In the year 1872 the first Scandinavian settlers came to the western part of Big Stone County and took homesteads there. Small homes were dugouts and others were built of sod and logs. Time went on…these people cleared their land and tilled it with oxen, mules and horses. By 1885 many homes were built and these people felt a need for schools and a place of worship. On February 16, 1885, a group of men met at the Arndt Holmlie home in the western part of what was called Prior Township (in 1921 Prior Township was split and the western part was called Foster Township) to organize a Norwegian Lutheran Congregation a/k/a “Prairie Congregation”. Parishioners met in homes or in the country school house nearby know as Knudson School until a church could be built. In 1900 a two acre piece of land was donated by Gunder Knudson for constructing a church across the road from “Golden Prairie School” a/k/a Knudson School (District #20). During that time Church services were not too regular because of the weather and unusable roads.
Some of the early settlers active in the work of starting our church were: Mathias & Lars Olson, Lars Halvorson, Arndt Holmlie, Lars-John-Anton & Ole Skundberg, Gunder Knudson, Ole Erickstein, Andrew Sandvig, Amund Erickson, Lars Anderson, Ole Holte, Johannas Syverson, Thomas Berg, Ole Moen, Albert Allison, Hans Thompson, Anton Johnson, Mathias Fossen, Alexander Morck, Halvor Johnson, Peder Johnson, Peter Johnson, Ole Talberg, Ole Hendrickson, M. Thorson, Ole Paulson, Charles Seip, Even Nelson, Erick Jacobson, John Gudding, P. Petterson and Haahen Gilbertsen.
By 1900 plans were made for a church building. The building committee was: Ole Moen, Lars Anderson and John Skundberg. Lars Johnson of Beardsley was asked to build the church. The building fund was at $410. The Ladies Aid contributed $257 from their treasury. These figures must prove faith can go a long way in any undertaking, “With God ALL things are possible“. Construction started in 1901. The new church building was dedicated in 1904. Sunday services were spoken in the Norwegian language with the men sitting on the right side and women and children on the left.
In 1928 Holden Church was incorporated with the name “Holden Norwegian Lutheran Church”. In 1936 a new basement was constructed under the church at a cost of $950. The building committee consisted of Ingvald Kvatum, Tony Pederson and Henry Skundberg.
June 17, 1944, a tornado struck our area and complete destroyed the church building. Church services were held at the Beardsley Auditorium until a new church could be built. Building the new church started in 1948 with Johnson Bros.(Joe and Les), the sons of Lars Johnson, as contractor.