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South Dakota’s Oldest Church Was Founded In 1868


Many of us grew up on the farm with a Sunday routine.

Once the chores were done, it was time to get in your ‘Sunday Best’. Yes, back in the ‘old days’ we had a Sunday suit. You only wore it to church on Sunday (Or a wedding or a funeral). Into the ’59 Chevrolet we’d go and off to church. We’d sit in the same spot every week and dad would feed us kids peppermints to keep us quiet.

And that’s the way it was, generation after generation after generation.

But which South Dakota church has observed that routine (or something like it!) for the most generations?

Well, according to Wikipedia, you don’t have to travel to far from Sioux Falls.

Our great state has a lot of great things. Great fishing lakes, great pheasant hunting places, great people and, of course, ‘Great Faces’. And something else we proudly have a lot of is…Lutherans!

The oldest church in operation in South Dakota is the Renner Lutheran Church.

Founded in 1868 in a sod home, a church was later built on the prairie about 3 miles south of Baltic. Destroyed in a wind storm, it was rebuilt in 1978. The church was moved to Baltic around 1911 and moved again in 1939 to it’s present home in Renner in 1939.

By the way, the church’s altar was constructed in 1886 and is still a central fixture in the sanctuary. You can see pictures here.

So maybe one Sunday you can wander on over to one of our favorite towns, Renner, and drop in the South Dakota’s oldest church and meet a whole congregation of friendly folks.

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