Time capsule offers church a look into former years

On Oct. 18, 1953, the cornerstone was laid at the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Valley City. Along with it, a time capsule was secured for a future congregation.

The Church opened the capsule following services on Sunday at St. Paul’s new location.

“To be able to open it,” said the Rev. Mathew Sprunger, “it was really awesome.”

Sprunger will celebrate three years with the church in August, and said that the former pastor of the church, Donald E. Kolander, handpicked many of the articles that were placed in the capsule.

One of the articles in the capsule was a weekly flier from the day the cornerstone and capsule were cemented into the building on Fourth Street in Valley City. Kolander wrote that “the men of the congregation are requested to meet on the main floor of the church shortly after this service for the purpose of discussing some construction details which were mentioned after the church service last Sunday. Your interest and suggestions are needed.”

The cost of the stone was $27, a good deal compared to today’s prices. There were 54 members who attended services the Sunday prior to the 18th, and the collection plate took in $386.50 that day. The church was built for approximately $15,000.

The St. Paul’s church at 658 4th St. Southwest Valley City was dedicated on June 13, 1954. It was built atop the same grounds of a smaller church that was moved into town to hold the congregation until membership grew larger than that building could accommodate.

Kolander’s copy of Luther’s Catechism, a book of reports from the 1953 St. Paul’s Wisconsin Synod Convention, some facts of interest about the church at the time and a history of the congregation up to that point in time.