Hofva Lutheran disappears from county countryside

Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm


By Lindsie DeFrang


On the morning of Thursday, June 27, former church and board members watched the Hofva Lutheran Church located about a mile south of Hwy. 200 be demolished and burnt to the ground.

“Some people wanted to save the church and others wanted to do away with it, but after seeing the damage it was just time to let it go,” said member Edith Lundstrom.

It was in 2011 when former church board members noticed the building had begun to deteriorate. The roof was rotting and the basement had caved in leaving a large hole along the entire north side of the church.

The church was built in the early 1900s, when Amy and August Erickson donated a lot of land to be used for a cemetery and church building. On July 21, 1904 Rev. J. Fremling dedicated the church.

Prior to having the church, services were held in homes of members or in a schoolhouse.

Modernization of the church occurred multiple times over the many years of services. A large bell was installed in the church steeple in 1910. By the 1950s an addition to the north end and a full basement was added along with the building receiving electricity. The interior of the church was also redecorated. A new altar, railing and pulpit were installed replacing the original one, which was donated by Mrs. Gustav Peterson along with the altar picture and pastor’s chair.

A sink and sewer were installed in 1964, and later in 1975 40 evergreens were purchased to replace trees destroyed by the 1971 windstorm.

By 2005 members of the church had found other churches to attend and the last service and dinner at Hofva Lutheran was held on July 24.

Denise Huso of Finley, a former church member recalled many memories as she stood and watched the demolition. Huso was baptized, confirmed and married at Hofva Lutheran.

“It was hard watching the steeple be knocked down for about 15 minutes I got really choked up, and then halfway through I remembered it was just the best thing for it,” said Huso.

Huso was also the church secretary before the church closed in 2005. Other board members included Brad Lundstrom, Greg Kindle and Alan Juliuson.

Liaison for the church and cemetery association Bruce Lundstrom, took the cross from the steeple after the demolition. The cross and the bell will be placed at the cemetery in the future as a monument to the church.