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United Lutheran came to existence in 1926 after three of Grand Forks's Lutheran synods (congregations) decided to come together. After series of these congregations splitting apart, others banding together or minor ones existing based on ethnic backgrounds, it was announced, over the radio, that all Lutheran congregations would come together. A church building was then needed to hold them all. This building was constructed in 1932. The building was lucky to survive the 1997 Red River flood largely intact. The church is still active today.


  • United Lutheran Church as it looks today
  • United Lutheran Church circa 1940s-1950s

Grand Forks's first Lutheran church was the Zion First Evangelical Norwegian Lutheran Church, organized in 1879 and had its own building by 1881. In 1886 the second Lutheran synod was the Evangelical Lutheran Church, later to be known as Trinity Lutheran. Following those in 1889 was the First Lutheran Church, which formed after a group of members left the Zion Lutheran congregation. 

In 1918, Trinity and Zion merged as Bethany Lutheran, where they met in Zion's church building. In 1936 Bethany merged with First Lutheran, thus becoming the United Lutheran Church of Grand Forks. I
n September of 1927, the installation of Rev. Ingvoldstad was broadcast over the radio, initiating one of the longest radio ministries in the country, continuing to this day. 

Construction for a new church building to house all three united synods began in 1931 under the direction of regionally famous Joseph Bell DeRemer and his son, Samuel. The building was finished in 1932. Throughout the 1960s, the church saw extensive additions and renovations made. Following the 1997 Red River flood, the church had to once again be restored, having been damaged, yet not enough to warrant demolishment. 


Stephen R. Hoffbeck (December 1990). "NRHP Inventory-Nomination: United Lutheran Church" (PDF). National Park Service. and Accompanying seven photos, exterior and interior, from 1946, 1974, and 1991