P O Box 553, Lakota, ND 58344

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History of United Lutheran Church

United Lutheran Church of Brocket was formally organized on October 1, 1950. The church was a result of the union of two pioneer congregations.  Hoff Lutheran of rural Brocket and Vaage Lutheran of Brocket.  These two "parent" congregations brought long histories into the merger, having been organized in 1889 and 1903 respectively.  In 1967 the United Lutheran Church Council voted to have the congregational members tear down the old Vaage church. The furnishings had been disposed of earlier. The Hoff furnishings were sold and the church was put up for bids.  It was sold and moved off the premises in March of 1972. They had served the people long and well.
Reverend Raymond Brien, who had served as student pastor of Hoff and Vaage since 1947, was given a letter of call in 1950 to serve as pastor of this new United Lutheran Church.  He also organized Lawton Lutheran in 1947 and served both churches.  Lawton has been a sister congregation in the parish since 1950. Reverend Brien served until 1952.
Reverend C.T. Hanson served the congregation from 1952 until 1957. In a Brocket-Lawton Newsletter from 1953 we find messages from congregation members, Donald Skjerseth, Oscar Anderson, Maureen Lund, Pauline Nelson and others.
In 1958 Reverend John V. Gronli accepted the call and served until 1961. In October of 1960 the congregation voted to change the Annual Meeting from October to January.  During this time many discussions were held concerning a new church building, but no decision could be reached by the congregation.
In 1961 Reverend Robert J. Weber became Pastor.  Reverend Weber had a degree in structural engineering and after the congregation voted to build a new church on April 19, 1964, Rev. Weber used his talents to design the building which is used today. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in May 1964 and on May 9, 1965 the new church building was dedicated.  Pastor Weber left the parish in 1967 when he accepted a call to Our Savior's in Devils Lake, which was a new mission church.  He again designed this new church, and later Ofstedal Center at Red Willow Bible Camp.
Reverend Jerry Protextor served from 1967 until February 1972. During this time he continued a special Bible study called The Bethel Series which Pastor Weber initiated.  A church directory for the parish was also published at this time.
Reverend Paul T. Hirdman became pastor in 1972 and in August 1973 left the congregation to work with Lutheran Social Services in Grand Forks.
Reverend Douglas Dobson accepted a call in 1974 and served until March 1979. In 1975 the congregation celebrated the 25th Anniversary of United Lutheran, the 10th Anniversary of the church building and also burned the church mortgage. Construction of a new parsonage was one of the highlights of the church at this time.  In May 1976 the congregation approved the building of a parsonage and construction began in the Fall of 1977. A loan was secured from the State Bank of Lakota for $35,000 to finance construction. Total cost of the parsonage was approximately $46,000. The parsonage was dedicated on July 9, 1978. In February 1978 the congregation voted to reduce the age for First Communion to 12 years, rather than waiting until their Confirmation.
In 1978, the congregation purchased new hymnals, Lutheran Book of Worship, which involved a change for congregation members.  During this time much discussion was held concerning upkeep, etc…of the cemeteries. Talk of incorporating the two cemeteries began in 1977. This was finally done in May 1983. The cemeteries are now under the jurisdiction of a cemetery board, rather than the church council.
In July 1979, Reverend Melvin E. Rau accepted the call and served until April 1982. A new church directory was printed during this time. The constitution was reviewed and one major change was to reduce the number of council members from 15-12.
In September 1982, Reverend Frederick C. Thoni became pastor.  During this time senior meals began serving meals at the church with approximately 16 people attending.  In 1985 some changes were made in the Fellowship Hall with insulation added to the north and south walls and the north windows were removed.  At the Annual Meeting on January 11, 1987, the parsonage mortgage was burned.  At this time a vote was taken to approved a merger of the American Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church of America to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This became official several years later as it was approved by the National church body. Pastor Thoni resigned May 15, 1987.
In October 1987, Reverend Mark R. Kolbo became pastor.  In July 1988 Pastor Kolbo married Lisa Crandall. Reverend Kolbo began a parish newsletter, The Evangel, which has continued to this date. This has provided a great means of communication for the church members.  Bethlehem Lutheran of Doyon became a member of this parish. Since then, three services are held each Sunday morning at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Rev. Kolbo left the parish in 1999.
Reverend Robert Chapman accepted the call to serve in December 1999. The year 2000 has found congregational members busy preparing for the 50th Anniversary celebration.
From 2004 to 2009 we were led by Pastor Joel Westby. We joined the Parish in 2009 with Pastor Schnaidt and Pastor Mackey.  From 2011 to present we are being led by Pastor Peter and Becky Horn.