History

History of the Evangelical Free Church of Sandstone


A group of concerned Christians, called "The Pure Noble Christian Society", began services in the old Dutch church in 1930. This group called Rev. John R. Siemens to conduct an Evangelistic Campaign the summer of 1931, which resulted in the forming of the Bible Church in 1932.


Rev. Paul Hendricks, who was pasturing the Presbyterian Church at Hinckley and Friesland, assisted in this new work. The Lord led Rev. Hendricks to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Whitcomb of the new work being formed in Sandstone.  Mr. Whitcomb held a two-week series of meetings at Sandstone and then was called as pastor of this new work. The work continued to grow due in part to the out-reach of the Grindstone Lake Bible Camp which was first opened in the summer of 1932. Sandstone EFC has been a member of G.L.B.C. since its beginning.


The Sandstone Bible Church was formally organized in the fall of 1932. Rev. Richard Deursen was called as the next pastor. In 1933 the first members were accepted into the fellowship. The group continued to grow and showed interest in purchasing a larger facility. The Methodist Church on the corner of Main and Sixth Street was purchased for the sum of $250. The Church required extensive repairs and was not occupied until May of 1936 when the official dedication was held.


Dr. Ira E. Honeywell became pastor in 1938, and served the Lord in this work only a few short months before the Lord called him home. Rev. Frank McQuoid was called as pastor in 1939. During his ministry the first parsonage was purchased and the church was incorporated. Rev. McQuoid served until 1941.


Rev. Arthur G. Dalke served as pastor from the fall of 1941 until 1943 when he began his work as a missionary in South America.


In 1943 the membership expressed a desire to join with a denomination. After hearing the views of three different denominations the church voted unanimously to join the Swedish Evangelical Free Church (now known as the Evangelical Free Church of America, since 1950.)


Rev. A. J. Thorwall, Field Representative of the Swedish E.F.C., served as interim pastor for eleven months. He recommended that we call Rev. Andrew E. Johnson as our first full time Evangelical Free Church pastor. Rev. Johnson began his pastorate in 1944.


During Rev. Johnson's ministry the Sandstone Bible Church officially became "The Evangelical Free Church of Sandstone". A new parsonage was built during this time. Pastor Johnson served the Lord in Sandstone for four years.


Rev. Gordon Kling began serving the church in 1948. The membership has grown to approximately 80 people. Due to a fire, which destroyed the inside of the church, the church was remodeled. The building was also enlarged. The ground breaking for the new addition took place in July of 1953. Rev. Kling resigned in 1954.


Rev. Turner Tallaksen was called as pastor and saw the completion and dedication of the sanctuary in April of 1955. Rev. Tallaksen completed his ministry here in 1960.


Rev. Ray Johnson served as pastor for three years, 1960-1963.


Rev. Matejka served as pastor until the summer of 1967.


Rev. Newton Sundeen accepted the call as pastor in the fall of 1967. Rev. Sundeen resigned in January 1974. During his ministry a new narthex (entry way) was built.


Rev. Donald Danielson was called as pastor and began his ministry in July of 1974. In 1975 construction of a new addition began. In June of 1976 this addition was dedicated to the Lord. During August 1981 work was started on remodeling the basement under the sanctuary. The project was completed in 1981. Rev. Danielson left in the summer of 1984.


Rev. Gary Thompson was called as pastor in the fall of 1985 and served until the fall of 1989.

Rev. Thomas Aubrey was called in July of 1990. He served until June of 2004.


In 1991 a newly remodeled parsonage was purchased and the existing parsonage was sold.


In the summer of 2001, 40 acres of land were purchased in Sandstone. This land includes a house, which acted as a second parsonage.


In the fall of 2006 Rev. John Cedar was called as interim pastor and served until the current pastor, Rev. Chris Cundiff, was called in October of 2007.


In May of 2008 the second parsonage was sold at auction as part of preparing the land for the planned building of a new church.