexpectedly thrust upon it. It sent out missionaries and made
liberal appropriations for the work. All the workers at present on the
field are from our Synod. They are: Eev. and Mrs. Alfred Ostrom,
Eev. A. P. G. Anderson, Miss May Melander, the teacher. Others
from our Synod who have labored on that southern field are Miss
Wahlstedt and Miss Hazelgrecn. At present there are congregations
at S'an Juan, one Spanish and one English; one at Catano, one at
Bayamon, and one at St. Thomas, besides a number of missions.
God has clearly called the General Council to establish the Lutheran
THE AUGUST AN A SYNOD
faith on this island, and among the synods of the Council it seems
that the Augustana Synod has been chosen to do the work. This has
become an Augustana Synod field by preeminence. May the mission
come ever closer to the hearts of our people !
The Mission in China.
At the convention of the Synod in Chicago in 1908, the Synod
received as its own the mission field in China, already established
by a mission society with headquarters in the Twin Cities. We un-
derstand that there will be a special paper on this subject, and
it will therefore serve the purpose of this paper to make a mere men-
tion of it here. There are already on the field Eev. and Mrs. Edwins,
Eev. and Mrs. Trued, Dr. and Mrs. Friberg, and Sister Ingeborg
Nysted, a deaconess from Bethesda Deaconess Institute. Several
native helpers are also engaged. God has graciously assigned to this
mission a most populous and promising field. The great need at
Annette Wahlstedt. May C. Mellander.
Rev. G. S. Swensson. Rev. A. P. G. Anderson. Rev. A. Ostrom.
Missionaries in Porto Rico.
ITS MISSIONARY ENTERPRISES
present is men and money. Our Synod is able to furnish both without
neglecting any of its other work, if it is truly aroused to its great
opportunity and grave responsibility. Let us pray and hope, let us
give ourselves and our own for God's great work !
The Persian Mission.
Many years ago, in 1887, Rev. Knanishu Moratkhan of the
Nestorian Church of Persia visited our country to enlist the in-
terest of the Lutheran Church in his mission schools. His efforts to
infuse new life into that old historic church appealed very strongly
to the leading men of our Synod, especially to Dr. 0. Olsson, and for
a long time the Synod appropriated three hundred dollars annually
for the support of these schools. Rev. Moratkhan sent his son,
Joseph Knanishu, to be educated at Augustana College and Theol.
S'eminary. He spent twelve years here, was ordained in 1902 for the
mission in Oroomiah, Persia, and died in 1909. In 1906 Isaac Yo-
hannan, also educated at Augustana College and Theol. Seminary,
Sister Ingeborg 1 Nysted.
Rev. A. W. Edwins. Rev. A. E. Tnicd.
Missionaries in China.
C. P. Friberg, M. D.
86 THE AUGUSTANA SYNOD
was ordained and returned to his country for -missionary work. Again
in 1908 George Azoo was likewise ordained and sent out. Our Synod
has not assumed the responsibility for the salary of these missionaries,
but has, nevertheless, liberally supported the mission. The Students'
Mission Society at Augustana College has been liberal toward this
mission. The mission does not aim to found a new church in Persia,
but rather to infuse new life into that old historic church. Besides
the preaching of the gospel the mission lays great stress on Christian
education. The blessed results are already manifesting themselves.
Under this caption we wish to mention, not what our Synod has
actually done, but what it has made some efforts to do. There was a
time when our Synod was much interested in carrying the gospel to
the liberated slaves of the South. Eev. P. Ahlberg of Sweden, who
took such a vital interest in the early work of our Church in this
country, conferred with our Synod in 1868 with a view of establishing
a mission among the negroes of the South. Our Synod took up the
matter at its convention, and Texas was recommended as a very prom-
ising field. We only mention this as one of the many good intentions
of our Synod that were never carried out.
Our Synod was for a number of years very much interested in the
conversion of the Indians and took steps towards establishing a mis-
sion among them. In 1875 the Synod decided to establish a mission
among the Delaware Indians of Indian Territory, just as soon as
suitable men could be obtained. Dr. 0. Olsson was sent out to inves-
tigate the field ; he gave a most interesting account of his experiences,
how he was entertained by the Indian chief, Journey Cake, who him-
self was a Baptist minister, and most deeply interested in the con-
version of his people. This chief recommended that we establish a
mission among the Pawnees. The Synod decided at its next meeting