Faribault SDA Church

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Organized: August 24, 1929
Current Location: 1360 Albers Path, Faribault, MN   Map
Website: https://www.faribaultsda.com/
Editor: Kathy Joy Parke
Herb Senne, Jean McKellip-Senne, Ardis Kisor-Borg, Janna Borg

In the summer of 1878, in conjunction with the Minnesota SDA Camp Meeting held that year at Hutchinson, the Minnesota Conference convened for their annual session and minutes from that meeting show that a church from Faribault was admitted to the conference on June 19, 1878. A year later, at the annual conference session, again convening with camp meeting, held this time at Calhoun Lake (now Bde Maka Ska) in Hennepin County, the Faribault Church was renamed the Dundas Church (Dundas being about 10 miles northeast of Faribault). It is unclear how long the church remained viable at that location. By 1886, when the camp meeting and attendant conference session met at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, it was resolved on June 27 that a church at Faribault, once again, would be admitted to the Minnesota Conference. It is yet to be determined from historical documents how the church progressed from that point until 1929 when the following history commences.

Herb and Jean Senne
Photo: © 2009 Kathy Joy Parke

Note: In 2009, it was the privilege of the Editor (Kathy Parke) and Alice Pettis to interview long-time Faribault SDA Church members, Herb and Jean Senne along with Ardis and Janna Borg. They provided several photos and the following history which was written around 1991. It is with gratitude for this preserved information that this history is shared. The Editor has made some minor edits and included some information from the diaries of Elder Otto H. Christensen.

Faribault SDA Church Beginnings
The Seventh-day Adventist Church of Faribault, MN, was founded by Roy F. Wolcott. His maternal grandmother, Sarah Butterfield, had been a Seventh-day Adventist along with his maternal uncle, Leslie J. Butterfield [father of C. L. Butterfield, a notable SDA pastor, president of several SDA conferences and overseas worker to Korea]. Roy’s mother having died when he was about 7 ½ years old, he and his sister Nina went to live with his Uncle Leslie and Aunt Polly for a time. Roy and his sister both joined the Seventh-day Adventist church. On August 24, 1929, there was a baptism making nineteen people charter members of a newly organized church. The special service was conducted by Elder Louis Halsvick of the Norwegian-Danish SDA Church in Minneapolis who was also a member of the MN SDA Conference board. For some time the members met in the home of R. F. Wolcott.

Otto and Dorothy Christensen
with son Bruce
Photo: Center for Adventist Research Collection 033, P000885

Elder and Sister Otto Christensen began an effort November 3, 1929, in Faribault. On November 13, 1929, Elder and Sister Christensen transferred their membership from the Detroit Lake, MN, church to the Faribault church.

Faribault SDA Church First Church Building
In June 1930, there was a baptism of six. With membership increasing, the members began looking for a suitable building that could be used for a church and school. On April 18, 1930, a church building was purchased that was located at Cannon Lake. Property on First Street NW and Lincoln Avenue NW (102 Lincoln Avenue NW) was prepared with several members, assisted by Elder Otto Christensen, pouring a foundation and laying the block basement. On September 23, 1930, the church building was moved to the Lincoln Avenue site. Dedication services were held October 31 – November 2, 1930 by Elder Christensen and Elder Harper.

Faribault SDA Church, Lincoln Ave. – C. 1956
Photo: Senne Collection

Faribault SDA Church Second Church Building
Lincoln Avenue was the location of the church until 1971 when the members decided that, with a membership of 63, they had outgrown the building. They bought the church that had been the First Baptist Church located on the corner of Third Avenue and Fifth Street NW. In February, 1971, they held their first service in that building.

Faribault SDA Church Third Church Building
In 1986, plans to build a new church were being made. The opportunity to sell the current church came and on June 15, 1987, it was sold. The church services were held in a rented building until property for a new church was found and bought. This new building was erected in July, 1990. The efforts of many hands has made it what you see today. The Maranatha Volunteers gave us their expert help for two weeks. We really appreciate what they did for us. May 4th, 1991, dedication services were held by C. Lee Huff, President of the Minnesota Conference. Others guests were Mayor Dean Purdie of Faribault; Joel Tompkins, President Mid America Conference; and Larry Juhl, President ot the Maranatha Minnesota chapter.

Faribault SDA Church Construction
Photo: Senne Collection

Faribault SDA Church Members and Ministry
Since the church began in 1929 with 19 charter members, it has seen membership as high as 75. Present membership stands at 60.

Ardis Borg, granddaughter of Roy Wolcott, and her daughter Janna
Photo: © 2009 Kathy Joy Parke

There are two charter members still living – Everine Wolcott currently from the Red Wing Seventh-day Adventist Church and one charter member, Mrs. Iva Wolcott-Kisor, who is still living and a member in Faribault [at the time this was written in 1991]. A third and fourth generation of Wolcotts are also members, being Ardis (Kisor) Borg and Janna Borg.

Roy F. Wolcott was elected Head Elder on November 17, 1929. In 1953, Herb Senne was elected Head Elder and still holds that office in 1991.

The church has maintained a church school for several years, currently known as the Parkside Christian Elementary School.

Parkside Christian Elementary School
(Faribault SDA Church School)
Photo: Senne Collection

In 1972, Pastor Ernest Dobkins came to Faribault. Through his leadership the church established a health food store, “Natures Nook”. It was a good outreach to the community. The store was sold to a private party on September 12, 1983.

The church had a Community Services organization which helped many families in Faribault. In 1982, the Clothes Closet as opened to the public. The facility was in the church, which was open one afternoon a week. This facility was closed when the church was sold in 1987.

Faribault SDA Church
Photo: Senne Collection