East Zion Lutheran Church History
The first East Zion Church was built during 1884 and 1885 by John
Aslakson and Lawrence Iverson.
In 1898, an 85 foot steeple was added along with an entry, bell,
balcony, and sacristy. Lighting was furnished by a fancy brass chandelier near
the front and other kerosene lamps along the walls.
This church was struck by lightning on July 7, 1919 at 6:30 a.m. and
burned to the ground. Worship services were then held in homes once again; the
fall communion was at Fron Church in Starbuck, and Confirmation was held at
Plans for a new church, similar to the Big Grove Church of rural
Belgrade were drawn. The cornerstone was laid on August 28, 1921 and the church
was built by the Larson Brothers of Starbuck for about $45,000. The old church
bell, ruined in the fire, was recast and is used at the present
The decade of the 1930's brought a severe drought and depression to
the area and funds for the church building trickled in very slowly. The
building debt was finally paid by the annual meeting in 1941 and the
congregation rose and sang "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow."
East Zion is a brick church with beautiful stained glass windows
harkening back to its Norwegian heritage. Many improvements have been made in
recent years including a sound system, furnaces and heat exchangers, a
handicapped accessible lift system, accessible bathrooms, and in 2015 a new
roof was installed.
We are very grateful for our beautiful worship space and proud of its
legacy of the Christian faith.