|Norwegian immigrants will celebrate 125-year anniversary|
| [04.10.2011, 07:38pm, Tue. GMT]|
|Olivet Evangelical Free Church will celebrate its 125th anniversary with three events focused on its music, missions and ministry. Olivet was founded in 1886 by a group of Norwegian immigrants who built a “house of prayer” at the corner of Southern and Franklin.The church's name changed to Olivet Evangelical Free Church in 1920, when the congregation began having services in English instead of Norwegian.|
Despite two additions over the years, the church was outgrowing its location. In 2009, it moved into a renovated bowling alley at 6790 Harvey. Its former building is now being used by Ecclesia, a faith-based inner-city outreach program.
The two-day celebration will kick off Oct. 15 with a dinner and “125 Years of Music” program with musicians who played at Olivet over the previous five decades returning to perform, and a few recordings of performers who have since died. Reservations are required and are available through the church office, 231-798-2900. Dinner and program tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-10.
A missions program at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 16, during what is usually the Sunday School hour, will feature missionaries who have returned to the United States and recorded greetings from those still overseas. Olivet estimates that more than 20 percent of its annual budget goes toward missions.
The mission program will be followed by three speakers on the history and future of Olivet's ministry at 10:45 a.m., the normal service time. The Rev. Bill Dondit, who was Olivet's pastor for 18 years in the 1970s and 1980s, will talk about the church's history. Current pastor the Rev. Craig Cramblet will talk about the church's work today, and the Rev. Curt Vanderstelt, who grew up at Olivet and know leads a church in Wisconsin, will speak about having a vision for the future.