575 23rd Street, Ogden
The sanctuary at Ogden's Elim Lutheran Church, Easter 2021. (Deniane Kartchner photo)
In 1888, a small group of Swedish immigrants started meeting for fellowship and informal worship services in Hannah Lund's parlor in the Five Points area of Ogden, Utah. This gathering eventually led to the building of Elim Lutheran Church, the second oldest Lutheran congregation in Utah.
"...These few were joined by Pastor Frans August Linder and his family who was dispatched by the Scandanavian Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America. Before the year was old, the fledgling congregation had received the deed to a lot on the corner of 23rd and Jefferson where the present church is still located...The congregation was formally organized on December 8, 1889, when the names of the charter members were entered in the church register." (Elim History)
Architect's rendering of the "new" Elim Lutheran Church, provided by Louise Cole.
The "old" white building was torn down after the new brick building went into service in 1949: a unique “Modified Gothic” church built by the congregation under the supervision of Larson Construction and Engineering Co. Three buildings at the former General Defense Depot of Ogden, (now Business Depot Ogden) were purchased, dismantled and their materials salvaged to build the church. An agreement with a local brickyard allowed the church to keep one brick for every two they cleaned. Congregants donated 10,000 hours of labor to salvage materials, including cleaning an estimated 60,000 bricks to build their new home. The timbers in the building's walls were salvaged from the old prisoner of war barracks. (Elim History)
The altar painting by Swedish painter G.N. Malm hangs in the north stairwell reminding congregants of their Swedish roots. The original cross that once hung over the entrance can now be found in a display case.
Since 1888, Elim Lutheran Church has been known as a place where seekers and others can come to find themselves, wrestle with questions and doubts, grapple with their understanding of who they are and who God is, and learn how to relate to God and others in kind, loving and accepting ways.