Roll With The Changes: The Little White Church On The Prairie

Last Sunday after experiencing that beloved siren and being absolutely exhausted I did not accomplish one of my goals…

Submitted by Don Krenowicz

Posted Aug. 31, 2012

Last sunday after experiencing that beloved siren and being absolutely exhausted I did not accomplish one of my goals, which was to go to church and take the time to litterly thank God for the place I have landed. One of the souls that lives in this converted church is a quiet man named Vance from Spokane Wash. we have become acquainted over this last week and joined ranks to go to church Sunday morn.

We picked the Congregational Church on the corner of 1st and McKenzie, one block from my new home, and showed up in fairly modest slacks and dress shirts [our Sunday best as my mom would say].

To say the least we were overdressed, this is farm country. Cowboy boots, jeans, flannel and a stetson hat were the standard. Of course the ladies were smartly dressed,

It turns out that this church is the oldest building in town, they are celebrating their 125th anniversary in June. A quaint little church and I said in the heading all white with a bell. They are planning a paint party and BBQ to commemorate the event. It has a modest steeple and the traditional {what we call a mud room] wind break room as they call it around here at the entrance.

Anyway Vance and I waltz in and were greeted by the pastor,  a middle aged women named Jannelle and quickly became involved in conversation with her and many other people that greeted us with great enthusiasm. [I don’t think they see alot of new faces lately]

Vance and I took our places and greeted the congregation before the service started, all of them. You see like the small of this big hearted town there was only 17 of us including the pastor.

The alter was modest with your traditional pulpit, candles, and the vestibule for the cross, but there was something unique about this little white church on the prairie. To the left of the pulpit was a prominent wall displayed American flag, smaller than the christian flag to the right in the corner. What a country, what a town.

The service started with a prayer for Vance and I and the fact that we were so far from home, away from our family’s, and we were welcomed into the community. The pastor asked us to pick up our hymnal and turn to #126, don’t, remember the song, and we began to sing.

Traditional would be all I can say about the music. Not Being a able singer I mouthed along and thumbed through this hymnal that I now noticed was very old. On the inside cover it read as follows “Donated by Jim and Dorris Harold 1926” Wow. Looking about the small church as the music played I could see many other hymnals of similar vintage in the pews in front of me and began to wonder how old they might be?

The service was filled with good message and prayer, a little more formal than I am used to, but all is new in North Dakota.

After the service all wanted to hear Vance and my story, where we came from, why, our families and most of all “how are you doing.”

Talking with the pastor I mentioned [incorrectly in a past story 25 year anniversary, its 24] my anniversary and she wanted Beth’s email to welcome her to town when she came to visit.

Then she announced to all [17] lets take a picture with Don and Vance so they can send it to their spouse’s. A little bit overwhelmed we settled for a pic with the pastor sandwiched between Vance and I. Said our greetings and thanks for for the warm welcome.

As Vance and I  walked out of church we were welcomed by that gentle North Dakota breeze and we were off to Sakakakawea on a beautiful sunny day via the Enchanted Highway of North Dakota

Signing off from the Oil Patch



– Roll With The Changes is proudly sponsored by Southwest Business Machines

Share this post