About Our Beautiful Country Church

Church Organizations:

Hickory Grove Lutheran ChurchLutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) South Wisconsin District meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. for a business meeting and Bible Study.

The LWML helps women of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) find avenues to use their God-given talents as they joyfully share the Good News of Jesus Christ with people far and near.

History:

Built in 1872 our beautiful church is more than 140 years old. As early as 1855, families were building their homes in Hickory Grove and Fennimore townships. Their little cottages were barely roofed before these same men and women felt the need to build for their spiritual future as well as their material needs. Services were held in different homes until 1861 when a small church was completed and Hickory Grove and Castle Rock families shared the building. By 1865 the membership had grown until it was necessary to enlarge the church or build another. On June 20, 1870 they decided to build two churches with both congregations using the old building until the new ones were completed.

On November 8, 1870 the north group met with Pastor Olaus Naess and decided to build a church on a site known as Hickory Ridge. A site for the church was secured on Dec. 31, 1870 and on October 28, 1871 a building committee was elected. On March 4, 1872, Herman Hermanson received the contract for the carpentry work on the church for $230. Henry Leisman was given the contract for the masonry work on the church for $870. The work was to be completed by September 1, 1872 and by December 1, 1872 the first annual meeting was held.
 The congregation was legally incorporated in 1875. The name, which had been selected by the congregation in 1871, was “The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran North Blue River Church.” Later the name of the congregation was changed to “Hickory Grove Lutheran Church.” The original constitution was written in Norwegian and was translated into English and revised by Rev. M. Bjornson in 1942.

Dining hallPastor Olaus Naess, the first pastor, served the congregation for 25 years, 1872-1897. Pastor Naess, his wife and daughter Magna are buried in the corner of the cemetery by the church.
 Electricity was installed in 1948. The stained glass windows were installed in 1925 and the painting and pictures were added in 1949. In 1986 a new fellowship hall was built, a well drilled and for the first time the church had indoor plumbing. The church has been renovated, tuck pointed, new roof and painting of the interior in recent years.

The pioneers who 141 years ago organized and built our Hickory Grove Lutheran Church have long since left us. During this long period, God has been adding His blessing through the word, sacraments and through His presence in the hearts of the members. Times have changed, but the same Gospel is being preached knowing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and will be forevermore.

“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev. 2:10