Brownstone Church Stands in Duluth for Over 100 Years

Northland Uncovered: Mount Olive Lutheran Church

DULUTH, Minn. – The City of Duluth is filled with historic churches and they each have their own unique beginning.

One church in town has been standing for over 100 years and in that time, two congregations have found their home inside.

The building that is now home to Mount Olive Lutheran Church was built in 1906.

The Mount Olive Congregation was founded in 1922 but didn’t move into this building until 1956 when they were looking to expand.

Previously, they had called a building located at 19th Ave. E. and 4th St. in Duluth home.

“They actually had a ceremony marching down from the old building marching down to this location,” explained Pastor Robert Franck.

As the congregation grew over the years, so did the building. A major addition was completed in 1993.

“The addition was also done in a way that was recognized by the Duluth Preservation Alliance,” said Pastor Franck.

Consistent with buildings of this time throughout Duluth, brownstone covers the old church.

“In the addition, of course, they had to, they took all that brownstone off the side and saved it and reworked it,” said Pastor Franck.

Other projects have been done over the years to keep the building functioning like maintaining the stained glass windows and purchasing an organ to replace the original that had burned in a fire.

“Worshipping in a well-kept old building is how the Christian Church is, old faith and yet very relevant and important for people to this day,” said Pastor Franck.

The architecture of the sanctuary is one Pastor Franck says lasts through time, “if you look up in the beam work it looks a lot like the interior of a ship, and designed specifically that way as many congregations are just as a reminder that we are called into the ship of the Christian church.”

Showing one thing never changing throughout the years is the message behind the historic structure.


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